Preview: EVERSLAUGHT

It used to be that all-out speed and really intense combat was a bit of a no-no in virtual reality (VR) so thank goodness that’s all changed. Titles like Doom 3: VR Edition have proven that if you’ve got the VR legs for it then wall to wall carnage can be achieved. And that’s literally what you get with MobX’s Early Access project EVERSLAUGHT, a no holds barred action experience which takes no prisoners.

You always have to take Steam Early Access titles with an understanding that the gameplay is going to be a bit ropey and bugs are going to be present. So you have to try and look past these to see the potential of what’s to come. Right from the start EVERSLAUGHT conveys solid foundational gameplay that’s easily reminiscent of iD Software’s iconic shooter, think fast, keep moving and you might just make it through.

At this early stage, EVERSLAUGHT is very much roguelike in its presentation, mixing both melee and shooter mechanics. While MobX plans to build an expansive world full of lore and secrets, currently the videogame is a procedural dungeon crawler all about heading into Egyptian-style ruins to face hordes of undead creatures, slaughtering them to collect blood which can then be used in all manner of ways, from doing up your character to healing or using the rather awesome wrist-mounted shotgun.

Certainly one of the biggest features in EVERSLAUGHT is the gadget which attaches to your left hand – and only the left hand at the moment. This steampunk looking device has three features to help in combat; health, rapid movement and destruction. And it’s all controlled with a flick of the wrist. As mentioned there’s a hand cannon that pops out when your palm is facing right. Palm down and you’ll activate the grappling hook which can get you up to high ledges or latch itself onto an enemy so you can fly in to unleash all hell. Lastly, whacking the device into your right wrist will activate the healing ability, depending on how many blood vials are remaining.

Blood is what powers EVERSLAUGHT, and the only way you can get it is by killing enemies. Run out mid-level and you’ll just have to rely on the sword in your other hand to do all the work. This is where you’re introduced to the titles RPG elements. Along the way, you can pick up various broad and short swords, each with its own damage attributes as well as durability. Currently, the sword combat is fairly basic, more of a hack ‘n’ slash rather than Until You Fall’s more in-depth one to one’s. There’s no one to duel anyway, the four enemy types which you’ll come across are the standard grunt zombie, an archer, an explosive type and a big fella covered in armour sporting a massive axe.

It’s all very visceral with plenty of blood flying everywhere and heads to separate from bodies. While big swings supposedly do more damage, most encounters boiled down to some light arm flailing as the hordes rush in, only the archers keep their distance and actively run away when approached. The sword combat might not be entirely satisfying but when combined with the other abilities it does make for an enjoyable experience. Set piece encounters where you’re suddenly trapped in an expansive area are the real meat of EVERSLAUGHT, perfect for those who love videogames like GORN.

There are plenty of areas EVERSLAUGHT needs to refine during Early Access like its menus which felt clunky, trickier enemies and more depth to the character stats. Equally, the title has lots going for it and bags of potential. Not to mention it looks gorgeous with that ancient civilisation vibe, towering obelisks and intricate hieroglyphics everywhere. EVERSLAUGHT is brutal, remorseless and all the better for it, hopefully, the next year will see it grow into something special.

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