- System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Developer: Black Forest Games
- Release Date: April 30, 2019
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Survival
- Players: 1 (online co-op)
- Official Website: https://fadetosilence.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Fade to Silence throws players into a rather unsettling—and extremely strange—opening sequence. We meet Ash a young father who seemingly has died due to the harsh world outside. A strange mist shaped being though enters Ash and resurrects him to continue an apparent cycle. From here we learn the world seems to have been met with some terrible disaster by beasts known as Eldritch. Now in a seemingly permanent winter, Ash must rebuild his life to save his daughter and save others from the world now gone array. It's an interesting premise to say the least as—just like the Dark Souls series—we are thrown into chaos without much in the way of guidance. It will be up to the player to read up using a survival guide how to find items, kill beasts—though there is a mini tutorial for how combat works—and what items can be used and where. Fade to Silence is like a parent who believes in self-preservation, they will hold your hand for a minute but then let you walk and run on your own...ready or not.
The first things you’ll notice in Fade to Silence are the survival concepts. Players will need to find shelters for resting and cooking as well as survive from the game’s biggest enemy, blizzards which will ravage your health by the second if caught in one. In terms of survival, Fade to Silence works quite well. You’ll need to live off the lands looking for items to build up your base, find NPC survivors who will help you manage your bases and tools to strengthen yourself. It's a very tired and true set up, but it works quite well to push you forward and take risks.
Now we mentioned before but there is a Souls theme to Fade to Silence and that is in combat form. Players will need to kill baddies via weapons that range from axes, torches, knives and even bows. Enemies in Fade to Silence aren’t usually that formidable as you can easily predict their movements and counter them at their weakest but when they surround you and/or find you during a blizzard you’ll realize just how human Ash is. You don’t need to fight every enemy in Fade to Silence and it will be up to you to realize when an enemy should be left alone or needs to be eradicated.
If one wanted to be critical of Fade to Silence, they will notice there’s actually a third gameplay theme to it in the form of roguelike themes. Death in Fade to Silence comes at a harsh penalty. Initially you’ll start off with up to 3 lives and those can be increased after your third death. When you lose a life, there is no harsh penalty at the beginning, instead you just resurrect at the last base you were at and go about making up for the lost progress. Upon the last death though, your body is consumed by the mist-like being and you are given a choice on how to strengthen yourself for the next restart, because yes, folks, you lose all your progress once you reach that last life. You can bring with you perks via your death such as more lives for the next run, keeping some of your lost items and the list goes on. Death is painful in Fade to Silence, but for those who like to feel as if they learn from each death, it can be a reward to make yourself stronger and know how to better handle the next playthrough,
Fade to Silence seems to be the perfect game from how we described it right? Unfortunately, while Fade to Silence truly nails some amazing concepts in game design it also is plagued by some issues that might turn many gamers away. The first big flaw of Fade to Silence is the lack of entertainment. Sure, it's fun to live off the land and fight your way through life as a survivalist, but equally, it gets boring often because there’s very little direction in Fade to Silence despite the interesting narrative. You can see tidbits of story as you sleep and take down Eldritch hives via a boring button mash system, but it’s rare Fade to Silence changes from the first few minutes. Hours in, you’re still living off the land, still trying to find survivors and still killing the same types of enemies. It gets old quickly and becomes almost hypnotic.
Visually and sound wise, Fade to Silence also suffers from inconsistent elements. Sometimes, Fade to Silence looks really good with beautiful wintery vistas and creepy mountain locations. When the cameras zoom into the faces for the occasional narrative moments though, you’ll notice ugly character models and stiff animations that look rather off. You will also notice that Fade to Silence has some atrociously bad voice work that really makes the story come off as a campy more than serious. The demonic voice from your inner companion though sounds pretty great. The OST also works well making for some solid set piece tones.
Our last gripe with Fade to Silence is the numerous—and we mean numerous—bugs. We lost count how many times we’d try to jump on a ledge and end up in the sky falling as we teleported there for some reason. We also found some bugs while walking where enemies would appear then disappear as if magicians. These bugs—at times—were game breaking, but often they just removed us from the immersion. We’re sure a lot of these bugs can be fixed though so we won’t say they are reasons to not buy Fade to Silence.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Survival aspect is fun, challenging and quite rewarding more often than not
- Beautiful setting visuals immerse you in this post-apocalyptic future
- Simple gameplay design that rewards risk and reward equally
- Roguelike system makes for repeated playthroughs that give you rewards for how far you make it in previous tries
- Solid OST
- Terrible character animations and occasional visual oddities
- Voice acting is borderline corny
- Combat and overall gameplay can become quite repetitive