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At the early Steam access stage, Fade to Silence had, to put it mildly, an ambiguous reputation – it was something hardcore, incomprehensible, poorly optimized, loaded. And about survival in the snow, where a talkative demon is tortured over a man named Ash all the way – you can see it, but it’s hard to play. Approximately with such thoughts, I launched the release version of Fade to Silence on the PlayStation 4 – and as a result, I hardly escaped from there, realizing that lately a rare game about survival had been dragging me so hard.

Winter is here!

In Fade to Silence, nobody really stands with you. Especially in the hardcore “Survival” mode, where, unlike “Intelligence”, there are no autosaves and endless revivals (maximum three attempts are given), there is no such severe shortage of resources, and Ash’s dependencies on hunger and cold do not accumulate so quickly.

Yes, these dependencies are not so much as in other “survivors,” the hero will not die from the disease, bleeding, infection, insomnia and will not go crazy, noticing how the last fire has been covered with a thick layer of snow. But rest assured, hunger and cold are more than enough to quickly drop the hooves. On the lands where we are trying to survive, there is not just a constant frost – there are still constantly raging killer snowstorms and tornadoes, suddenly darkness sets in, so at first it’s going far away from the shelter where the little daughter is waiting for Ash to die.

Constantly you need to keep in stock firewood for the fire, which is still not everywhere it will turn out to be diluted (until you put the shalashik). Well, if we quickly find a dilapidated hut with a barrel in which you can kindle firewood and rest (and at this time, hunger very quickly proves that he is not an aunt, and reaches the limit), but at first most of all you have to go to the shelter with all legs. In addition to storms, a huge circular collection of junk still flies around the map, which literally bombards the hero with trash and even carcasses of cars — merry, nothing can be said!

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Fooled by demons

In addition, these lands are infected with some kind of damage, from which they, in fact, need to be cleaned, spending their already frail health to deactivate crystals and monstrous clots of incomprehensible bloody nonsense. 

The damage this not only infects the earth around but also gives rise to various demons attacking Ash. They are, of course, more boring than in Dark Souls, but they hit no less painfully. You need to fight them by the same rules: blocking in time, dodging, choosing a moment to strike and counterattacking. All this (as well as running) endurance is spent with sprint speed. “Bosses” are especially strong at outposts, the release of which opens up new territories and allows us to make quick transitions between them and our refuge.

Moreover, a demon settled in the hero himself, apparently responsible for all the ugliness reigning around. It is he who, in fact, revives him every time with the words “You lost. I won. A new cycle begins. Who is he? What he? Why does it do? What happened here at all, how do Ash and his daughter relate to all this, where are the wife and mother? It is in the search for answers to these questions that plot intrigue lies. Yes, there is a plot, but we don’t really tell us anything, giving out information bit by bit – through the dreams and memories of the hero.

And all this time, Ash is forced to live (more precisely, to survive) with an ugly demon inside who constantly whispers and ironic something in the spirit with his terrible, unpleasant voice: “Has he eaten something again? Food, food, its eternal search. Maybe it’s easier to cut one’s throat and break the vicious circle? ”And in general, nasty whispers, shouts, voices are constantly heard around. And the hero himself is very naturalistic moaning from injuries and cold.

Who does not work shall not eat

Unlike the creation of From Software, in Fade to Silence, there are means of resisting demons and in addition to rolls and blocks. Collecting various resources for the manufacture of medicinal poultices, an ax, pickaxe, armor, onions or a new, more powerful sword, hunting for raw meat, which can then be cooked on fire, collecting rare fragments that give bonuses to indicators of health, energy, insulation and nutrition , – That’s not all.

Here you need to cut wood, collect different types of firewood and logs and from them and some other resources rebuild your shelter, erecting there various useful buildings, including even kennels – wolves freed from demonic captivity will then roll you on sleds, facilitating movement. In these buildings can work associates Ash, but first, you need to find them, save, and then also earn their trust. One girl saved by me accused the hero of losing her bow, and I had to choose, give her my own, make a new one for her, or send her to hell.

Each of the companions has its own history, character, and skills in battles, hunting, collecting resources, building. And if you decide to invite them to your shelter (and not leave to run around with you, which makes fighting a little easier), then you can entrust them with different types of work: send someone to shoot deer or cut trees, and someone to knock with a hammer, erecting buildings in the shelter. The problem is that every ally consumes your daily food, which must be left in a common cache, and when it is not there, it begins to starve. Therefore, the answer to the question, invite to yourself or not, is not always obvious.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that resources are not restored, but, on the contrary, are developed. Plus, your shelter is periodically attacked by monsters, so you need to build different types of chaff lines. Somewhat easier is the opportunity to receive (although it is not easy) gifts and blessings that give bonuses to the next Ash incarnation — they allow, for example, to preserve the best equipment for the new hero or increase the number of revivals.

It turns out a sort of Dark Souls from the world of games about survival – the same gloomy, atmospheric and uncomfortable. It is clear that the combat system here is much simpler, but the world and the plot are worked out worse. Right during the fight, the character can get stuck in the elements of the environment. In the PC version, there are obvious problems with optimization and bugs, although not as big as in the earlier version. But in Fade to Silence a lot of interesting, interconnected mechanics, as well as a very honest, overwhelmed feeling of deep satisfaction in what you overcome, survive and gradually become not a creature shivering from the cold, but a real power capable of coping with all this nightmare. And then you can ask to join as a friend of a friend or another player – and in the co-op, believe me, the emotions are even stronger. 

Pros: interesting setting; multifaceted survival mechanics; intriguing plot; harsh atmosphere; a working system of supporters; cooperative; great work with sound. 

Cons: in the full version, especially on the PC, not all technical flaws are fixed; budget graphics and animation.

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