Die Young
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 7

Die Young is an impressive open-world title where you play as a young woman named Daphne trying to survive the dangers of a remote Mediterranean island. It is extremely satisfying to explore the vast island and slowly piece together the story. Seeing everything that Die Young has to offer should keep players busy for ages and apart from a few technical issues, the game comes highly recommended.

Gameplay: Exploring the vast island is a lot of fun, and there are a ton of things to see and do.

Graphics: Die Young is a great looking game once you max out all the visual options.

Sound: Decent soundtrack and sound effects, but some of the voice acting could be better

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Die Young

Developer: IndieGala | Publisher: IndieGala | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Die Young opens with a young thrillseeker, named Daphne, heading out to a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea with a group of friends. Unfortunately, instead of fun in the sun, Daphne wakes up alone at the bottom of a well. It would seem that she has been kidnapped by whoever is in control of the 12 sq km island. After climbing out of the well Daphne sets out to find her friends and get the hell off the island, but to do so, she is going to have to stay alive.

Die Young is an open-world action game from Indie Gala and was recently released in full after spending two years in Early Access. The game mixes elements of survival and exploration as players guide Daphne around the island while avoiding danger. Players start with practically nothing, not even shoes on their feet, which means fighting the enemies that roam around is not such a good idea. Instead, Daphne must make use of her athletic abilities and parkour skills to bypass enemies wherever possible and escape from them if necessary. She does eventually gain access to some weaponry, but these not only take up valuable inventory slots but are also clumsy to wield. You might be able to take down one or two enemies with a wrench or a crowbar, but your chances of survival decrease drastically if more are drawn in by the noise. Thankfully, every time you do manage to kill an enemy, they won’t respawn, which does make things easier in the long run.

Although Die Young features survival elements, this is not the type of game where you are going to be chopping down trees and building yourself a house. Daphne has no intention of sticking around for long, so everything that she can craft is geared towards her immediate survival or to assist her with getting off the island. You can harvest all kinds of plants to create medicine, while the scrap and other materials that can be looted are useful for crafting tools. The crafting interface is very straightforward, so as long as you have the required materials and know the recipe, you can create items by holding down one button. Your backpack and utility belt does have limited slots, though, so it’s worth tracking down the recipes and materials for improving them.

The game is viewed from a first-person perspective, which means that you not only get to watch the stunning vistas through Daphne’s eyes but also experience the stomach-lurching jumps and climbs. As we mentioned earlier, the unnamed island is massive and thoroughly exploring it is going to take a bit of time. Die Young also doesn’t funnel you towards your objectives either, so you are pretty much free to explore as you please.

If you want to focus solely on getting off the island, you can do so, but checking out some of the side quests and exploring the optional areas answers a lot of questions. At first, the story appears to be pretty basic, but as you discover more notes, you’ll learn about the origins of the island, its inhabitants and how it has turned into such a deathtrap. You’ll also find out what fates befell your friends as well as other foreigners who dared to visit the island. The game has three endings in total, and we found the experience gripping enough to get all three as well as all of the achievements that can be earned. Accomplishing this too close to 30 hours and there were still some things left to do on the island! Seeing as how huge the island is, we are grateful for the fast travel points that are scattered about, and these also serve as shelters that can be used when night falls in the game. For some extra incentive to explore, there are some hidden ancient idols to discover, which can be traded with one of the friendly NPCs in the game for rare items.

Visually, Die Young looks excellent and can give a few AAA titles a run for their money. The island is not just massive and blessed with some incredible views, but there are also plenty of interesting places to explore. From temple ruins and high towers to manor farms and even a sprawling military post, there is always somewhere new to check out. Even the more nature-themed areas, such as the mountain pass, pinewood, and stone pillars, are fun to explore. Daphne spends a lot of her time in the game climbing up high buildings or rock formations, and the visuals were good enough to trigger some mild acrophobia in us! Unfortunately, the visuals do appear to come at a price as we experienced quite lengthy loading times. The frame rate also dipped in some spots, but the game does have plenty of graphic options to tweak for the best results.

The audio in Die Young is relatively decent, and we enjoyed the synth-style tunes that popped up every now and then. However, the game tends to keep background music quite minimal for the most part, which suits the open-world experience. The sound effects are also really good as is most of the voice acting. Unfortunately, there are a few characters who sound a little dodgy, but we’ll chalk that up to them spending too much time in the hot Mediterranean sun. You’ll also encounter some enemies in the game who have actually lost their minds, and their rants can be a little disturbing, to say the least.

The controls are reasonably straightforward for a first-person title, and we didn’t have any issues navigating Daphne around the island. In addition to running and jumping, Daphne can also crouch, slide, and climb up certain marked surfaces. Also, Daphne can use long grass for cover to avoid human foes, but watch out for slithering snakes. Another interesting mechanic is the ability to switch to a black and white “instinct” view of your surroundings, which highlights potential dangers as well as handholds. However, this skill can only be used while Daphne is not in motion. To keep Daphne alive, you not only have to avoid or take down the stray dogs, rats, cult members, militia forces, and island workers but also keep her hydrated. The game doesn’t have any weather effects, but the blazing sun means that running and climbing will deplete Daphne’s hydration meter, which can cause death if she doesn’t drink something. Daphne also has a stamina bar, which runs out when performing strenuous activities, but recharges pretty quickly if you let her catch her breath. Hunger is not an issue in the game, but eating does help restore Daphne’s health.

Die Young can be a little intimidating at first as you start out with practically nothing and have a vast island stretching out in all directions around you. However, you soon become more accustomed to your surroundings and the limitations of your character. Exploring is highly recommended as you not only learn more about the story but also discover important gear that can help you out. These range from canteens that allow you to carry water with you to kneepads that can help reduce fall damage, a hat that can reduce hydration loss, and more. You might even have to choose between a shirt that provides better camouflage or body armor that offers better protection at the cost of stamina and hydration. The game keeps track of all the notes and documents that you find, so there’s never a lack of things to try or places to try and reach.

The combat in Die Young can be a little clunky, but Daphne is not really a fighter, so it’s better to avoid confrontations. The game does become substantially easier when you get your hands on a crossbow and Molotov cocktails, but these are in limited supply and best saved for dire situations. The game also has a couple of boss battles, and these can be tricky until you figure out what is expected from you. Something else that might annoy players is the save system, which requires you to find campfires before you can save your game. Fortunately, you can craft portable campfires for quicksaves, but you’ll obviously need the right crafting materials and enough inventory space.

Overall, we had a lot of fun with Die Young, and it is an extremely impressive title for an indie team. The developers made good use of the Early Access period to improve on the game, but there are still a few areas that can be improved on. If you are a fan of open-world titles that gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, then you will enjoy Die Young.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows® 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64 bit required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 10 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX® compatible
  • Additional Notes: Laptop versions of graphics cards may work but are NOT officially supported.
  • OS: Windows® 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64 bit required)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3770 | AMD FX™-8350
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 970 or NVIDIA® GeForce® 1060 | AMD Radeon™ R9 290X or AMD Radeon™ RX 480 | (4GB VRAM)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 10 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX® compatible
  • Additional Notes: Laptop versions of graphics cards may work but are NOT officially supported.

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