In the vast landscape of video games, the horror genre has always held a unique allure, promising to immerse players in a world of suspense, fear, and mystery. “Unholy,” a game developed by Duality Games, attempts to carve out its own niche within this genre. However, despite its intriguing premise and commendable artistic direction, the game struggles to deliver a satisfying experience.
This review will delve into the various aspects of “Unholy,” from its narrative and gameplay mechanics to its level design and technical performance, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the game. It’s important to note that while “Unholy” has its moments of brilliance, it is ultimately a game that leaves much to be desired.
“Unholy” is a game that, while not entirely good, has some potential. The premise is intriguing, with a narrative that plunges players into a macabre and dark atmosphere. The artistic direction is commendable, with beautiful graphics and unique character design that contribute to an immersive experience. However, the lack of traditional jump scares may disappoint some horror lovers, although the scary atmosphere and constant threat from all kinds of enemies somewhat make up for it.
Puzzles are generally doable, but the stealth sequences can be challenging at times. The story offers a fresh look at the cult setting, and if you’re a fan of horror games with a good balance between suspense and story, then “Unholy” might be worth a try. However, overall execution falls short of expectations.
Unholy’s protagonist, Dorothae, is tasked with the grim mission of recovering her child’s soul by completing a linear series of stealth puzzles. Environment is rich in detail, particularly the Soviet bloc apartment that serves as Dorothae’s home, which is one of the game’s highlights. However, the game’s afterlife setting, where the child’s soul is held, is disappointingly bland, with a lack of optimism or levity to be found in the game’s opening chapters.
Combat system is simple, with enemies walking in pre-set patterns and easily triggered explosive barrels. The game’s emotion mechanic, where you use the power of different emotions to interact with the environment and enemies, is a unique feature that adds a layer of complexity to the gameplay. However, the game’s movement is clunky, and picking up items often takes several attempts to register.
Level design is varied and allows for numerous different approaches, but the game’s performance is plagued with bugs, typos, and unoptimized graphics. The game’s isolated elements never really rise above “passable”, but when put together, there is something to this stealth game that some players might find enjoyable.
In conclusion, “Unholy” is a game that has potential but falls short in its execution. Its unique features and detailed environment are overshadowed by its uninspired gameplay and numerous technical issues. It’s a game that might appeal to some, but overall, it could have been so much more.
Unholy on Steam Deck
Unholy runs on Unreal Engine 4 and delivers surprisingly good performance on Steam Deck. When the details are set to high, it offers fluidity around 45-60FPS depending on the location. There is occasional minor stuttering, but it doesn’t significantly interfere with gameplay.
The interface and subtitles are fully readable, and the game fully supports gamepad and cloud saves.