I have burned myself on isometric wandering RPG-type games
before. Never the less, Undungeon looked interesting enough, esp. since it’s one of those games where you don’t start as some random dildo. No, you’re so suffused with cosmic meaning that only a handful people of the same type as you exist. So here’s my experience with the Undungeon demo.
In Undungeon, you’re the Herald of the Void. The Void would love to see more of world, to live rather than just exist. But ooops, the world is ending. It’s up to you to discover who did it and to prepare for the creation of a new one.
The Herald can equip a lot of stuff: cores (basically soul-modems), core upgrades, new organs, new masks, new armors… But a lot of the armors and masks have activatable abilities rather than just passive effects, and they do deteriorate. You can also use a whole bunch of consumables. Unfortunately, switching between isn’t easy, even if you can pause the battle to do that.
In battle, you hit, you dodge, you activate various boosts and abilities that may give you shields. It can get gory, and messy, especially when more enemies and allies are involved, but it’s not particularly exciting.
Outside of battles, Undungeon allows you to wreck the environment to uncover more gear and talk to characters for fun and profit. The Disco Elysium-like interface threw me for a loop there, not gonna lie. Also, not all expository dialogue options allow you to loop back and ask questions unasked, so that’s one thing for replayability, I guess?
The combat/city maps are actually relatively small, and they’re connected by this overworld map. There’s a day and night cycle, and some quests are on a timer, which I don’t generally object to, since it puts more urgency on tasks and feels more verisimilitudinous.
The environments are themselves fantastic, something you’d expect from tech-mystical future a la Numenera. However, as the first world you enter is a desert, the game can only do so much to present it in a new light.
In the end, Undungeon feels like a game you should only touch when it’s completely done. The intriguing, weird future world is already there, but the gameplay could use polish. I doubt it will make the obviously tutorializing early bits of the game drag less, but hey, who knows what might change. Probably not the combat system, though!