Valhalla, the dream resting place of the world’s bravest warriors. You have served your country, fought with all your heart, and died in glorious combat. You have now earned the right to enter the hallowed grounds and stand next to your fallen brothers. Imagine if you were so good at combat that death never came for you! Wars pass, and blood is spilt, but none of it is yours. This would frustrate, right? This is the reality for the hero and undefeated warrior Sigurd in Die With Glory.
Developed by Veslo Games and published by ChiliDog Interactive, this beautifully presented story-driven puzzle game takes you on many adventures. You must interact with everyone you come across, hoping that somehow one of them will offer you a glorious death and a way into Valhalla. This is easier said than done, and the slightest of mistakes sees you resurrected to the land of the living.
Die With Glory is a game of tall tales.
We’ve all got that friend who can tell epic tales. He can entertain a whole room with his unbelievable antics. Yet, his stories are always flawed, and soon the lies come to the fore. Your friend is exposed for the half-truths he is spinning, but you don’t mind as you were amused for 5 minutes. This is the main concept behind Die With Glory. You flit from story to story, telling different versions of what you believe to be true. If you stray away from your narrative, you are mocked and you must right this wrong.
It’s a simple premise, but boy is it enjoyable. The beautiful settings for each part of Sigurd’s story help to transport you into his world. Each person he interacts with is; witty, rude, sarcastic or just ignorant. The humour runs through every scene, and you will chuckle with joy as each tall tale is recounted. 5 chapters of his life must be looked at, each set in a bold medieval land. There are at least two versions of each event, and as the plot evolves the puzzles get increasingly elaborate.
It’s a wonderful way to ramp up the challenge in the puzzles while gently breaking you into the game. The difficulty is relatively low throughout and is open to most audiences. Younger gamers will need help though, as some logic-based puzzles require forward-thinking.
The perfect death isn’t easy to find!
You may think “just die already, it can’t be that difficult!” I agree, death is just around the corner, but the perfect warrior’s death is not! Die With Glory asks you to complete 3 tasks to unlock the gates of Valhalla. Sadly, this is easier said than done. You must; find the right weapon, encounter the correct foe, and die at their hands. Unfortunately, Sigurd is a mighty warrior who has a habit of decimating his foes. You must think logically, and outside of the box to get to your resting place.
Each story plays out repetitively. There are slight variations in how it is told, and your approach must be altered to account for the key differences. For example; one story will have the red Knight surviving a deadly trap, the other he will face his demise. If you stray off the path, you must start from the incorrect moment. This, however, never got boring. The amusing dialogue and length of each chapter ensured that boredom never entered the equation. Each portion was balanced perfectly and kept you wanting more. Credit has to be given to Veslo Games for their clever writing style.
Die With Glory is beautiful to look at.
A distinct cartoon style has been utilised throughout. The colourful and bright landscapes offer many unusual destinations. You will visit; a lava-filled dragon lair, mushroom forest, an airship, jungle and a keep. Each looks unique and helps to convey the ridiculous tale you are exploring. The characters you interact with are well designed and amusing to look at. Though its approach was crisp and clean, it still had an air of old-school gaming. I loved how it was presented, and it was very easy on the eye.
However, what was odd was the delicate audio that accompanied the action. The music changed tempo, beat and style to match the story, yet it played softly in the background. It was strange that it didn’t take a more pivotal role, as I expected a louder and more intense soundtrack. The comedy continues with the use of childish and amusing sound effects. The over the top noises emphasise each strange death you are involved with. Overall, the audio was a success, even if my expectations were wildly incorrect.
The controls were the bane of my life.
Die With Glory has been ported from PC, and it shows. You can move around with ease, but interacting with objects was a pain. Circles appear on the screen to denote an action to be taken. A hand shows an object to collect, and arrows indicate places to go. The issues occur when over one choice is on screen. The highlighted orb flits between the two and you constantly select the wrong option. This wouldn’t be so bad, except you can’t cancel the action. This is prevalent in the boat scene. You can climb the mast to the crow’s nest. If you do this by accident, and you will, you must clamber up, just to climb back down (ARGGGHHHHH). It was infuriating as hell! The developers should have input a cancel action button, after all the button layout is so sparse it could have been done easily.
As with all great films, the writers leave it open for a sequel. This is usually done in a suggestive way, such as the hero has unfinished business. Die With Glory wasn’t so discreet. Upon finishing the 5 levels, you wander to the end of the tavern. Here you are told of the next chapter that is coming. I know not; its release date, price or if it’s a DLC, but I want it now. I completed this in one 3 to 4-hour sitting, obtaining all achievements, and I have to say I loved every minute. Sadly though, I won’t return to play it again as it lacks replay value.
Will you die with glory?
Sigurd has many opportunities to die, but will any of them bathe him in glory? I won’t answer this for you as I don’t wish to spoil it. What I can say is you will be treated to a beautiful art style, nice sound effects and some excellent amusing dialogue. As a puzzle game, it isn’t the most challenging among its peers, but its simplicity allows you to enjoy every aspect. For this reason, I recommend you buy it here! Death is a complicated affair, especially when you are a master warrior. Valhalla’s Gates will remain shut to those that lack honour. Can you plan your perfect death? Can you Die With Glory?