Afterfall Reconquest Episode I (IntoXicate Studios)
Afterfall Reconquest allows you to explore a post apocalyptic world, where predictably enough, humanity has managed to practically wipe themselves out. A lucky few survived the conflict by hunkering down in sanctuary cities deep in the mountains, but eventually even they had to venture out for resources. Of course, the mutants roaming what is left of the world don’t take too kindly to anyone venturing into their territory.
Your character in this game is a Reaper, someone who works alone, stays away from politics and lives for killing mutants. While the whole story isn’t quite in place for this Early Access version of the game, it is clear that although your character is driven by revenge the story might hold a few other surprises as well.
If the name sounds familiar, it is because the game is set in the same universe as its prequel, Afterfall: Insanity. No need to fret if you missed out on the first game as Reconquest is based around a whole new story and characters. The game is set to be released in episodic format, and right now the first hour of the first episode is available via Steam Early Access. In total the first episode is set to contain about four hours of gameplay, so you get a taste of what to expect, but there is still plenty to look forward to when opting for the Early Access version.
The game is played in third person and requires you to make your way through some tunnels, a scrap yard and fort while taking down enemies. There are only two enemy classes at the moment, but they can do some serious damage to your character, so you will want to keep on your toes while playing. So far you only have one gun at your disposal, but the limited ammunition means that you will be relying more on your Reaper skills. The most useful is a rechargeable shrapnel cannon, which is formidable at medium range, but can cause damage to the player thanks to the ricochet. Next up is the shield, which is used for defense and finally the ability to drain health from corpses. Some more guns to supplement the pistol are planned in future updates as well as new skills and of course enemy classes.
This Early Access version of the game provides a pretty good overview of what can be expected and I really liked what it had to offer. The developers promise a semi open world experience, although the Gyula Creek area you get to play feels a bit claustrophobic at the moment. It only covers one quest though with 4 main quests and 6 sub quests promised for the full release. A difficulty setting has been added with the first patch, but the game is still pretty challenging and your character will die frequently if you are not careful. I managed to get my character run over by a train within minutes of starting the game, but doing the same to some mutants later on was quite satisfying. The game uses checkpoints for saving, which after the update appears to be spaced apart quite evenly.
The visuals are decent and thankfully the ability to adjust the resolution and gamma was added with the 1.2 update, something which was sorely lacking during the initial release. There’s obviously still some work that needs to be done to polish everything up, but the developers are clearly eager to hear feedback from fans. In fact, they have implemented an Early Access incentive scheme whereby any players who purchase the game and provide feedback in the form of comments, gamplay videos or bug reporting will get episode II and III as well upon release. This offer is only available during the Early Access period, but is a great opportunity to help the developers shape the game into something great, while saving some cash in the process.
The full version of Afterfall Reconquest Episode 1 will be available later in 2014 while episode two is set for an early 2015 release. Even if you were not a fan of the first game, or are new to the franchise, this is the perfect opportunity to experience something new and have a say in how it turns out. I have to say that I became so engrossed in playing that I was a bit surprised and disappointed when I realized that I had already reached the end, so this is a title that I will definitely be keeping an eye on.
This preview is based on the update 1.2 version of the game.