Get back to my family. I must get back to my family… I need to survive and see their eyes again. Can you help? Check out our Unto The End review!
Unto The End is a hand-crafted cinematic platformer about a desperate journey home. Master combat through improvisation and observation in intense sword fights. Spot opportunities to use artifacts and trade supplies. An adventure told through your actions, how will you make it home?
Read-React Combat: One of a kind combat system focused on skill and mastery, designed and built from the ground up specifically for 2D. Fight intelligently and strike tactically with your sword and range weapons in fierce one-on-one and group battles
Handcrafted Nuanced Encounters: The adventure unfolds through carefully crafted encounters, each featuring intelligent, worthy opponents, all with their own motivations and place in the world
Player-Skill Focused: A challenging single-player experience with minimal handholding. All the father’s abilities are available from the outset and mastery of those skills, as well as keen observation of your surroundings, are key to survival and success
Unforgiving Terrain: From cavernous underground ruins to harsh mountain peaks, overcome environmental challenges and deadly traps as you travel through a world of meticulously crafted landscapes
Unto The End tells a simple story. It’s about a regular man’s journey home after getting lost during a hunting trip. You are stuck behind enemy lines, and you just want to get home to your family. There is no dialogue in the story beyond that, and yet, as someone with children, this one really hit home for me personally.
On your journey, you are going to encounter enemies that will not treat you kindly. You aren’t armed with much, having a shield, a sword, and a dagger. You can strengthen them over time, but at no point are you going to just run through combatants or creatures. You have to carefully weigh your attacks against theirs since it’s not about going in with your sword swinging but analyzing their attacks and find your opportunities. This is very important since battles will end up quickly, since every hit counts.
It’s not a hard combat system to learn, focusing on using low and high attacks, as well as blocking. It’s not hard to learn but difficult to master. You’ll need to watch your enemies’ poses as that will indicate their actions so that you can plan yours. That being said, while learning the system, it can take quite some time for things to click, so expect to die a lot while you are figuring things out. That being said, just winning isn’t enough since if you take a lot of damage during fights and don’t bandage your wounds or heal yourself, you can still bleed out and die.
I loved the combat, but what I appreciated – even more – was the option to not fight at all. You can choose to put your weapons away and give an offering to the enemies and receive safe passage through their area. It’s not a given that this will work, but I always gave it a try since it’s an interesting option you don’t see used in games a lot. My goal was to be as pacifist as possible while playing, and I was surprised about how often I found it working. I also found that playing this way netted me some neat rewards later on.
While I found the combat options to be a strong element for the game, the presentation of Unto The End is what blew me away. It uses a minimalistic art style that feels unique. The team found a way for it to look super cinematic in scope and feel. As you go through mountains, caves, or woods, each one will have its own distinct feel. Add how for combat, your enemies and your character are set up, and it all comes together for quite the epic feel. The score was also great, really weaving the tapestry of this world together.
Unto The End hit home for me since it’s a story about a father desperately trying to return to his family. It has a satisfying combat system that rewards observation and choice for abstaining from combat in certain situations. It’s really neat and offers a cinematic art style that adds even more to this all-around great experience. It isn’t a huge game, but I would argue it probably offers the right length of gameplay time. Your total playing time will depend on how you handle things – if you take on all fights or try to avoid them – as well as your experience with games such as this one.
This Unto The End review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Big Sugar.