Army Of The Dead

Undead Horde PS4 Review

Every time I play a game like Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age or Diablo, I always want to be a powerful Necromancer. When it is possible for me to play the role of a Necromancer, it rarely lives up to my expectations. This is where Undead Horde was like, “dude hold my beer“.

Undead Horde is set in a fantasy world where the living have driven the undead into exile and the main protagonist, Orcen the Necromancer, was imprisoned in a magical urn by the Paladins. The story starts with a cavalier chicken accidentally breaking the urn, releasing Orcen from his captivity. Once free, Orcen needs to raise the dead to form his army and take back the world from the Paladins and the living. When the chicken first sets you free (I couldn’t help but think about the rat from Avengers: End Game – yeah I’m looking at you, rat), I was doubtful about what I would encounter, but, oh boy, was I so wrong. This necromantic experience became extremely fun. Orcen is supposed to be an ancient evil lord of the dead, a entity that people used to fear, but now, even chickens aren’t scared.

There are some action RPG elements featured in the game. Every time you level up, you get to choose a card, each one improves some aspects of your character: damage, mana, command points, and health. Undead Horde plays similar to a top-down, twin stick shooter.  If you have played Diablo, this view will be familiar. I would have loved some additional RPG mechanics than just the improvements unlocked at each level up – more customization never hurts.

Level up cards, you pick a soul to increase your stats.

Since the story focuses in Orcen raising his evil empire of the dead, the player will start to conquer the kingdom of men, freeing your fellow dead allies and improving Orcen’s crypt. It’s a good feeling to free allies, such as the merchant, who unlocks the ability sell enchanted rings, weapons, or staffs, but it does become repetitive as the game goes on. Eventually, the crypt will become full of allies and interesting stuff, where different quests and tasks will unlock summoning statues. These statues offer the option to get different minions from fallen enemies types, things like chickens, bears, soldiers, archers, riders, giants, etc., you need to kill and summon at least ten of a type for it to be available in the statues. There is also a fountain to regain health and a teleport mechanic to travel through different areas.

When trying to conquer an area, there are two types of enemy units included, the standard enemy soldiers, which come in a multitude of varieties, and the enemy stronghold, where those soldiers are spawned into battle. Taking down enemies isn’t the end, as they can respawn after a few seconds, making them a thorn in taking down the stronghold as these keep feeding enemies for the player. This makes strongholds the top priority to overcome. Combat can sometimes be challenging, with changes in strategy required occasionally, but if things go south, the option is there to return to the crypt, heal up and summon the minions that best suit the situation ahead.

Summoning statues in the crypt

There is a randomized loot system that fits perfectly into the game. Unlocked loot fits to the currently level of the hero, but can vary between staffs, daggers, maces, axes, swords, etc. However, you can end up filling the inventory with random weapons that will never be used, so the option to sell gear in the moment, instead of going back to your crypt, is a good inclusion. Items initially seem a little expensive, but as progression is achieved, gold becomes a none-issue, as long as you know how to have some self control and don’t buy every enchanted ring that lures your senses with a cool name.

The sound design isn’t amazing, but it does a good job with defining the adventure. Sound effects, such as corpses rising up, lighting hitting the ground and fire burning houses, come across feeling at home within Undead Horde. The repetitive mechanics and levels did not change my feelings on the game’s replay value. I felt that when the game ended, I was coming back for more, due to how it portrayed being a truly powerful necromancer and the fear it brings to the kingdom of men. Undead Horde may not be the most beautiful or impressive game in the market, but it surely is as fun as hell, difficult at times, but silly in others.

8 out of 10