After seeing a trailer pop up on YouTube, I couldn’t help but watch. It’s not often that a YouTube ad grabs my curiosity long enough for me to not skip it but the Othercide trailer pulled me in and kept me watching right to the very end. Not only did it have my curiosity after watching the trailer it now had my attention. Dark, Gritty and a unique art style Othercide looked like my cup of tea and I made it my mission to get my gaming hands on a PlayStation 4 version of the game.
Othercide is developed by an indie company called Lightbulb Crew. It’s a horror-themed turn-based strategy game with a dynamic timeline system that is similar to that of Child of Light. Its lore and gameplay mechanics are dark and challenging, offering gamers a brilliant yet frustrating gameplay experience that almost puts Dark Souls to shame. You take control of your daughters who fight on your behalf against the nightmarish creatures that plague the world, these creatures all come from another dimension and you must harness everything you have (which isn’t a lot) to fight against these foes.
So the game is broken down into Days and on the seventh day, you will encounter a boss, pretty simple. You use your Daughters to fight the creatures to try and progress through the days. You are offered different synapses that you must complete to be able to move on to the next day, certain days you can get multiple synapses but you only need to complete one to be able to move forward. The others are there to give you the chance to level up all your daughters as well as getting more rewards. The synapse that I enjoy the most are the Hunt ones where you have to kill every creature on the map, it’s simple and properly the easiest to get your head around. There are object-based ones but I find these to challenging and sometimes the winning conditions just fell impossible and that makes me mad. The one that I find myself always avoiding is the one where you have to save a bright soul, you have to escort this character from one side of the map to the other so that they can escape but they are pretty much a one-hit kill. You have to try and get her through hordes of monsters without taking any damage, which is extremely hard. I have only managed to do this a few times but every time I have I have lost like two of my three daughters.
You fight with three daughters, there are three classes these being a blade master, shield-bearer and finally a soul slinger. The Blademaster is your powerful close-range attacker who deals all the heavy blows but has little armour so be careful not to go in sword swinging or you might just regret it. The Shield-bearer is the defensive class that have crowd control skills and also wants to be the one taking most of the hits because they can take it and finally you have the soul slinger class which is your long-distance fighter who has a mix of powerful and supportive abilities that can pull you out of difficult situations. You can customise your team any way you want but I found it best to take one of each class into a fight because it opens up your playstyle and possibilities. When fighting you need to take into consideration the dynamic timeline system that shows when each character will take their turn. Make sure to compose yourself around this, if you make a mistake it can cost you heavily and trust me it is so easy to do. There are different ability that creatures and the daughters have that can push back turns and change the timeline, so make sure you are using these to your advantage and not getting outplayed. The damage your daughters take from one day goes into the next day, which is super irritating because if you manage to get to day seven but most of your daughter’s health has gone you might as well wave the white flag because you’re probably going to die. You can heal your daughters but you have to sacrifice another daughter who is the same level as the one you’re trying to heal and has enough health to fully recover it, can you see why this game quickly becomes frustrating because it’s hard enough trying to level up one party of three daughters let alone six or maybe nine. You can resurrect fallen daughter however to get the points to do this is very hard and you only really ever get enough to bring back one or two at best. At least when they come back they come back with the level and states they died with.
You quickly come to terms that Othercide is a lot of trial and error. You’ll be doing so well and then all of a sudden you’ll lose your whole party and have to start a cycle again. Along the way you come across buffs and abilities that can be equipped to your daughters using the in-game currency, it can also be used to germinate new daughter and keep building your army. When you complete certain synapses you unlock remembrances, these are bonuses that can be equipped and used to help fight and strengthen yourself in a new cycle straight off the bat giving you a better advantage in fights, you have to use shards to unlock them and these can be obtained by completing synapse.
It’s hard to explain in words but ultimately the game comes down to fight, win, fight, die and repeat until you can successfully reach the end. If you are a Dark Souls or Bloodborne player you will be accustomed to this mechanic but if you aren’t I can imagine you’ll find it very irritating to the point where you might not like the game at all. There are a lot of interesting mechanics at play and with your daughter’s abilities you can pull off some crazy combos that give you that one up in a battle but at the same time, the enemy has this same factor and can just make you want to rage quit. The enemies can bring in more troops, buff and shield one another and you only get your three brave daughters… that’s it. Some of your abilities actually hurt you too, so your daughters will take a percentage of health to be able to perform a move which in the early stages of the game might be wise but when you’re on death’s door and you literally can’t do anything you feel like you have wasted your time.
