Review: Unepic

Posted: August 14, 2012 by: Andrew Gray

One thing that can be said about Unepic is that it’s very modest. The castle it’s set in is enormous despite the name and while it’s obviously no Skyrim, there’s a surprising amount of depth. The player can level up skills, buy and sell items and even make potions. There are swords, wands, bows, spells, elven underwear… we’ll explain that last one later.

The game itself is a platformer with heavy dungeon crawler influences, though the most obvious inspiration is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The player moves from screen to screen, most initially shrouded in darkness, with light sources sitting around waiting to be ignited.

Side-quests break up the exploration. Though some of these are great fun, such as navigating a room full of traps or bedding Orc women, there are also quite a few painfully tedious fetch quests. Second to exploring, the player will spend most of their time killing things. Orcs are among the more interesting adversaries, providing plenty of opportunities to be sneaky with backstabs and attacking when others aren’t looking.

Unfortunately most combat isn’t quite as engaging, boiling down to using the right weapon and attacking at the right time. The variety of enemies helps distract from this, but all too often it still isn’t enough to prevent it feeling like a chore when clearing out room after room, especially when wandering through previously explored areas.

The seemingly random autosaving doesn’t help, never letting the player know how much they’ll be replaying after they die, and they’ll be dying a lot. Inventory management is also a nightmare.

Unepic tries to have a little fun with the story, as the earlier mention of elven underwear suggested. The game world is very much the generic Dungeons & Dragons variety, except the protagonist, Daniel, is from the modern world and has found himself here for unknown reasons (though initially he suspects it’s a drug trip).

After an evil spirit accidentally traps himself inside Daniel (which sets up some fun dialogue between the two, reminiscent of a buddy movie), he goes off to defeat all the guardians of the castle. So yes, the overall plot isn’t terribly original, but at least Unepic tries using humour, even if it misses more than it hits – an overuse of pop-culture references primarily being to blame and a protagonist who, quite frankly, is a bit of an obnoxious twat.

Still, even with its flaws, Unepic has a way of making you come back to see what’s next and raise some numbers. If the combat was more engaging and if it were paced better, this would be great. As it is, it will still entertain for quite some hours, but there is a chance it will eventually feel more like work than play.

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Developer: Franfistro
Publisher: Franfistro
Price: $9.99
OFLC Rating: NA
VERDICT Don’t let the name fool you: Unepic is huge, but whether players will want to see the quest to its ends is another matter.

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24 Responses to “Review: Unepic”

  1. shaun #

    I think it should be noted in the review that Unepic is in “early release” on Steam, and thus an unfinished game. The reviewer’s gripes may be solved by release.

    July 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm Reply
  2. Benoit #

    Its bugging me soo much that people review a game and give it a note when its not even finish…. Makes it really unprofessional

    August 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply
  3. Ibitato #

    I have played 10+ hours so far, and the game is far better than the review

    Yes, you NEED to play longer than couple of hours, to start unlocking areas and struff
    that will make the game play much more interesting and deeper.

    As you unlock areas the variety of enemies.magic and items opens up, so does the fun.

    Also, moving from one area to other to find specific magic ingredients and stuff makes sense , since it’s a casttle and each area it’s different with different enemies.

    Magic and pets are fun and side quests are ok, sometimes helping you to explore and get + stuff.

    I haven’t even touched MP, that is on beta, and yet I say this game is above average, it’s good IMO

    Inventory is fairly simple, maybe too much for modern standards, but it works fine with the keyboard,as well the whole game. This game is to be played with KB only.

    Combat dull??? You can jumo, dodge, weapons are very different to each other and you need to choose wisely depending on the enemies. I’ve seen far worst games on this matter.

    Automatic saving??? Where ? You need to travel to the central square and hit save. There is no such automatic saving. If you die, you restart on some area depending on where you where,but that is not automatic saving.

    Dying much ?? try playing on KB solo and use little of tactics and dodging. Also, there is a really nice RPG elements on player progression, you youj need to level up
    and make sense of the points you spend on such player progression….

    THB, the review fells to me like “first impression” rather than a full review.
    Somre games need to be played long in order to review them, specually those with strong RPG elements, even if they are platform/action/expling mashups.

    October 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm Reply
  4. I can’t understand how one of the best metroidvania of last years got only a six. This game is huge, the difficulty it’s ok (as normal) or if you play on hard mode it will be a true oldschool experience. This is one of my favorite games, and imho he deserve at least an 8.
    By the way, Upepic it’s a game that the world does not deserve.

