Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4
Release Date: 19/01/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
There is something that pulls you in about survival games. Dysmantle does a great job of this, even more so with the fairly limited mechanics. I found myself coming back to it again and again.
In most survival games, the story is not the major draw. Dysmantle is no different. Your character has survived the end of the world by locking himself in a stocked underground bunker. Now the food and water have run out. With no other choice, it is time to emerge into this “new” world.
Upon entering this desolate world which mother nature has reclaimed for herself, with only one main inhabitant, zombies. A virus turned the population of the world into strange, twisted zombies. You need to survive and try to find other humans.
The story is not so deep. While traveling around the massive map, you may come across radios. These radios have a recorded message that gives you a snippet of what has happened to the world as you were underground. The only problem is finding them, as the map is so big there won’t be many that find them all.
What is Dysmantle?
The easiest way to describe Dysmantle is a pseudo-survival game. It is marketed as a survival game, however, the only typical survival mechanic is the danger from cold and hot weather. But it is not complicated, it’s just making clothing to counter the temp change. There is not even perma-death, instead you respawn at the last campsite site used, with all your collected items left where you died.
So how do you survive in Dysmantle? Fairly simple, you destroy everything then craft and upgrade gear, all the while fighting the ex-human onslaught. 10ton has made this simple gameplay loop become overly addictive. It’s pick up and play gameplay makes it good for a quick runabout and collecting materials for crafting, then realising it has been over two hours.
When starting out your adventure, you will find collecting basic materials come quick and fast. Armed with your red crowbar, that would make Gordon Freeman jealous. There are loads of items that you will be able to break and collect the materials. However, you will soon notice not everything is broken down by the crowbar. Now it’s crafting time.
This is by far the most important aspect of your survival. Crafting is done at campsites. There is everything needed to survive in this world, from weapons, clothing, picklocks, trinkets, and so on. While traveling, you may unlock new blueprints that will add extra crafting ideas. The crafting is a case of making sure you will have enough of the materials to craft the item.
So your crowbar is not strong enough? Well, this is an easy fix, just like crafting, upgrading works the same. However, this increases how powerful weapons are, or how powerful the trinkets are. If you do not keep up with upgrading weapons will become useless for collecting materials and killing ex-humans.
10tons, say that 99% of the world is breakable. I am not sure if 99% of the world is destructible, but most of the assets are breakable. This is one of my favourite aspects of Dysmantle, remembering what items will drop the material you need.
The biggest let down is in the crafting element. There is almost no building to craft, I would have loved to build a wee town or have crafting more involved, for example having to build different crafting tables and so on.
These ex-humans are zombies. That you will spend killing them over and over. Most of the fights with ex-humans are a simple hit-and-run tactic. Where you swing a weapon, then dodge or walk backwards out of the incoming attack. There are a few different ex-humans for the standard version, faster versions with arm blades, others that spew acid-like bile and so on. When you rest at a campsite, the slain ex-humans will respawn and you will need to do it all again. This can be stopped, but I will let you find out.
Every so on you will change in the music, and a boss fight will start. These bosses are just bigger versions of the normal enemies. The only change (bar size) is they have more health. This can be made almost inert by having upgraded weapons. But it breaks up the normal encounters.
Overall, Dysmantle is not your typical survival game, but it has a lot to offer. Massive map, loads of things to destroy and plenty of zombies to kill. I would have loved a more involved crafting system. But the gameplay will have you hooked and time will.just melt away.
If you are looking for a relaxed but addictive survival game, there might be something here for you. But if you are looking for deep involved gameplay, this is not for you.