Better Late Than DEAD is a survival adventure game developed by Odin Game Studios, being published on Steam in July of 2015 on Early Access.
As we have come all too familiar with the survival genre of games; you start off as a single character, dropped in the middle of nowhere and you are expected to survive. Games of this genre are often a hit from the start or just flop straight away. Unfortunately Better Late Than DEAD does not have a very bright future in my eyes.
Gameplay is…well, almost none existent. I started out in the ocean and had to swim at least five minutes before I got to any sort of land. I spent almost an hour exploring the island, finding a couple of houses, and that is it. Whilst exploring the houses I found that each of them had their own loot, strangely enough, the houses were all an exact copy of each other and the loot was spawned in exactly the same place. The loot that I found were again, everything you would expect to find in this type of game, cans of food, bandages, knives, etc. As far as game play goes, that is it. There is absolutely nothing else to do in this game; I didn’t find any animals, enemies, nothing.
The graphics are bad to say the least; the screenshots really shows the game in a different light to how it actually looks in real time. Awfully low quality textures on almost everything, the water certainly doesn’t look like how it does in the screenshots, and neither does the skybox. On top of the poor graphics, the animation side of the game is horrible; your character has just an awful run cycle that looks like some sort of jelly man was used to rig it – also this game features possibly one of the highest jumping ability I have ever seen in a game, I swear I was jumping up entire flights of stairs in one go… It should also be known, that from jumping, I managed to break my leg in the game twice and die from it once – lord knows how.
At the beginning of the game, I was presented with a cut scene that sets up for a quite interesting story; but that is it. After that intro, I found no other plot elements, or anything. I was particularly disappointed as I would have really liked to have seen more of it. Hopefully the developers will be adding something in via patches in the future on this aspect.
Better Late Than DEAD also has some audio problems. Whilst playing the game, you will have the same repetitive soundtrack playing in the background, and when it loops, boy do you notice it. There is an obvious cut in the track, and it just starts playing again; this for me seemed like a really basic issue which should not be seen in the game, it really ruined the game’s immersion (the little it actually had).
I really expected the world I was in to be full of interesting environments and buildings to explore, but sadly due to the copy/paste nature shown in the game, it all seemed to blur together and nothing really stood out as interesting. All of the buildings are exactly the same layout, tress look exactly the same, it just looks like someone has gone in and press CTRL A CTRL V over and over again to make it seem like the world is huge.
Sadly the game is very poorly optimized. Whilst the game has the options to run on all resolutions up to 4k, it certainly doesn’t run well. Playability is none existent at 4k, so I had to drop it to 1080p, and even then, I was not able to reach 60 fps and that is with my monster rig. This needs to be the top of their agenda at the very least.
At the time of writing this review, I have been playing for just over two hours; I honestly don’t see myself jumping into the game any time again soon, unless there are some major changes and improvements on what the game currently has. The last update to the game from what I can see is 18th November 2015, and even then, only two new additions to the game were added. If anyone is interested in the survival genre, there are definitely games out there that are still in early access, and are in a much much better state than this game at the moment. Even though the game is retailing for £6,99, I still cannot recommend this game. It may improve, but it is going to take a lot for it to be even worthy of that low price.
Tom’s Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Not Recommended
3) Only recommended when on sale
5) Highly recommended
6) This is a must play