Undungeon: Haunt A Shattered Multiverse – Demo Preview
When I first noticed Undungeon, I was just excited to get my hands on a post-apocalyptic action game for Steam Next Fest. This event has been an exciting time for me and a great way to relieve stress by doing what I enjoy. I originally had not intended to write anything on the game. However, I spent about an hour before becoming hopelessly invested in the world, and here we are.
In Undungeon, you play as the Heralds, immortal champions crafted by the gods of seven worlds. The demo also features Void, a cosmic horror born of the Void Dimension. Your god wishes to rule a realm as the others have. Unfortunately, when the Great Shift fractures the multiverse, you must foster a new one.
Like all good science fiction, Undungeon is strangely confusing at first. While you know your mission, you understand very little of anything about or beyond it. This melds beautifully with the narrative as you roam the chaos of multiple dimensions forcibly intertwined. Many survivors of the Shift are immortals who tend to recognise and revere your kind. Aiding in their struggles continued to weave a tantalising tapestry of rich lore and eldritch knowledge well after 10 hours. While text-heavy, Undungeon is absolutely dripping with substance.
Undungeon’s combat is a spectacular nightmare. Void eviscerates raiders and beasts with its claws while dashing between bullets, explosives, and other hazards. Both actions are tied to the stamina bar. This makes mobility a necessity, though Void can also block to reduce damage. There are various healing and status items, and for ranged attacks, Void can acquire objects like knives and grenades to fling at foes. Various claws, masks, and breastplates alter the way actions work while adding a secondary charged ability.
“Undungeon is punishing in the best ways while constantly rewarding you. “
Watching flies gather around scattered remains feels empowering as the corpses begin to pile. Intact remains are suitable to harvest, offering plenty of reason to acquaint yourself with the various damage types available. While you will be dropping bodies, enemies are nothing to scoff at. Delivering a hit will net that foe a star, with each star increasing its lethality for a time. Often you will be surrounded, left to judge your greatest threat from moment to moment. Even healing is a gamble. Many restoration items are ejected onto the field and rewarded to the individual who strikes them. This makes stealing a healing item while disembowelling a foe a riot.
Undungeon is punishing, in the best ways, while constantly rewarding you. Everything you pick up must be used if you plan to survive. You can equip more runes to your core as you level up, increasing your potential by giving you control over your stats. You can craft and swap out organs to further augment and refine your build. You’ll want to keep some in reserve, though, as implanted organs fail when your health hits zero. Items you don’t need are traded for things you want through a barter system or recycled into crafting material.
“The Undungeon demo does not handhold but guides you through an extended tutorial that feels like it could be its own game.”
As you send Void from one location to the next, time passes in a day/night cycle. Creatures, traders, and bandits spend their days travelling and may bump into you on your journey. Travelling at night might be the best option if you wish to avoid an unnecessary fight. You must fulfil some quests within a few days though the payoff will often be worth the risk. The map starts relatively small, but trading posts, hunting camps, and lairs open up as you knock out more quests and interact with the world.
A lot is placed on your shoulders as you are thrust into the thick of it. This is as true for Void as it is for the player. The Undungeon demo does not hold your hand but guides you through an extended tutorial that feels like it could be its own game. With the promise of six additional Heralds, even more lore, weapons, fights, and NPC’s to familiarise yourself with, I don’t see how anyone could pass on Undungeon when the full release makes its debut.