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The world is crumbling around you, society is collapsing, infected humans roam the streets ready to kill any survivors, what do you do? You hunker down in your underground bunker with plenty of supplies and wait for it all to blow over. Except, what if it doesn’t blow over, and your supplies start to run out? You’d have no choice but to venture back into the outside world and escape the monsters you’ve been hiding from for years. DYSMANTLE allows you to play out this scenario, starting off as a novice in the world of survival and gaining experience by not only surviving but thriving in the apocalyptic landscape in your journey to escape.

The game is a survival adventure title developed by Finnish studio 10tons that drops the player into a hostile environment full of cool creatures that want to kill you. You’re sent on an epic adventure that will see you traverse suburbs that have been retaken by lush greenery and buildings glistening from the fall of snow.

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The world in DYSMANTLE is pretty big considering the scope of the game. It is not until you power on the first link tower and unveil the map for the starter area that you get a sense of how large the world is. This can be quite polarising, it can either be exhilarating or depressing depending on how much time you want to spend in this world.

You must level up by exploring and crafting to unlock new inventions that will you help along on the quest to escape the island. The levelling system is a crucial part of advancing through the world, so it’s pretty useful that everything you do grants XP. Breaking things down for resources, storing those resources at camps, crafting and cooking from said resources (can you tell you’ll need a lot of resources), and killing enemies; all of these things are crucial to what the game is, making it great that all of these things help the survivor get stronger.

DYSMANTLE really earns its name, more or less any object the player comes across in the game can be broken apart for resources, from overgrown leafery to a TV, if you have the right tool, you can break it apart for those beautiful resources. Crafting underpins this entire experience, next to nothing can be achieved without scavenging and crafting, which is the reason that the main quest alone can take just short of 30 hours to complete. This is without the many side quests and extra content on offer throughout the in-game world. As satisfying as the main gameplay loop can be, I did find the run-time for the main storyline a bit long in the tooth. I think if 10tons could’ve shaved 10 or so hours from it, I would have found it much more reasonable.

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The atmosphere set by the game is superb, it almost makes the island feel like a safe haven; the graphics play a big part in this. The game looks great, with the bright greens of nature overrunning and retaking the land. Deer roam the wilderness that stretch out between pockets of buildings. As tense as combat encounters can be, there is also tranquillity to be found whilst sitting at the edge of a lake, fishing while listening to the birds chirping and oblivious to the end of the world.

To be honest I found the amount of scavenging and looting that had to be done pretty tiresome, asides from some admittedly cool weapon army and gear to be discovered later into the game. I felt as though after only a few hours with the game I’d seen the majority of what was on offer from DYSMANTLE. Apart from deviations from the core gameplay loop like the tombs and the boss battles, the majority of your time with this title will consist of exploring derelict building after derelict building for resources, and fighting off swarms of enemies.

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The combat is very simplistic, for melee attacks you have a normal and a heavy attack, with the ability to dodge incoming attacks by rolling, and you can also have a ranged weapon equipped to do damage from a safer distance. Despite this simplicity, the combat can be quite challenging. The enemy variation is a factor in this. One or two “Scrappers” (the melee-oriented enemy) are easy enough to handle, but toss in a “Hurler” (ranged enemy) and a “Puker” (is what it sounds like) and you can be a precious few seconds away from death if you aren’t careful and well equipped. The world is inhabited by what the game calls “Ex-Humans”, people who’ve been infected by some sort of mysterious condition that disfigures them in many different ways, giving them all sorts of ways to kill the player. Speaking of death, in the event that the Ex-Humans do get the better of you, you are returned to the closest of the countless campfires dotted around the map. These camps act as save points for the player; resting at a camp restores the survivors health and replenishes any equipped items such as throwing knives.

7.50/10 7½

DYSMANTLE (Reviewed on Xbox Series S)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

DYSMANTLE is a dense survival adventure with many moving parts that come together very well for a tight experience, with a fun gameplay loop to get lost in. However, you can have too much of a good thing, and I think this can be the case over the very long run time of this game.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Carl Mcfadyen

Carl Mcfadyen

Staff Writer

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