Developed by Dirigo Games, Kingdom of the Dead is a first-person, horror adventure set in the 19th century. You play as Agent Chamberlin, an army general working for a secret government program known as Gatekeeper. Their main purpose is to defeat Death and his armies. The army of the undead is slowly invading the land of the living and it’s up to you to find their places of emergence and destroy them before all hell breaks loose.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the unique art style. The game is very dark done with hand-drawn, black and white visuals. It almost looks like pen and ink but is given a 3D visual boost. It’s pretty interesting to look at and throughout the game, there is a splash of color that appears to highlight some important items. However, this graphic style can also be quite dark and sometimes it’s just too dark to really see what’s going on at times. I know they’re going for this whole dark, end of the world type thing, but it can be really hard to make out where the enemies are or where you’re supposed to go. To alleviate this, you can change the color pallet. I suggest using the “softer” option as it does brighten up the default black and white look and makes it a bit easier to see.
The music in the game is pretty cool too and has a real retro vibe to it. It sounds like ’80s or early ’90s synth but with a horror beat to it. It flows nicely with the game and adds to the dark atmosphere.
Next up, the controls are mostly all keyboard and mouse. You can use a controller, but it’s not native and I can only do it through Steam if I enable Steam input in the properties. It works for most actions, but not all. The sensitivity, regardless if you’re using the mouse or the controller, is also really bonkers and I had t turn this down quite a bit just to get my aim to be more accurate. I wouldn’t really suggest using the controller though because there is zero aim assist and it’s really hard to be accurate with it. Keyboard and mouse were the way to go and it made making headshots a lot easier.
The game itself is basically just a simple FPS though. Enemies are fairly predictable and you can headshot most of them from pretty far away if you use a rifle or pistol. For groups of enemies, I’d suggest the shotgun, but it can be a bit slow to reload each time. Boss enemies can be dealt with by using explosives or heavy weapons. You do have a sword, but it doesn’t really do much and I much preferred just keeping the enemies at distance with ranged weapons. Overall a decent FPS but nothing really new or standout about it.
Overall, Kingdom of the Dead is an interesting title. I think the biggest thing that caught my attention is the art style. It’s very unique and definitely stands out. It gives the game a really dark vibe that works with the horror theme. Not only that, the level designs are actually really good and you’ll probably spend a small portion of the time just exploring. Gameplay isn’t terrible either and once you adjust the sensitivity issues, you’ll find an FPS that is relatively solid.
Kingdom of the Dead is available now on Steam.
Disclaimer: Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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