Game review: Fade To Silence is a winter survival challenge

The limited storytelling is frustrating because German developer Black Forest Games has clearly thought out a complex backstory to explain everything, mixing an environmental message with more Lovecraftian themes, but none of it comes across very well. Your character has the ability to remove the corruptions that seem to be spawning the creatures but it’s a long time till you find out why, through dream sequences and talking to fellow humans you’re able to rescue.

You can either leave these survivors back at camp to gather resources or take them out with you as a computer-controlled ally, but considering you need other people to help build up your base and to open up the more complex crafting items it’s really not worth the risk of losing them. Although they require so much rest, food, and water you soon begin to wonder whether you wouldn’t be better off just doing everything yourself.

The structure of the game is not dissimilar to the average Ubisoft open world game, as you try to capture the outposts controlling each area of the map by first taking out smaller bases around its perimeter. The problem is that because this is a survival game there’s also permadeath, although you can at least earn what are essentially extra lives and are given significant bonuses when you do die and have to restart.

There is an easy mode where supplies are less limited, but where you can’t earn rewards, but while it’s useful to learn the ropes it also removes any sense of tension that exists in the game. And to be honest there’s not much to begin with. Fade To Silence has some interesting idea but almost all of them are done better elsewhere and the one thing it has its in favour – the unusual setting – is never taken full advantage of. We found our interest fading almost instantly…

Fade To Silence

In Short: A survival game that, despite a few interesting ideas, struggles to provide any reason to persevere with its overfamiliar gameplay and poorly handled storytelling.

Pros: The setting and more unusual plot points have plenty of potential. Adequate visuals, especially when it comes to blizzards and other extreme weather.

Cons: Boring, overfamiliar, and highly repetitive – and that’s just the survival elements. Equally dull combat, frustrating base-building, and deeply flawed storytelling.

Score: 3/10

Formats: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, and PC
Price: £44.99
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Black Forest Games
Release Date: 30th April 2019
Age Rating: 16

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