Deadcraft Review

deadcraft review

Deadcraft takes you to a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by a zombie plague. As a half-zombie half-human survivor, you possess some unique abilities and advantages that give you the upper hand in surviving. You must use your wit, combat skills, and crafting to overcome the obstacles this new world throws at you.

Deadcraft does not take itself too seriously. Although there are zombies roaming freely across the land and humans have built walls to keep themselves safe, the outlook is not bleak. In fact, it almost feels as though zombies have just become a natural part of life. This positive tone is something that the Fallout franchise has mastered. A world that is unique and dark but also fun to spend time in.

The true enemy in Deadcraft is your own body, more specifically, your thirst. You will need to consume an ungodly amount of liquid to avoid dying thirst in this game. The first 3 or 4 hours are going to be a huge struggle as you lack the ability to obtain enough liquid to keep your thirst under control. While this does become less of an issue later on in the game, it gets things off to a very bad start.

thirst
Dealing with thirst is so incredibly frustrating. You can see from the top left, there is plenty of water left in my thirst gauge but you still need to keep drinking to make the thirst effect leave the screen. It is endless

The solution to getting over your unending thirst requires quite a bit of grinding. You will start to feel as brainless as the mindless zombies you are slaying. Once you have purchased a few skills to aid in your survival and can more easily craft liquids to drink, you will have a lot less trouble surviving. This doesn’t mean that all of the grinding is gone, unfortunately.

Deadcraft is a game of endless repetition. To a degree, this can be fun but it seems that every hill you climb with the idea of “the game will really open up and be less of a chore after I get to this point” greets you with another hill to climb that requires further grinding and repetition.

When you compare this to games like Minecraft, it can be a chore hunting for coal at the start of the game but once you have it, the chore is gone forever and things become more fun. You unlock new possibilities when you gain the ability to craft light sources. Each new ability you learn in Deadcraft doesn’t unlock new possibilities and avenues to explore. You are just grinding your way to the next sword, the next gun, the next machine to craft items.

Don’t get me wrong, I had fun playing this game, and grinding in a game like this is quite common and can be fun but only when it is accompanied by something else to break it all up. This is the biggest flaw of Deadcraft.

There are plenty of side quests and daily notice board quests to pick up. These quests give you valuable rewards that help you speed up progress and bypass some grinding. There’s a catch though, you can only take one quest at a time. This means you can probably do one quest per day before you need to go home and rest due to being out of energy.

Trying to pick your one quest to go off and do is another issue. The UI does such a poor job at explaining what the objective is. To paraphrase, you will get quest info like “I’m hungry get me food” but what food? You have to accept the quest before you can find this out. It gets annoying when you accept only to find you have not progressed far enough to craft this food yet. You wouldn’t have wasted time accepting it had you been shown the quest requirements in advance.

With some upgrades purchased, you can begin to do more each day but it is just insane to impose such a limitation on questing. You should be able to fill up on quests before setting off into the zombie wasteland.

The zombie wasteland is another sticking point. It is more of a sandpit due to it being incredibly small. You will never get lost but you can probably run from one end to the other in about 20 seconds, the game is incredibly small. This explains the restrictive questing design. There’s so little to see that they cant allow you grab all the quests at once and finish 5 of them in 2 minutes. Therein lies the flaw. Deadcrafts obstructive grind-heavy design exists to slow you down. To prolong a story that is condensed into too small of an area than it should be.

quest location
Most exploration will be down narrow roads with a few enemies to kill or some other rather drab task

One of the big selling points of Deadcraft is the ability to create an army of zombies to fight by your side. An army may be a strong term, it’s more like a small squad. It is an interesting concept and it does work quite well. With that being said, the effectiveness of these zombie companions or “Frankies” as they are called in-game is slightly lacking. It is quite easy to get by without them. They are better utilized as distractions when there are lots of enemies in an area to fight at once. Their damage output is a lot less than that of wild zombies.

The main crafting component of Deadcraft feels like it needs a lot of work. You have a small house with an area nearby for building structures and machines. The placement restrictions make absolutely no sense. It’s a matter of mashing the place button in the hope that the structure will sort of glitch itself into place.

item placement
A large open area with plenty of space but it seems to block you from making the most of the space available.

There is a huge lack of depth to what you can do in your base. You should have enough space to work toward full automation. Something that can water your crops, something to harvest water and convert it into something you can drink. It just feels far too basic and limited. There’s potential but it’s nowhere near being tapped with the current implementation of the game.

THE VERDICT

6/10
Deadcraft is not a bad game but because it tries to do so much and does it all to a bare minimum, there is very little that is going to impress you. Everything just feels so basic and many mechanics feel like they are implemented just enough to tick a box but not enough to provide the player with anything new and exciting. At its core, Deadcraft is just a grind fest from start to finish with nothing noteworthy to entertain you along the way.
Pros
  • The combat can be fun for a short while
  • The visual style is quite nice
  • The game has high ambitions
Cons
  • Pretty much every mechanic in the game is implemented to a bare minimum.
  • Combat is a button mash fest that has no strategy and sluggish response times.
  • Crafting is far too basic with silly limitations on structure placement.
  • Your character requires an ungodly amount of liquid to survive per day.
  • Questing is intentionally designed to be limited and slow with only one side quest at a time allowed.
  • The map is far too small.
  • Voice acting doesn't seem to trigger properly for many conversations.