Apocalypse games have been a trend for years now, and they are apparently still going strong. The newest game in the list is Judgement: Apocalypse Survival Simulator, a game about the actual apocalypse for once. In Judgement, there are no zombies and wights. Instead, the demons of Hell have arrived, ready to cleanse the Earth of humans.
In Judgement, we take control of three survivors who were out of town when the apocalypse happened. When they discovered what was going on, they decided they would hole up in one of their favourite hiking spots, making them hidden from the demons, at least for the time being. From the moment these survivors arrive on their refuge, we are in control of them.
The game does a pretty good job of explaining the basics for us, but it expects us to figure some stuff on our own. Through a few pages of text appearing sporadically on the screen, we come to understand that in order for our survivors to stay alive, they need to sleep, eat and drink. Moreover, they need to defend themselves against the attacks of the demons. Although we start out safe enough from such attacks, the stronger our base and our survivors become, the more likely we are to be attacked, as shown on a percentage bar on the right of the screen. In order to defend ourselves and also to improve our survivors’ life in general, we need to do research. Research is split into two parts. First, you have the modern, conventional part, which allows you to build more buildings, improve your tools and better your life conditions. Then, there is the occult research. Research of this kind helps us understand the demons better and use their powers against them.
While building new buildings and researching new technologies, you will realize that some resources are not readily available near you. While you will eventually be able to make them, there is another, faster and more violent way to get them. Basically, the game is split into two. You have your base map, which is randomly generated and is the place where you can build your camp. Apart from that, there is also the world map. The world map has many locations upon it that you can visit. By clicking on one location, you can see the amount of enemies present and send some of your survivors there to investigate. If they manage to defeat the enemies on the location, you will be rewarded with some neat loot. Apart from that, there is also a system of sudden world events. For example, you may discover a person chased by demons. If you react quick, you will be able to go to the location of the chase on the world map, kill the demons and save the person, having him join your squad.
As far as the survivors themselves go, each one of them has a different set of skills and traits. Traits influence both the skills of the survivors but also their stats. For example, if a survivor is a hippy, his combat skill is significantly hampered. If he is sickly, his health is damaged. Generally, it is good to set priorities for your survivors, so each one can do the jobs he is most skilled at. On top of that, a very useful mechanic in Judgement is the task list. Through the task list, we can see what everyone has to do and what has to be done. We can also cancel any activities we don’t want done anymore.
All in all, Judgement has a very solid base for a survival game. It is addicting and requires thought and planning. However, as it an Early Access game, there are some things that could be improved. For example, the AI of both the survivors and the enemies needs work. There have been tons of times where a survivor is close to the tree I set him to chop, and suddenly he gets hungry and goes back. Regarding the enemies, while the game tells us to remember to use flanking and cover, the demons usually just rush for the closest survivor. While they are still formidable enemies that way, they could be so much better if they fought with a firmer grasp of tactics. Additionaly, although the game’s graphics are fine, I personally find the music a bit too slow and calm for such a game. Finally, I think that some values in the game, such as how fast farms can be harvested, need to be tweaked a bit.
Despite the problems I mentioned, Judgement show true promise. The bones of the game are already in place and looking great, while the game is being updated regularly. If you are the type of person who buys Early Access games, I’d definetely suggest this one. If you are the type who waits until full release, then I think Judgement definitely deserves a spot on your wishlist.
You can find Judgement: Apocalypse Survival Simulator on Steam for 15 euros.