In Try/Buy/Wait, Checkpoint writers review a game and give you a recommendation on whether to Try the game via demos/buy-and-refund, Buy the masterpiece of a game immediately, or Wait until the game is on sale – letting you know if a game is ultimately worth your money and time.
Your Writer: MuukenTuuken
Top 3 Favorite Games: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, Red Dead Redemption 2
Favorite Genre: Multiplayer FPS
Recently Finished: Apsulov: End of Gods, Yuppie Psycho, Amid Evil,The World of Horror Demo, VA-11 Hall-A
Currently Playing: Spelunky, Apex Legends Season 2, Dark Souls 3, DOTA 2
Bio: Be sure to watch me stream all the games I review on my Twitch Channel!
I am not good with horror games. Normally, I get scared easily, so when a horror game can come off as so boring and uninteresting that it doesn’t evoke fear or horror even out of me, then you’ve got yourself a terrible game. Apsulov, the game in question, is extremely similar to Outlast, Amnesia, and other low-effort horror games that have you run from enemies, hide from enemies, and perform fetch quests until you eventually hit the end. At least in Outlast, they have the decency to make the enemies actually threatening. Apsulov’s enemies are absolutely laughable. Some enemies can’t even chase you through a door–if you walk through one, they’ll just completely forget your existence and give up. I know I should cut indie developers some slack, but even then I can’t go this far. To lower the bar to the point where Apsulov becomes an acceptable standard is basically giving them a free pass to keep shovelling shit like it in our faces just because indie status.
Apsulov is a 4 hour long travesty that will have you fighting not only incompetent AI, but also boredom itself just to push through. The AI is insulting. They aren’t fast, they aren’t threatening, all they do is make weird noises as they slowly chase you. The levels are uninspired, the music almost non-existent except for a few key moments, the story starts out pretty interesting but quickly peters off into amateur fanfiction level bad. The game takes heavy inspiration from Norse Mythology and offers an interesting take to the legends of old, but doesn’t go anywhere. As you play, you’re spoon-fed exposition that tries to build up to that one “AH-HA!” moment of clarity, but the story hooks are so simple that even a child could figure out the ending hours before the ending.
Little trolls that chase you very slowly, so spooky.
The gameplay is almost identical to Outlast. You have your “sight” which acts as a flashlight but turns everything you see into a disgusting translucent filter. Instead of using the Unreal engine’s lighting to build up the atmosphere and create tension, you get to spend most of the game looking at the world through a “deep fried meme” generator. You also use your “sight” to look for clues, obtain vital 4 digit codes to get you through that pesky keypad door, and to highlight objects you can pick up. Unfortunately, there are only a few things for you to pick up: Batteries, battery cells, keycard signatures, collectable rocks, and audio logs. There aren’t even any goddamn puzzles! There is one section where you have to play spotlight with an ice giant and avoid his gaze, but it ends in less than a minute and that’s it, the fun pretty much ends there. For the rest of the game, you run from spooky corridor to spooky corridor in search of ways to unlock doors while the NPCs spout exposition at you and try to add some urgency to your task. “The nine realms are in peril! Go find this keycard so we can save the nine realms!” Yeah, great.
Compare this image to the one below, can you spot the difference? Spoiler, they’re the same image.
One more gripe with the game is that it’s extremely repetitive. Airlocks and elevators are used to disguise the loading screen but only serve to annoy the shit out of you, as you have to cycle the airlock over and over and over and over again, and at some point you start to feel like you’re playing an asset flip with all the recycled content you come across.
VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY NO
I could say more but I wouldn’t want to put more time into this review than I already have. I cannot recommend this to anyone. There are better alternatives out there and they are better by far. The only people I can think of that might enjoy this are people heavily invested into Norse Mythology and enjoy the snippets of lore the game’s Swedish developers provide. This was an absolute chore to play and I never thought I’d say that about any game. Don’t even wait for a sale to try this, just go find something else to play.
Apsulov: End of Gods was developed and published by Angry Demon Studio (@AngryDemonGames), the same developers from Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn. It was released on August 8, 2019 and is available for PC via Steam for $19.99 USD.