Hands-on impressions from EGX 2019.
I had a chance to go hands-on with Unto The End by 2 Ton Studios at EGX 2019 and was enchanted by its simple yet stark art style and smooth, responsive combat. As soon as I picked it up I was instantly reminded of classic cinematic platformers such as Another World and Prince of Persia, but there’s clearly more depth here. There’s a nuanced combat system that sees you ducking and diving out the way of your assailants and a crafting ability that goes beyond the typical health potions.
It still retains the challenge of those early 2D adventure games I mentioned though – it didn’t feel inclined to handhold at all. I died three times in a row within the first 10 seconds of the game, and all at the same part. Thankfully there is an immersively woven checkpoint function that sees you lighting torches as you move ever deeper into the darkness.
I’d describe its art style as minimalist yet it does manage to convey plenty of meaning through its stark use of colour. Whether that be the splash of fresh blood on snow or the orange burst of flame in a dark cave, it finds ways to bring the world around you to life.
Exploring the caves invites an almost melancholic sense of determination to climb out of the darkness and reach your family. Separated from them, you’ll have to drawl through this dark underworld interspersed with ferocious creatures baying for your blood. These encounters are fast, but feel light, fluid and satisfying, especially as the action slows down for a split second just as you perform a well-timed duck or land a killing blow. It all has a smoothness to it that was often missing in those older cinematic adventures so is very welcome here.
Unto The End will be launching on Steam but doesn’t yet have a set release date. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on though.
Jon loves the experimental nature of indie games, and has written about them for the likes of Eurogamer, PCGamer and GameReactor. As editor of The Indie Game Website, Jon is responsible for the overall content direction of the website, and enjoys moving things around in our Google Calendar.