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via Skystone Games

Undying Review: A Hauntingly Beautiful Tale of Survival

Undying Hero
Undying Score
Undying is a must-play for anyone who appreciates a game that's not just about surviving, but about the emotional journey of survival.
Emotionally engaging storyline
Complex and rewarding system of resource management and crafting
Dynamic world with lots of replayability
Potentially overwhelming emotional themes (especially if you're a parent)
Surprisingly high time commitment, which is more of a PSA than a "con"
Platform Reviewed: PC

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A PC code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Undying is available now on PC.

At the heart of Undying lies a story that tugs at your heartstrings, setting it apart from the typical survival game. You’re not just scavenging and battling zombies — you’re shepherding a child through the apocalypse and teaching him to survive before your inevitable end.

As a father myself, I found the premise of protecting and teaching young Cody in a world gone mad both haunting and deeply compelling. It’s a scenario that hits close to home, making you ponder the lengths you’d go to for your loved ones. The emotional connection between Anling and Cody is the undoubtedly the driving force of the game, transforming each decision from a mere survival tactic to a poignant life lesson.

Survival mechanics that matter and the weight of choice

Undying Zombies
via Skystone Games

In Undying, the crafting and survival elements are robust, demanding, and rewarding. Scavenging for resources and creating tools for survival isn’t just a game mechanic. It’s a metaphor for the resilience and ingenuity needed in the darkest of times. Each crafted item feels like a small victory against the odds, a step towards securing another day with Cody and arming him with knowledge. The balance between survival and the narrative is finely tuned, ensuring that the gameplay supports the story, rather than overshadowing it.

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Every decision in Undying carries weight. Whether to share your last piece of food with a stranger, or which path to take through a zombie-infested town, these choices shape your journey and its outcome. This mechanic brilliantly mirrors the unpredictability and moral complexity of real life, especially in dire circumstances. The game doesn’t shy away from showing the consequences of your actions, both good and bad, making for a truly immersive and sometimes gut-wrenching experience.

Apocalypse in Style: Visuals and Soundscapes

Undying Blood
via Skystone Games

The artistic direction of Undying offers a beautiful simplicity. The low-poly aesthetic gives the game a distinct, almost storybook-like quality, which contrasts beautifully with the grim reality of its setting. This stylistic choice creates an atmosphere that’s both eerie and enchanting. Complementing the visuals is a soundtrack that’s equally impactful. It’s suspenseful when it needs to be, yet capable of being profoundly touching, echoing the game’s emotional depth.

The design of the game world in Undying also speaks to the ingenuity of its creators. With randomly generated maps and situations, each playthrough feels fresh and unpredictable. The influence of David Brevik is palpable in the game’s dungeon design, making exploration a thrilling and rewarding aspect. The rogue-lite elements add another layer of challenge, ensuring that your survival skills are constantly put to the test.

Undying cleverly balances its intense gameplay with lighter moments. The inclusion of mini-games offers a welcome reprieve from the constant tension. Moreover, the Comment Wall feature fosters a sense of global community among players, allowing you to share your experiences and strategies, or simply offer words of encouragement to fellow survivors.

Teaching Tomorrow’s Survivor: A Unique Parental Perspective

Undying Teaching Cody
via Skystone Games

One of the most unique aspects of Undying is the focus on teaching Cody essential survival skills. This mechanic not only adds depth to the gameplay but also resonates with any parent’s instinct to prepare their child for the challenges of life. The game does an excellent job of simulating these teaching moments, making them feel genuine and impactful. It’s a rare game that can make you reflect on your real-life parenting through its mechanics.

Undying is an emotional journey that challenges your morals, survival skills, and heartstrings. As a parent, it strikes a particular chord with me, presenting a narrative that’s both relatable and heart-wrenching. The game skillfully balances its survival mechanics with a compelling story, making every action feel meaningful. Its unique approach to storytelling, combined with solid gameplay, stunning visuals, and an evocative soundtrack, makes it a standout title in the survival genre. I give Undying a well-deserved 9 out of 10. It’s a must-play for anyone who appreciates a game that’s not just about surviving, but about the emotional journey of survival.

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