Dead Age 2 Gameplay Preview – Turn based zombie combat

*Dead Age 2 developed by Silent Dreams, published by Headup – July 16, 2020 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
*MSRP: $17.99 (Steam) – https://store.steampowered.com/app/951430/Dead_Age_2/

Dead Age 2 is a dungeon crawling, turn based combat game set in a zombie infested, post apocalyptic world. You are tasked with gathering resources to fortify your small base of operations against an incoming horde of zombies. The game does have rogue lite qualities where you can carry over upgrade points to a new run once you die in the game.

You travel from location to location via the over world map.

You explore the world much like many other dungeon crawling games by interacting with an overhead, 2D world map and moving from location to location by clicking on a point. While traveling between points of interest, you may run into combat or random encounters.

Once you arrive at your target destination, the perspective shifts to a 3D, side scrolling point of view. Here, you can choose between risk vs reward situations where you can harvest more materials at the risk of being ambushed or suffering debuffs. You may also run into normal combat encounters as well.

The combat and exploration phase is a 3D side scrolling point of view.

The combat is a pretty straight forward, turn based system where each unit on the screen take turns dealing damage, using abilities, or restoring lost health. Each of your units can level up skill trees to specialize in ranged combat with shotguns or rifles, or melee combat, or more specialized classes like hunters that use traps or engineers that can throw down turrets. There doesn’t seem to be much nuance or balancing to the combat as much of the abilities seem to feel the same and not make that much of a difference.

Your main base of operations has several areas which can be upgraded.

Once you have depleted your resources, you can return to your base of operations where you can spend your hard earned materials to upgrade facilities, craft much needed gear, weapons, medicine, and ammunition, or upgrade your character’s skill trees. Upgrading facilities will let you unlock necessary abilities such as food and water production, and the ability to craft higher tier equipment.

This guy is harvesting berries while I’m getting attacked by wolves. Humorous but incredibly annoying.

Overall, Dead Age 2 is a game that shows promise but does suffer from some drawbacks. The pacing of the game seems to be on the slow side, with the tutorial being overly long and tedious. The good news is that the tutorial can be skipped. The dialogue seems to be flat and devoid of any unique personality for each character and this is a problem as there is a lot of dialogue in the game. This may or may not be a problem for some people.

I built a garden the moment lacked impact as the game lacks visual feedback. It does provide benefits but the player may not feel the impact of those benefits.

Finally, the game seems to lack necessary feedback to create a feeling of weight to any accomplishment in the game. This may create a feeling of disconnect with any progress actually made in the game and personally speaking, did not do a sufficient job of creating incentives to keep playing. There are definitely positives to the game as well. The turn based combat can be fun once it is balanced and fine tuned. The base building can provide a greater incentive to explore if there were more visual feedback that the base was indeed expanding and providing benefits to the player. Granted this is an early access game, so things may change for the better in the future, but as of now, Dead Age 2 lacks the necessary polish when compared to other games in the same genre.

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