In this procedurally generated game of survival, players will find themselves running at then retreating from enemies (although one can be pressed for a more powerful attack with a cool down period). Although a secondary weapon is available to try and avoid the vulnerabilities of cool downs, it simply doth butter no parsnips. It is worth noting at the start of unExplored that it is recommended to not take on all enemies, however this reviewer found it hard to ignore that big red button.
One could describe the movement as greased up with a limited amount of movement for multi directional attacks, this unfortunately comes at an unfair advantage was enemies can quite easily hit players in said blind spots. The strategic hit and retreat gameplay is a breath of fresh air in the roguelite genre, but falls flat in it’s execution. This reviewer found it to be a very odd mechanic to challenge players, of which the execution is more frustrating than Donald Trump’s mouth whilst talking.
“Hi, Could I Get a long Weight please?”
This reviewer actually made a nice milky coffee during the load times of Unexplored: Unlocked Edition. For all it’s simplistic glory, UnExplored takes the biscuit loading it’s assets, it’s just not necessary in 2018 on any console. Given that this title is a procedurally generated one, it still doesn’t warrant the 50 second + load screens. And what’s more is that unExplored has the cheek to momentarily pause to load up environments!
Speaking of procedurally generated levels, unExplored does manage to variate gameplay but not so much difficulty levels. The levels are generated in a interconnected circle which is a great idea, but the content therein just isn’t that entertaining. The circle layout becomes the overall theme of gameplay unfortunately. On one playthrough, players may be able to takedown multiple floors without to many challenging moments. On the flipside, players may be utterly pulverised in the first dungeon level, completely unbalanced.
unExplored: Unlocked Edition also comes packaged with it’s 3 DLC packs that have been previously released free of charge (How nice is that!?) which are themed around The Lord of the Rings, Alien and Cthulhu. It’s a great novelty to have this content packaged into this release of unExplored, but alas it doesn’t really raise the gameplay bar.
The aforementioned simplistic textures and design of unExplored is far from revolutionary, but it’s a clean viewing experience that gets the job done. This title certainly has a good understanding of its own identity in not emulating greater games from within the Roguelite genre. The same applies for the games soundtrack which is nothing to write home about, it just serves as suitable elevator music.
Graphics and Presentation: 3
Overall Score: 3 / 5
unExplored: Unlocked edition has unfortunately drowned in a sea of Roguelite titles made from a richer cloth. Whilst the negatives are plentiful, it is worth playing for a taste of variance within the overly saturated Roguelite genre. Patience is a virtue, even more so for unExplored.
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Price: £13.49 (eShop)
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Developer: Nephilim Game Studios / Ludomotion
Release Date: 09/08/2018
Age Rating: PEGI 7+
Review copy provided by publisher