    October 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm Reply
  5. Juanan #

    The game is in early access btw, wich means that is not 100% completed, and reviewing a game under construction is not fair. The user reviews in metacritic is more acurate than the critic reviews

    October 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm Reply
  6. Ogurezzz #

    Take it easy.
    I’m don’t agree with your opinion about story. All reasons will be told to you during the game. And especially I enjoyed end of the game.
    Yes I got some issues with playing using controller, but game still develops.
    I’m disagree with your score, please try to play more if it is possible.

    October 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm Reply
  7. There is an error: you wrote the 9 upside down.

    Unepic is just fun fun and more fun!

    October 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm Reply
  8. Arnold Braunsweiger #

    I of you write a rewiev and complain about stuff, don’t just say it’s shit, explain why. You should also mention that you have only played the first half of the game(though I suspect you have played less than that).

    Quote: “Unfortunately most combat isn’t quite as engaging, boiling down to using the right weapon and attacking at the right time.”

    Comment: No shit sherlock, ever played a platformer before ?

    October 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm Reply
  9. Bugbug #

    you know the review is invalid when it starts off saying “it’s obviously no Skyrim”

    October 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm Reply
  10. Taskmaster #

    I have played that game many times, and I gotta say that this review is even more than unprofessional. It is just not fair!
    Experience on your own, how it feels to play some kind of 2D dungeon crawler, pen and paper rpg. Multiplayer is great too, especially to beat up the MvP’s together.
    Buy it, try it and more important, don’t give a sh!t on this review…

    October 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply
  11. Blowfish #

    What? Unepic is a great game! Good humor, the fights are not to hard but not to easy, huge world to explore and got at least 20 hours of gameplay! For my part, I don’t die alot and anyway, games where you never die, meaning it’s super easy, are so boring … I believe you can deactivate the auto-saving so I don’t know why it’s a problem in the game. I can easily say it’s one of my favorites games. I think 6 is way to low for Unepic.

    October 26, 2013 at 1:03 am Reply
  12. MCGOLUM #

    it has an editor if you don’t like the level size

    October 26, 2013 at 5:09 am Reply
  13. DraonCC #

    Before I start, I’d like to state that even though UnEpic is officially an early release title, the single player is already finished. The only thing currently in development is the multiplayer. Thus, it is also alright to skip mentioning the multiplayer as-is, even though a slight hint that there is one would be much appreciated.

    Now on to my actual comment:
    I am heavily disagreeing with this article.
    Even though it might be correct in a few points, like, for example, the inventory management – that one is definitely not the best – it’s, for me as someone who played all trough the game, unfinished, flat and not even covering half of the game’s features.
    I do have to wonder how the author could describe the “orcs” – which, in truth, aren’t even orcs – as “among the more interesting adversaries”. Has he not seen Necromancers? Ice Mages? Actual orcs? I don’t know, but I assume not.

    Not only just that, but how can the combat system only be made of choosing “the right weapon and attacking at the right time”, when there are so many different spells to be explored and used to incinerate your foes, to bring whole hailstorms of fire down on your enemies? You have a wide variety of magic to choose from – that is, if you would play a little bit further than the mines.
    It’s not only about fire, but also about all kinds of magic – from regeneration to antidote spells, meele protection, projectile reflection, alchemy in all it’s varieties – yes, you even will be able to turn metal into gold – and necromancy, followed up by mind control, even an outburst of light to crumble the last of the undead to mere dust.
    I could go on with the magics, but coming back to the standart set of weapons:
    To make it short, it is not about choosing the right weapon at the right time.
    Instead, it is about finding the weapon you like the most, from a pool containing spears, swords, axes, maces, bows, daggers and wands. You can’t even choose according to the current situation as your skill point distribution will leave you unable to use some of these weapon types at a later point.

    The quests offer up a lot of variety for those interested, but are never of any need. If you do not feel like completing a quest, in some cases you might even not want to complete a quest, and keep the dragons egg instead, or if you don’t meet the requirements yet, nobody ever hinders you to skip them – much like the already mentioned famous AAA Skyrim. I do not see how they can be all that boring. To be precise, I cannot even remember any annoying fetch quest except for one, and the annoyance with this one was intentional and quite humorous.

    Talking about humor, the author of this article also criticizes that, stating that “it misses more than it hits”. There is not much to say here, except for one sentence explaining my opinion about this point of criticism quite well: Humor’s subjective.

    Further on, if the most obvious inspiration seems to be Castlevania, I really wonder how many other – some more, some less famous – classic titles the author has ever played. Probably not all that many.
    I do agree that Castlevania is a huge inspiration for this title, but definitely not the “most obvious” – there are far more obvious ones, like “The Maze of Galious”. That one is even mentioned on the official site.
    Which also serves as an explanation why the game is mostly about getting past enemies: It is supposed to be mostly about getting past enemies. Not without platforming playing a huge role all over the game, too. And there definitely are some puzzles.
    Overall you can say it has a little bit of everything.

