You’ve got to hand it to the team at Toadman Interactive for taking on the task of building a game like Dark Souls, but with guns. The team of around 20 developers did everything they could to make their title Immortal: Unchained unique and fun for fans of the genre. Unfortunately, while there are certainly positive elements with the formula they’ve crafted, they didn’t take into the account what makes a game fun in the Souls/Borne genre.
Immortal: Unchained is a third-person shooter Souls-like title where you play as your own created character from a choice of multiple classes. Your goal is to run through every level collecting as many Forgotten Bits as you can throughout the would, but mostly off of the feet of enemies and these Bits are used to level up your character. Much like Souls games, dying means you drop any collects Bits you held and it’s up to you to recollect them without dying on your way back or they’re lost forever.
I found exploring and the gameplay in general to be too slow paced, relying on many empty corridors and moments of no action. That doesn’t mean Immortal: Unchained is not worthy of your time, but there are some solid concepts that Souls fans might want to check out. There are hidden loot chests with new guns and scraps to upgrade these guns, enemy encounters are all a threat, and it has the right balance of gunplay and weapon variation to remain intriguing.
Along the way there are boss battles, doors you can unlock to shorten certain segments and access new areas, and the hook of grinding and killing enemies is adequate for getting stronger if a particular boss or section is giving you trouble. However, I feel that there’s an unbalance with the difficulty that kept Immortal: Unchained from being a fun experience. While these types of games are my favorite and I typically see through to the end, I still enjoy them humbling me.
With Immortal: Unchained, I felt like the difficulty was more on the frustrating side than challenging. For example, the loot system has certain requirements for guns before you can equip them, which can be annoying. This means it’s ver hard to build a character that caters to your play style. Instead, you have to build them around their requirements of the better weapon you just picked up. Also, the grind for leveling up your stats to meet these requirements was just too much.
Leveling up one stat increases your overall level instead of each stat having their own separate levels. Meaning, if you ignore a certain stat and later on want to level it up even once, it’s going to cost you thousands of Bits instead of hundreds. This unfortunately makes the grind seem inconsequential and not worth it in the end. Enemies also have a bullet sponge-like quality to them eating up multiple clips and taking some of the fun out of the combat.
While games like Borderlands provide you with plenty of ammo to keep on shooting, Immortal: Unchained unfortunately takes a different path. Most of the time, there seems to be no ammo anywhere and it only refills when you go to a save point which respawns every enemy in there like a bonfire from Dark Souls. This is frustrating because by the time you make it back to the boss you will have barely any ammo will have to rely on melee attacks. I could look over this if reload speed wasn’t so slow, but by the time it takes to empty a clip it will take that same time to reload the clip. Combat was made more frustrating than fun thanks to these design decisions that should have been dealt with.
Overall, Immortal: Unchained has all the ingredients to be a solid and enjoyable title, but sadly it fails in most of the crucial areas to make for a rewarding experience. You will have to be a glutton for punishment to have any enjoyment and this takes the difficulty a step beyond where Dark Souls gets it right.