The first Lovecraft’s Untold Story, a pixel roguelike shooter from the Russian studio Blini Games, was appreciated by the players, even though the audience turned out to be quite small. The fans sincerely waited for the sequel, but something went wrong since the announcement.
Developer: Blini Games Publisher: Fulqrum Publishing Release Date: September 13, 2022
Frequent postponements, failure to fulfill part of the promises, a quick change of plans regarding the release in early access to a full-fledged release – to understand that Lovecraft’s Untold Story 2 ended up in production hell, you do not need to be a trained journalist. The development process has seriously affected the final quality, and now we will figure out what exactly is wrong with the sequel to the rather warmly received roguelite shooter.
First about the good
The story is presented chaotically in the form of comic inserts – we wake up in Arkham Asylum, the inhabitants of which have suddenly gone crazy. Our hero can also be mistaken for a madman until he finds his things in one of the rooms.
A well-designed environment is something that Lovecraft fans will definitely like. Every now and then we are immersed in an insane atmosphere of horror and despair, forcing us to wander around locations, learn about what is happening through notes and artifacts, meet monsters that were worked out in accordance with the original sources.
There can be no talk of any joy in a mental hospital, in a cemetery with cultists and in a port town with eternal rains, and the authors of Lovecraft’s Untold Story 2 managed to convey Lovecraftian madness, where one of the important human resources is reason.
Another advantage, visible to the naked eye – prettier graphics. In the first part, it was pixelated, and what you see now in the screenshots. The picture, although not the most modern, is rich in details and of high quality, and the characters are made like “dolls”, so the change of clothes and equipment is reflected in their appearance.
And now for the bad
But first, let’s talk about the gameplay. Lovecraft’s Untold Story 2 is an isometric roguelite shooter that challenges you to clear randomly generated locations and get close to bosses from the Lovecraftian universe.
There are six heroes in the game – three migrated from the first part, the other three can be called newcomers. Each has its own story – so, the detective will go to the docks, the professor will deal with the distraught patients of Arkham Asylum, and the witch will have a cool walk through the cemetery.
Three more – a medium, a veteran and an alienist – open in the process of passing. Each character has his own weapons and abilities, but the box office is common, so if it is difficult to pass in one direction, you can stop, take another character and earn money and knowledge for pumping in his story.
And here is the gameplay – the main problem of Lovecraft’s Untold Story 2, because of which you can quit the passage after the first hour.
The characters are unbalanced. A brutal detective with a double-barreled shotgun quickly loses its effectiveness when it starts to reload (and this process is already very long), and the witch, on the contrary, turned out to be too … reactive. The Professor is the most enjoyable character at the start, but his infinite shield (probably due to bugs) quickly destroys the atmosphere of what is happening.
You begin to feel this imbalance acutely after a skirmish with enemies whose characteristics have clearly been tweaked to create false complexity. They move unnaturally fast, hit painfully and are rather “fat”. Their blows, if not killing, will definitely inflict irritating effects of bleeding or poisoning. There are plenty of healing items only in the hospital, in other locations there is an acute shortage.
Shooting doodles quickly gets boring, because doing it is just boring. They do not have interesting models, after death they simply fall and disappear, the impact from the shots is not felt. These are lifeless dolls, on which the faces of Lovecraft’s monsters were pulled.
The battles turned out to be “clumsy” and because the heroes move awkwardly, crash into all the objects they encounter (of which there are an unnaturally many) and often find themselves surrounded by enemies that cannot be jumped over. Despite belonging to the roguelike genre, it, unlike the first part, is not felt at all here – rather, Lovecraft’s Untold Story 2 resembles old shooters a la Alien Shooter. From roguelike, there is only random generation of locations after death and the loss of all good.
Crafting has become a new mechanic – you can create consumables or equipment items at the base. Only items for recipes you get tired of collecting very quickly – this is a monotonous and tedious process that requires you to go to each box or locker (and there are almost dozens of them on the level), press a button, and then run to collect scattered resources, also pressing a button.
Promised co-op, but he did not get to the release version – perhaps it will appear in the future, but now the game page has removed any mention of this mode.
Well, add critical and not so critical bugs to this mixture, which either spoil the impression of the gameplay or make the passage impossible. For example, I never managed to return for a professor to his location from the hub, because his key item was no longer active.
As a result, of the pluses, only a noticeably prettier picture, atmosphere and a well-developed world can be noted, but this is not enough to want to go through the game to the end. The gameplay took the brunt of the production hell, and to get rid of the negative reviews, the authors have to do a giant job of fixing the bugs. It remains to be hoped that this will actually happen.
Reader Rating0 Votes
The atmosphere of a Lovecraftian horror movie is sustained
Monsters, locations, stories – everything is very close to the original source
Significantly prettier compared to the original picture
Character imbalance – some are very weak, others, on the contrary, are too strong
The combat system is clumsy and clumsy
Collection of items is organized inconveniently and quickly gets bored
Promised co-op never made it to release
A lot of bugs that spoil the impression and interfere with the passage