DEATH ROAD TO CANADA

This rogue­like is a no-brainer

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - REVIEW -

This cross-coun­try, state­side tour looks pretty sweet at first glance. How­ever, as with every road trip, it’s your com­pan­ions who make or break the ran­domly gen­er­ated RPG work.

Let me tell you one from the road: I pick up a sweet lit­tle puppy dog for com­pany dur­ing a sup­ply run and soon en­counter a grumpy, an­thro­po­mor­phised ginger tabby. He tells me he hates Mon­days and I fig­ure “Right on! What’s the worst that could hap­pen if I bring him along?” Af­ter days of grum­bling on the road, he turns to me, takes off his head and says, “THIS IS WHY I HATE MON­DAYS.” We’re then plunged into a night­mare zom­bie siege that wipes out my en­tire party. 1

The retro pixel art style, charm­ing on the sur­face and even cute at times, com­ple­ments Death Road’s sense of hu­mour; when zom­bies sur­prise you with their ever-grasp­ing hands you be­gin to get a sense of some­thing darker ahead. The en­joy­able un­pre­dictabil­ity of its tone per­haps is a suit­able match for the Ran­dom Num­ber Gen­er­a­tor Gods you’ll fall afoul of. Even as play­ing falls into a fa­mil­iar rhythm, from search­ing sim­i­lar town build­ings to visit­ing trader camps to text ad­ven­ture-y road­side sit­u­a­tions to those siege stages, there’s a good deal of vari­ance in th­ese core set­ups.

Fre­quent death pro­motes ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of weaponry and party mem­ber traits, 2 mak­ing this great for a quick trip and less some­thing for lengthy ses­sions. Play­ing it the lat­ter way, es­pe­cially when I found my­self at the mercy of a dif­fi­culty spike thanks to the RNG Gods, only made me ask, “Are we nearly there yet?” Jess Kinghorn

FOOTNOTES1 Yes, me and my lit­tle dog too! 2 Th­ese can be up­graded with per­sis­tent ex­pe­ri­ence points gained from most runs. How­ever, this too leaves you at the mercy of the RNG Gods…

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