I Shall Remain Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

I Shall Remain – Preview




It is worth taking note of the developers comments below, as they have pointed out that they are aware of the issues, and are working on them.


In the last couple of years, the zombie survival genre has taken over the place of the most saturated sub-genre currently on market. The throne that was held by the modern shooter games up to that point. By now, we’ve gotten the likes of DayZ, Dead Island, State Of Decay and many, many more. Not to mention all the clones that popped up on Steam after the „original“ games did. Now, I’m not the one to hate on zombies. I’m happy to play whatever the developers churn out, as long as it’s worth my time and money. I’m one of those who like to give every game a chance to redeem itself, regardless of its disposition, theme or possible political commentary that might or might not be pictured in some of its textures. Taking this positive outlook on things, I’ve gotten my paws on one of the ‘newer’ zombie survival games – I Shall Remain.

I Shall Remain is currently an Early Access title, and will remain in this state for at least another six months, as the devs say on its Steam page. Truth be told, regarding all the great (p)reviews the title has been getting, I expected a bit more out of it.

There’s plenty of potential in this game, yes, but there are also many issues the dev has to work on before the release date. The initial impression is really good, as far as main menu goes. I Shall Remain is set in an alternative timeline where the Nazis released a zombie virus onto the unsuspecting American citizens. The player controls a weirdly rigid character during the 1950s, trying to survive the plague on one way or another. The game tries to be noir and gritty, but is only partially successful. Regarding the graphics, there isn’t much to wish for, other than for a couple of bugs to be squished. The game is sporting a very pretty sepia filter which works wonderfully in conjunction with the dynamic shadows rendered by the graphics engine. The semi-urban environments the main character finds himself in would be very easy on the eyes, would it not be for the terrifyingly bad camera/character control scheme. As I mentioned above, the animations have to be completely reworked, because the characters move and do stuff in a manner not entirely dissimilar to the way whales change direction when swimming. And no, it doesn’t look graceful. As for the controls themselves, instead of going with the classical free mouse scheme, the devs decided to glue the direction the character is facing to the mouse pointer. This archaeal system leaves much to be desired, of course.

I’ve got a feeling that the gameplay would be much better off if the developers ditched the current character control system. As it is, you have to be extremely close to the enemies to dispatch them with firearms, and aiming is cumbersome at best. And in case you wanted to click your way through the zombie hordes using melee weaponry, consider holding the attack button instead. This isn’t a major issue, but feels unnatural in the single most clickable game genre humanity has come up with. See, if you want to smack a zombie over the head with a plank or whatever, you need to hold the attack function. If you click, the animation will be abruptly stopped and the zombie will suffer no critical cranium damage you’ve hoped for.

Storyline-wise, I Shall Remain tries to be a dark tragedy but, again, fails due to the poor translation the game has been given. I’ve found myself inadvertently laughing at the engrish I was forced to read, since there’s no voice-over whatsoever. The dialogues are thus hard to read because everything happens in real time while you’re trying to fight away the zombie horde. The one redeeming quality of this game (setting graphics aside) is its soundtrack. The music is simply brilliant and fits the theme of what I Shall Remain is trying to be.

In the end, it would be easy to dismiss this game for all its failings. I don’t find it especially playable or engrossing, but there is a lot of potential to be found here. The graphics, the soundtrack, the premise… it all makes I Shall Remain one of those Early Access titles you just have to hope come out awesome in the end. Still, I cannot recommend buying it. Perhaps add it to the wishlist and wait it out until everything gets polished and fixed. And translated properly, for God’s sake. I will definitely be following the development process and reading the changelogs. Devs, reiterate the controls and animations and you’ll have my full attention, but as it currently stands, I have no interest in playing this game again.