Being one of the people who were given a test copy of this game so the author could get some feedback, I was blown away by the little bit that I played. While I’ve been a little distracted by things outside of the Wolf3D community, the moment I got the Wolf itch again, it was this game I gravitated towards.
Unsung is made by Nembo, and runs on the Wolf4SDL engine, meaning even those of us with Windows 7 can play it.
One of the big things, if not the biggest things, that drew me into this game was the comic book style of the intermission art. Rather than go with a text heavy screen like others, we’re greeted with full screen images and speech bubbles:
From there I knew this was going to be an interesting experience. These “comic style” screens even happen in the middle of gameplay using some clever tricks. This makes the game feel different to normal, as you’re getting given storyline whilst playing.
Unsung seems to have done away with the scoring system completely, with all trace of the bonus screen at the end of a level gone, and the score bar removed from the stylish minimalist HUD.
I love score systems in my older style games, and have always considered them the thing that fuels me to search through every nook and cranny (Note: I love the words ‘nook’ and ‘cranny’). However despite the lack of any points to earn, I found myself searching places I could of simply left alone. I’m still no certain if it as a subconcious need to get every medkit in the level, or if it was the desire to soak up every bit of the environment the Author Nembo has created, but I had to appreciate a Wolfenstein mod that manages to distract me from just running through the level to the end.
Everything in the game blends together quite well and leaves a great impression; the music drives emotions and pushes me through the game. The maps are really well done, feeling polished and easy to navigate, the latter of which is often an issue for me in games that use limited textures. The map design is made all the more intriguing with the use of multiple roof types within the same level. You can move around outside and see the clouds in the sky, then a minute later be under a wooden roof. This sort of design makes the game all the more convincing.
One of the more interesting features I’m on the fence about is that you only get one life. If you die, you are brought back to the main menu. This makes the ability to save all the more important, and something that should be done often. However for myself and probably others, this can be a hindrance of sorts. When I get really immersed in a game, I can find myself forgetting to save for multiple levels in a game. This is why auto-saving in modern games is a huge relief for me. While this isn’t a big deal, it can kill the mood to die so far into something and find you need to start again.
I’m still playing this and as far as I know I am nowhere near finished with the game. However, this is such a good game with so much more to it that one post cannot cover everything, so this is simply the first part of a pair of posts dedicated to Unsung. The second part will be out sometime tomorrow.