DYSMANTLE ( 10tons Ltd)
Dysmantle by 10tons Ltd opens with the protagonist emerging from his shelter to a post-apocalyptic island that is overrun with all kinds of hostile creatures. Clearly, something very bad happened, and you might just be the only surviving human left on the island. Fortunately, it appears that there is a way to get off the island, but it is going to take a lot of exploration and preparation to do so successfully.
Dysmantle is currently in Early Access on Steam, so only about 1/3 of the open world is available, but it is already enough to showcase that 10tons Ltd has something special on their hands. Unlike the usual post-apocalyptic wastelands with limited resources, the island on which Dysmantle is set is practically a paradise. Your character won’t constantly complain of hunger and thirst either, which means you are free to get to the good stuff like exploring and destroying everything in sight. The wanton destruction of property is good for a reason, though, as everything you break in the game results in resources that can then be used for crafting. Virtually everything in the game world is breakable with the right tools and stripping down entire houses to almost nothing is strangely satisfying. Of course, there are still plenty of hostile creatures to deal with, too, so you must be careful when exploring.
We spent about fourteen hours with Dysmantle until we reached the limits of what is possible in the Early Access version. However, we did everything from exploring and fighting monsters to farming, fishing, treasure hunting, and more during this time. Along the way, our character also gained experience points and leveled up, allowing us to unlock new skills or access new blueprints for crafting. According to the developers, Dysmantle will be in Early Access for about three to six months, but the game is already in very good shape judging by the version we played. The open world, viewed from an isometric overhead perspective, looks good, and there are plenty of unique locations both above and below ground to discover. The game also has lots of side quests to keep players busy, but you are free to do things at your own pace.
Although hunger and thirst are not a factor, it is still possible to find recipes and cook stuff that will provide permanent stat and ability upgrades if you have the right ingredients. Certain areas are also hotter or colder than the surrounding ones, so you may need to craft and equip the right gear to enter them safely. Campfires are dotted around the gameworld and serve as respawn points if you have the misfortune of getting killed. You can stash your resources at these campfires, but the stuff that was in your inventory when you died will have to be retrieved from your corpse after respawning.
Overall, Dysmantle feels like a much more laid-back and relaxing take on the typical survival game. We would love to see more unusual and unique locations tucked away for diligent explorers to find. Still, the world already feels hand-crafted and not just randomly generated, which is nice. The radios that have pre-recorded broadcasts about what happened on the island also provide a nice incentive for exploring. 10tons has a good track record when it comes to games that are easy to get into and hard to stop playing, so it’s no surprise that Dysmantle is already very addictive. Some players may find dismantling everything in sight a little repetitive, but the game hooked us right from the start, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it evolves during Early Access.