The Black Death (PC) Preview

By Ofisil 29.07.2018

Review for The Black Death on PC

Survival sandbox games tend to have some pretty interesting and promising concepts on their hands, but, sadly, they rarely manage to handle them as well as they should. The same can be said about the upcoming online survival title, The Black Death, whose premise is survival in a plague-ridden, medieval London, as the gameplay portion (and more than that) seems to be as sick as the denizens of its world.

First things first: this isn't like the medieval life sim/no-dragons-RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Instead, The Black Death is an online only survival sandbox, with no story or lore and, due to that, no role-playing other than what happens in your imagination. Long story short, the only thing that can be done here is to craft, build, fight, survive, and try avoiding the plague... err, like the plague, by staying away from infested areas.

Unfortunately, the lack of a story makes it hard to get immersed in the game world, at least for the time being. Speaking of which, everything, from the port towns and villages, to nature itself, looks appropriately bleak, but maybe a bit too much as, similar to Fallout 3 that had an boring-looking green tint, this one has a black one, making it all feel kind of same-y after an hour or so.

The real issue this has, though, is simply how it isn't fun to play, mainly because it is filled with problems. Some examples? The player must eat way too much on a daily basis just to remain healthy; gathering tools break way too easy; the actual crafting recipes aren't that exciting; fighting feels slow and clunky, and many, many more matters.

Screenshot for The Black Death on PC

As for the online portion, finding more than two-to-three people is a rare occurrence, so it's hard to make any comments about how it is to interact with anyone. One thing that should be noted, though, is that this is one of those survival games where one can spend many hours in order to do pretty much anything... only to lose it all in a matter of seconds.

Besides that, this is filled to the brim with bugs and glitches, ranging from simple flaws here and there, to frequent crashes to desktop... which leads to what is probably The Black Death's biggest issue right now. Yes, this is in its Early Access state and, yes, it's being developed by a pretty small team... but it's hard to cut it some slack.

On the one hand, the developer is pretty active, frequently adding new features and talking with the ones who are testing its current version. The thing is, though, that maybe the team behind it all should instead focus on polishing the many rough edges at hand before adding new things, as this feels more like a paid platform for the developer to experiment on, rather than something with a concrete idea behind it.

Screenshot for The Black Death on PC

Final Thoughts

It is because of games like The Black Death that the words 'Early Access' have gotten a bad reputation as, instead of being slightly incomplete, this feels as if it's still in the Alpha stage of development. Fans of online survival sandboxes better look elsewhere, or wait for a major upgrade.

Developer

Small Impact Games

Publisher

Green Man Gaming Publishing

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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