Once a daughter has complete a synapse they go to sleep and rest, meaning you can’t use them again until the next day, which makes it so hard to level them up because you only have one chance a day to level them up, if you feel like there isn’t anything you can do you can always start a new recollection but by doing this you’ll lose all your daughters and remembrances and start the cycle again, can you imagine just how frustrating this is when you have put so much time into this playthrough only to go back to square one. I found myself doing this a lot and eventually gave the game a break for a while. Sure, I go back to it but ultimately it just winds me up too much and makes me rage quit. Which is a shame because when you are doing well the game feels amazing and you feel like you can do anything but it’s at that point where Othercide just kicks you back down and you just want to punch something.
I love the graphics in Othercide, its black and white theme with a slight added colour is fantastic and really pops on screen. It helps create this gritty and dangerous atmosphere that the game’s lore and characters bring to the table. Each of the creatures designs are really scary and thought out and emit this whole evil presence when you fight against them. The Daughters designs are cool but I wish they would have let us customise them a bit more, you can only change their names and get a selected few hairstyles which is sad but they don’t really last long enough for you to get attached to them, so I can see why customisation isn’t a big deal. Audio in the game can get repetitive as when you die, you start a new cycle and get hit with the same dialogue over and over. The lore is all written for you in the Codex and by progressing through the days you will unlock more information about the different characters, memories and events. I like the games intro song when you’re sat in the lobby and highly recommend giving it a listen to before playing the game if you like the band Evanescence you’ll probably enjoy the song as it gives off a similar vibe.
When it comes to replay value, Othercide does offer hour upon hours of gameplay but it quickly becomes repetitive and bland. After your first few deaths and fighting the same faces, you feel as though you are just repeating the same things over and over again with the hopes that something different might happen and when it does you just get kicked in the face and end up back a square one. Don’t get me wrong this is one of the big selling factors with this game, in the sense that it wants you to strategize your whole team and the way you fight because one wrong move could cost you massively but I just found myself getting irritated and then I get to a certain point and just feel like I can’t physically do anything and would just have to die or surrender and for me that’s not enjoyable. Though for players who do manage to get their heads around it will find enjoyment and hours of fun at their fingertips, just make sure not to use your good controllers if you are prone to throwing them and whatnot.
Othercide has moments of brilliance but ultimately falls flat with its core mechanics, the repetitiveness gets to you after a while and makes you question the game. Yeah, it’s okay to put in challenging gameplay but not to the point where it feels unbeatable. It might just be me but I struggled with it so much that I turned to the internet for any help or guidance and didn’t find much. When the game comes out I might be able to get walkthroughs or guides that will make me pick the controller back up again and play it but for now, it’s a game that’s sitting on the shelf for a later date. The upsides are the lore, characters and creatures that are tied together with these amazing visually and also the amount of strategy you find yourself putting into each level but when you hit that brick wall and find yourself back at square one for the fiftieth time that playthrough there isn’t much else for you to do but to keep fighting that grind. There are only a few times you can do this until you give up. If you are looking for something new and challenging then by all means please do some research, watch gameplay and see if this is the game for you because I did have times when I enjoyed myself however I feel that this games target market isn’t me and is more aimed towards people who’d be on the lookout for these types of games. For these reasons, I’m sadly going to have to give Othercide a score of 6 out of 10.
Othercide is available on the following Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Othercide is Published by Focus Home Interactive and Developed by Lightbulb Crew
You can purchase this version of the game here for £32.99.
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Descend into Humanity’s last hope. The Daughters, echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, are all who stand before Suffering and death. Lead your army of Daughters to battle. Your prowess in combat will shape their abilities and personality. Make the toughest decision and sacrifice one to heal another - survivors will get stronger, ready to fight the next battle. Combat is an intricate dance of spectacular actions and counters: plan ahead of time and set up impressive chains of abilities to outsmart the enemy. Fight in epic boss battles against the sources of Suffering - dread creatures pulled from the worst of Humanity’s crimes against itself.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 32.99
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