Checks Out Unrest

Indie developer Pyrodactyl Games recently provided me with a pre-release build of Unrest, a wRPG based in a sort of mythological version of ancient India. I’ve been intrigued by the sound of this one for some time, so naturally, I gave it a first look. Here is what I found:

My thoughts?

Well, a little under an hour in, it’s actually quite hard to say. Unrest strikes me as a slow-burner, even by RPG standards, and I don’t think I can reasonably reach a conclusion about it without playing it a good deal more.

I can say this much: the game world is deeply interesting, and I’m very curious to see how the rest of the story plays out. The dialog is engaging, and seems to take place in the context of a well fleshed-out conversation system.

However, with that said, it’s hard to gauge at this early point whether my dialog choices have actually had any sort of lasting consequences on the game world or on any of its characters. This is partly because I’m not very far into the game, but my doubts also have to do with the structure of the early game. The first hour is spent jumping around between a variety of disconnected characters, which is effective for establishing the story and introducing the player to the dialog system–but frankly, I haven’t a clue if I’m going to see all (or really, any) of these characters again. The one choice that I’m sure made a difference was my refusal to send Chitri to inspect the slums–but I don’t even know if I’ll ever see him again, or if his survival will make a whit of difference in my future interactions with others when I play as other characters.

In a best-case scenario, I imagine the remainder of the game playing out like this, jumping back and forth between the perspectives of three or four established, persistent characters. Hell, maybe there will be some sort of unexpected development that forces them all into a party? That would certainly be interesting.

So that’s all I’ve got at the moment: a fascinating setting and engaging dialog, but absolutely no clue if there will be any pay-off to them. In the meantime, I didn’t note any puzzles, loot gathering, or combat within the first hour. I understand that this is by design–combat in this game is deliberately rare and hugely consequential, which is an interesting tack to take, and one that I very much respect.

Unrest comes out for Windows, Mac and Linux in a little less than two weeks. I’ll be posting about it when that happens.

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