Iratus: Lord of the Dead – Review
Follow Genre: Tactical, Roguelike, Dungeon Crawler
Developer: Unfrozen
Publisher: Unfrozen, Daedalic Entertainment
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Iratus: Lord of the Dead – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Challenging gameplay, Playing as the evil side
Bad: It can be quite frustrating to keep on losing your minions when you haven’t mastered the game yet
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

In most games, where there is evil and good, you will mostly be part of the good side. Iratus: Lord of the Dead does this a bit differently as you play as Iratus himself who is deemed The Lord of the Dead himself! He is obviously the bad guy, as he wants to bring death upon the world. This game is a tactical roguelike with some classic team vs team action in turn-based combat. While the gameplay is relatively classic, the game’s more difficult than you’d expect. After having spent a while in Early Access, this game has finally made its full release on Steam.

Story

In Iratus: Lord of the Dead, you will play as Iratus himself. Iratus is an evil necromancer that has mastered death itself. Long ago, he was on the verge of conquering the mortal world, but as with most best-laid plans, heroes will eventually emerge to try and stop the evil forces. Eventually Iratus was killed and peace had returned. While Iratus has the power to return from the dead, he was sealed in a tomb to prevent this from happening. Waiting for a chance to escape from his slumber, his tomb was opened by some unsuspecting gravediggers and he was free to bring death upon the world once again.

The game has a good background story, but while playing, you won’t see much of the story, aside from the great intro that starts when booting up the game. Yes, there will be some events while you progress in the game, but they won’t contribute to the game’s story or lore. The game progresses while you travel through the depths of the dungeon you were imprisoned in. Instead of going deeper into a dungeon, here you’re trying to get out of it. On the dungeon map, you’ll encounter enemy forces, treasures, and other things that will help your attempt to bring chaos and death upon the mortal lands.

Graphics

Iratus: Lord of the Dead looks quite fine if you ask us. The undead creatures you summon to work at your side of the playing field and the living forces on the other side of the field look quite good and are quite detailed, with also having a good design for each specific character. The HUD, when not in combat, looks very good with a very dark, undead theme that fits the game’s matter perfectly. Each menu here is represented by a part of the room where Iratus resides in his hideout. The graveyard behind him looks very detailed with multiple buildings that can be built to put some minions to work for some extra bonuses. The animations in combat look rather basic so don’t expect too much of this portion of the game.

Sound

When starting up the game, you’ll be shown a very impressive intro with some great voice acting. The intro really entices you to start playing, but after the intro has ended, because of the lack of more story content, you won’t hear much from Iratus and his minions aside of some short lines. When Iratus speaks when in battle, he will likely tell some funny puns about his enemies and what he’s going to do with their leftovers or when his minions do a good job. The background music fits the genre of the game perfectly and it also tends to stay in the background for a perfect immersion of sound and gameplay.

Gameplay

Iratus: Lord of the Dead is a tactical roguelike in which you take control of the undead necromancer Iratus, who is called the Lord of the Dead. As a necromancer, he has the power to summon undead creatures from the remains of his slain enemies. This game features some classic team vs team turn-based combat, but it turns out to be somewhat more difficult than you would’ve expected.

The evil necromancer has the power to create undead creatures from the remains of his enemies, like bones, blood, hearts, and more. These materials are all graded and higher-grade materials will let you make more powerful minions. Each created minion will level-up by gaining experience from battles. You would think your units are expendable as you can easily create new ones, but they will always start as low-level units. This is where tactics play a role to try and sustain your minions while they are leveling-up. Alternatively, you can manually level-up your minions by implanting them with new brains that are gained after finishing a battle. Each set of brains has a number that indicates the level it will grant your unit by implanting it within their bodies.

While each unit levels up, they will get stat points with each level and ability points after gaining a few levels each time. The stat points are used to improve your units’ stats, like their damage output, health, evasiveness, and more. The ability points are used to alter an ability’s effect. Each ability has two options for an upgrade with an ability point, mostly one that adds or strengthens an additional effect, and the other one providing more direct damage. Each point investment is final and can’t be refunded, so think well before you take action.

Each unit has a range of six skills available to use, but what is a bit tricky and requires some tactical thinking beforehand, is that these skills each have a requirement of the position of both your unit and the enemy unit. With the 18 units available in this game, it’s obvious that you need to consider a lot of things before you send out a team for the best tactical advantage.

Aside from your units, Iratus himself will also level-up and will get skill points to spend in one of the four different skill trees based on Alchemy, Magic, Ire and Destruction to learn spells and get some handy passive skills. Iratus spends his mana to use his skills. In battle, Iratus automatically regains mana and some particular attacks performed by your minions will also fill his mana. Iratus’ spells can definitely turn the tables in a battle with their useful effects.

The combat in this game is based on two types of damage, Physical and Sanity. Most of your enemies will have both a health bar and a sanity bar. You will kill your enemy units by draining one of these two bars. While the health functions like in any other game, the sanity bar is somewhat different. Stress attacks will do damage to your enemies’ sanity bar, and each will have a chance to trigger a debuff called ‘Insanity’. When a unit has this debuff, each stress attack has a chance to immediately kill it, which does require some luck which makes it even more fun when a unit dies of fear.

The Graveyard is a place where you can construct buildings that will support your quest to bring death to the mortals. To build these buildings, you have to place units there to have them work there. These buildings will grant different bonuses like healing your units after battle, a chance on finding extra items after each battle, and more.

Conclusion

Iratus: Lord of the Dead can be quite a fun tactical roguelike if you invest some time in mastering the game. The game looks great and also plays quite well, which may be thanks to the time it has spent in Early Access. It can be really amusing and interesting to play as the villain for a change as most games will let you play as the heroes. Raising an undead army and tweaking your team while they level up and get stronger is quite fun, but it isn’t all that easy as you’d expect after watching a trailer. The creators do warn players beforehand that you will likely need to spend a few hours mastering the game before you can fully experience the game. If you’re looking for a challenging roguelike that allows you to play on the evil side for a change, then we’d definitely recommend trying this one out.

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Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

1 Comment

  1. Ibuki
    Ibuki
    May 27, 2020, 12:29 pm

    Reminds me of Darkest Dungeon.

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