Nether – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, Action, Multiplayer, FPS
Developer: Phosphor Games Studio
Publisher: Nether Productions
Platform: PC

Nether – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Stunning graphics and crazily eerie sounds give a clear sense of a city in ruins
Bad: Lack of PvE, far too many bugs and glitches, large portion of the map is still inaccessible
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Nether, the first-person survival game from Phosphor Games, departed Early Access early in June. About a month ago, we previewed the game and now we’ll take a look at what changed and what became ultimately better.

Nether logo

Story

Nether is not your typical survival game with infected species that are trying to ravish the surviving species. Well, that’s not correct but at least they’re not zombies. Almost a decade before the beginning on the game, an event now referred to as The Cull infected the world. The event was so disastrous that it has infected about two third of the entire population, changing them into humanoid mutations which are now roaming the streets as the Nethers. Those who were free of a genetic anomaly were lucky and could not get infected. However, it is this small population that is now being hunted by the Nethers and you are one of them. How you survive is completely up to you, as long as you keep in mind that danger is always lurking around a corner.

Graphics

There is not much I can say about the graphics, that I haven’t already said in the preview. They are certainly not top notch and there seems to be several graphical glitches in the game. However, they did a stellar job at making the graphics as realistic as possible. Standing on top of high buildings will reward you with the view of a once great city that is now in ruins. There is a good variation of cars and vegetation and the buildings are constructed from several types of materials. Dark smoke in the air will alert you for possible loot sites, vehicles with flashing lights generally carry loot as well. Everything seems to fit the theme that Nether wants to bring and that is to survive in a city that is clearly doomed.

Nether screen02

Early Access means that players get to play a game that is still in development but it cannot be considered the same as a beta. However, Nether was in Early Access for quite a while and is now a full released game but it still has bugs and glitches. A newly found bug, that wasn’t in the early access build is that items such as bottles, cans, bags of chips and others now seem to be floating above the ground and desks. Sometimes you can’t even see an object, yet as you search with your mouse, there is supposed to be an item lying there. Even the boiling blood bug that keeps vanishing under the ground is still here. Another graphical glitch that I have found is grass that is now floating in certain areas instead of being nicely attached to the ground. There are a few more bugs and graphical glitches but I’ll keep it short, there are far too many bugs and glitches.

Sound

Overall, the city is fairly quiet. As you walk around, you will hear several insects chirping, the wind that does not stop howling and than once in a while, the screeches from Nethers around you. Combined with the visual destruction, it gives you a clear sense of running around in an ghost town. The screeches will make sure you stay alert at all times, constantly on the lookout for the danger that will come to you, sooner or later.

Nether landscape

Gameplay

The description of Nether on Steam mentions that it is a meld of PvE and PvP gameplay but the PvE gameplay is almost not there. The only zone where PvE is enabled is in the safezones and as I mentioned in the preview, the loot near the safezones seems less worthy. Not to mention the fact that these areas will become PvP areas once the Nethers start attacking. It was said that there will be a few PvE-only servers available upon launch but these are simply not here.

Also mentioned in the preview is that you start out with a regular kitchen knife. This is still the case in the full release but there is a new feature added. You can spawn with less health and with your hungry bar being slightly depleted already. It hasn’t always occurred with me but when it had, your survival senses kick in real fast. The fairly annoying mechanic of striking with your melee weapon, only when you release the button, is still prominent in the game. This is something you do get used to after a while but it can still be a pain in the ass. The rest of the gameplay is as you would expect from a survival game. You basically run around scavenging, looting everything that you can possibly loot while making sure that you stay alive. A good strategy is generally by avoiding the open streets as this is where the Nethers seem to be but you might miss out on some good loot. After spending time in several different servers, spawning in safezones and somewhere out in the world, I came to the conclusion that there is more types of loot to be found. Either that or I was quite unlucky during my test runs for the preview. However, the variation of loot is still quite unbalanced. Either you will find way too many melee weapons and firearms, or you’re stuffing your backpack with tons of drinks and energy bars. Of course, if you do manage to survive for several hours, you might get lucky and find a nice variation of loot. That is, if you do not get surprised by a whole pack of Nethers or a camper with a sniper rifle.

The full release of the game did bring VAC support, eliminating the majority of cheaters in the game and a healthy player base, making surviving even harder. It also means that the longer you survive, the more satisfied you will be for making it this far. Dying will still leave a bitter taste in your mouth when you lose everything in your inventory. New locations are also added with the full release but you still can’t access all the regions of the map. There has been quite a big update on the Territory Wars but those that don’t want to get involved in something like a war between survivors will find their selves bored to death quite fast.

Nether screen

Conclusion

Far too many bugs and graphical glitches, a poor balance of PvE and PvP gameplay, an even more lousy imbalance of the variation in loot, the large portion of the map that is still inaccessible and more. It all adds up and it is the total amount of small issues amongst other things, that overrule the beauty of the game. However, if you are a huge fan of open world games and survival games such as DayZ, Rust and other games in the same category and if you don’t mind the glitches, than Nether is probably a good game for you.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Nether - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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