Tested on: PC
Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation – Preview
We’ve seen countless games, movies or comic books over the years, all revolving around the end of the world one way or another. More than often a zombie apocalypse exterminated the living, while other times we are subject to nuclear wars or even the whimsical forces of nature, but this time things seem to be a tad different. Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation revolves around the end of the world, but not due to the earlier declared ways, but rather because the gates of hell have been opened and the earth has been flooded by demons. This sounded rather interesting and original to us, and we were quite keen to take a look at this Early Access simulation title.
You won’t get that much of a background in the current version of Judgment, but what you know, namely that the world has been overrun by demons and other ghoulish creatures, is more than sufficient to set the tone of the game. While there’s a little backdrop at the beginning of the game, where you have lost one of your comrades and are now struggling to survive, it’s only a small mood setter to get you going. We’re quite curious to see if the finished game will have more story aspects embedded or not. Either way will probably be just fine, even though adding story content may end up damaging the game, as many players will start new games now and then, and having to plow through the same events or dialogues over and over again may become tedious.
At first glance many potential purchasers might not think that highly of the graphical prowess of this title, but when spending some time on the game, the cel shaded/hand drawn visuals have a certain charm and a fair amount of detail to them. There are heaps of different survivors, a fair amount of demons and a handful of different locations to roam through, which creates enough variety to keep the game esthetically pleasing. In combination with the atmospheric music and only the sounds of hard labor and combat, the game knows how to set the proper tone.
The offset of the game is pretty simple, as you’ll simply have to (struggle to) survive in the midst of a demon filled world. First you’ll only have a party of three, but when you decide to take action and fend off demons who chase other survivors, they will join up your posse of fellow humans. At the beginning of your playthrough, you will only be able to chop trees, mine some stones and gather clay, which will allow you to build the basic necessities, in combination with the usage of scrap that is found all over the world. A small shelter, a bed and a few workspaces and crops will be the first to appear, soon after paving the road for new technology and contraptions. Most of the latter can be unlocked by researching and scavenging items from nearby locations. Many new items require a specific extra item that needs to be found in different locations, to make the game a tad harder than just dumping a survivor at the research bench and letting him spam the research ability. Before long you’ll go from caveman weapons towards actual guns, katana blades and demonic or holy weapons.
To make things easier, especially when you have an ever-growing encampment of survivors, characters will automatically perform tasks, such as sow and harvest fields, perform research and so on. You can also create task lists, to make sure more trees are getting chopped or other precious minerals are being collected. As your part of the map will soon be void of resources, you can replant trees, or even perform summoning rituals for clay, stones and so on. The latter is actually a very interesting touch for this title, as you’ll also be able to dabble in the occult and even certain more holy rituals. With the topic of a demon invasion, it’s fun you can actually summon demons to fight and thus train your characters and perform rituals and spells that might call for a bit of a sacrifice.
Combat, at the current time, is perhaps the only thing that still feels a bit clunky, due to characters not always responding to all of your commands, and the map being a gridded one, yet you can’t see the grids, thus movements aren’t as precise as you often want them to be. It’s also rather noticeable character movements have a certain delay when issuing commands to them etc. Nonetheless, the overall concept and formula of the combat in this title is rather fun, simple to learn and still has enough depth to remain rather interesting.
Overall the game might be a tad complex at first, but if you start at one of the lower difficulties, you can properly ease into the game’s mechanics and you’ll swiftly learn the ropes. The difficulty settings also prove to be a lot of fun for gamers who want the simulation experience, but don’t cope that well with some of their survivors dying. Even though the lowest setting might lack a bit of challenge now and then, fights will still be a challenge as you progress.
Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation feels like one of those titles that is wrongfully placed in an Early Access status as it already feels polished enough to be a full game. Nonetheless, the developers clearly want to add more content, improve certain aspects and of course remove bugs before doing so, and if they play their cards right they might just have themselves a game that many people will love to play. We were already pleased by this fresh breeze in the grim end-of-days scenario that is being utilized in many games. If you’re thinking of picking up a simulation title in said genre, keep an eye out on this one.