    To wrap it all up:
    I believe the author of the article hasn’t played the whole game, but also just a small portion of it, and thus the score is unjustified.
    I plea for a withdrawal of this article and next time one is written, inclusion of the multiplayer.

    October 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm Reply
  14. Glauber #

    Well after playing the game for over 50 hours, in EARLY acess i might add, i can give two fucks about ‘pro reviews’, bunch of assholes that failed in life, but i’m here only because this game and developer deserves much more than this score, it was made by ONE guy (the majority of the game at least), plays perfectly fine for its genre, priced at a fair cost, what the hell more do you want ? It even has a ONLINE co-op mode, something Nintendo can’t even do with their games…

    Damn critics, play the game for 1 hour and try to ‘review’ it….You guys are pathetic.

    October 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm Reply
    • Trax #

      I agree.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm Reply
    • DorksEverywhere #

      “You guys are pathetic” cries the whiny over-entitled gamer with shitty taste who has contributed absolutely nothing to gaming.

      November 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply
  15. Vecordia #

    Normally I don’t agree with most website driven reviews, but I gotta say, this review is pretty much accurate. This game is really just a piece of garbage, I regretted buying it. The game is boring, buggy and generally just bad. The multiplayer is equally terrible.

    Also, despite the game being in early access, the game developer says the “single player campaign is fully completed”.

    October 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm Reply
    • Vecordia, shut up, you troll. You were being an asshole on Steam forums, you came here pretending to be a smart-ass. Leave us.

      This review sucks. You can’t review a game if you’ve only played for a while. This game was a big success few months ago, and it passed Greenlight, so keep that on mind. I agree I don’t share the same humour, but it is kind of cool and friendly.

      But, hey! I understand. Most of you are younger than 17, don’t try anything different to CoD, or it could be too hard for you.

      November 2, 2013 at 3:22 am Reply
  16. Trax #

    I think this is an unfair review. If you like Castlevania/Metroid style gameplay then you will like this game. The single player is fun but I really love the coop, I’ve spent over 70 hours on that alone. I’m looking forward to the new update and will always give this game a good review to anybody that asks.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:08 pm Reply
  17. Batmen #

    This is not a casual game. I hate RPG most of the time. Humour lets me go further and i loved the game. However, random auto saving makes me lose a lot of stuff when clicking on magic circle by mistake when preparing myself to fight Neuron. Dialogs make me laugh a lot. You can’t judge it, otherwise Day of the Tentacle is shit for me. Then, gameplay is OK. This is UN-epic and gameplay reflects it. You’re weak, not very precise with your sword and you run like a dumbass. I’m ok with this review, but i would give him 7 at least. This is an original game wich picks some of Metroidvania games, classic RPG ans platformers.

    November 1, 2013 at 9:44 am Reply
  18. Louis #

    Hi ! I am really disapointed by the score you gave this game. It deserve so much more ! It is fun, the gameplay is really nice, the art is simple but efficient and I have much fun with it. It is a nice tribute to D&D games and players even when it makes fun of them !

    November 2, 2013 at 12:56 am Reply
  19. Lou the Lou #

    This reviewer obviously does not take into account the kind of game this is. While it may have only been a passing reference, the fact that this game was compared to Skyrim only works to illustrate just how far removed from the indie community mindset this reviewer is.

    Quite frankly, the fact that this game received a 6/10 says to me that this reviewer (and resultantly, this site) only values AAA titles – because this game is at the top of several lists (quality, gameplay, etc.), as far as indie (single developer!) titles are concerned.

    Yeah. Reviewer: just go back to playing Skyrim, because you probably won’t be satisfied with anything “less”.

    Case and point: if you must, compare this game to other indie/single developer titles – NOT to AAA titles like Skryim. Schmuck.

    November 2, 2013 at 8:40 am Reply
  20. David S A #

    I honestly don’t understand you guys at PC Power play…. it’s like you have had a bad year playing Chris cringle, gave your boss a turd in a pretty box and now you are all shit scared of writing your own opinions. Cause this review IS CRAP… seriously Crap.

    The shame is I have purchased your magazine since the days when you fought for retail space with magazine like PC format… and won. Now this is what we get as consumers. Go back and remember why you chose to write about games cause so far it’s not only the head editor who deserves a present like a poop in a box… it’s the lot of you.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:42 am Reply
  21. Sergg #

    This review fails in everithing, almost all the things said are wrong. It’s very sad… Is an enjoyable game and still getting improved in multiplayer and conroller options. Seems that the person who made this review only played the demo.

    December 25, 2013 at 12:01 am Reply

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