Game review on PC
Eamon Ward / Fri 14th Jul 2017
118 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW In 2014, a game by the name of Unturned appeared on Steam. Following in the footsteps of the wildly successful DayZ, it entered early access with the same goal as its inspiration: to create a persistent online multiplayer world in which players would have to survive against the elements, against the hordes of undead and against each other. But unlike DayZ and so many more of these survival games, Unturned has left early access.
While there is no overt plot to be found within Unturned, there are two methods of storytelling. For one, stories are told through the environment with destroyed landmarks, collapsed bridges, graffiti scrawled across walls and more. While nothing is set in concrete, stumbling across one of these areas and piecing together what happened without the need for prompts or exposition is a refreshing change from the usual video game methods of plot delivery.
The other "storytelling" method is those that the players themselves will create. Within an open world online game where the decisions you make are final, a number of strange encounters, exciting action sequences and more human moments than even the best AAA title can offer, are inevitable. I have waged wars against groups of bandits, looted and stolen from weaker players, built fortresses and been hunted by snipers. Everyone will have their own story to tell, their recounting of events that unfolded in a world were a dozen of the stories can be happening all at once.
If you've played any other survival game, you'll mostly know what to expect. To survive you must find weapons, food and drink, storage and, in certain environments, warmth. But it doesn't end there. Within Unturned the ability to establish yourself as a true dweller of the wasteland is a very real possibility. You can plant a seed, cultivating the land to ensure a near constant supply of food. Building makeshift defences within what were once centres of population can lead to great rewards, but with a high risk. Or you can simply wander, making your way from place to place, taking only what you need to survive.
One may take the role of a cop, monitoring the survivors, trying to maintain order through fair ruling. Others may take a more iron-fisted approach to ensuring order, holding a server in an icy grip of terror. And then there are heroes. Ordinary people who have taken up a heavy burden, to slay those who exist only to enforce suffering upon others. These heroes are often praised, rarely seen but always present. But all too often does a hero become corrupted by the power they have, turning against their fellow man.
Throw in planes, cars, tanks and boats and you have a recipe for disaster - or for order, depending on who's playing. Servers may split into warring factions or work together to help newer players. Provided you can survive long enough you may one day be well known within the servers you play.
The Unturned art style is not a pretty one. But that is not to say that the game is ugly. While character models leave something to be desired and the pseudo-Minecraft visuals are hardly appealing, the game can often look very pretty, though it does require max settings and specific moments to do so. Be it a foggy morning, the sun barely penetrating the clouds; or a rainy night, lit only by the waning moon and the flashlights of players.
It runs great as well with a plethora of settings allowing each player to gain the maximum performance from almost any modern machine.
AUDIO The audio of Unturned isn't what I would call great, more so it is serviceable. Zombies grunt and snarl, engines rev, and fires crackle but it all sounds somewhat anaemic, as if the life has been sucked from it. Some sounds, like the gunshots, are very well done but most simply exist. While they're easily distinguishable, they aren't anything special.
VERDICT Here's what I think of Unturned. If achieves everything it set out to do for an incredible price, that being no price at all. Unturned is 100% free to play and, while there is a gold upgrade, this gives no advantages and is more for those who wish to support the game and its dev than to gain any real content. If you want to play a well made open world survival game in which won't set you back $60, there's no reason you shouldn't be playing Unturned right now.