You find yourself in a monastery surrounded by crosses and tombs. It doesn’t take long for you to spot your first prey. You chase your next victim, but they manage to paralyse you using a cross. But they didn’t move quick enough, you hit them with a follow-up attack and they die…well sort of. They do come back. Rinse and repeat until you lose. This is A Way to be Dead.
A Way To Be Dead is a multiplayer horror arena game. It was developed and published Crania Games. They have two other games to their name: Beyond Extinct and Roots of Insanity…There is definitely a horror theme to their creations. Both of their previous games have received mostly positive reviews. So how does A Way To Be Dead fair?
Before getting into the review, the game is still in Early Access Game. So what I played may have changed and I hope it does as it has limitless potential on how it can be improved.
How Does A Way to be Dead Play?
There are two areas you can play in, one is a hospital and the other is a monastery. Both are very dark areas so there are very few cues at the hospital level that you are in a hospital. Once the area has been selected you are presented with either playing as the killer, as a victim or playing with the AI. If you play as a killer you host the lobby and if you play as a victim you connect to a killer’s lobby.
If you play as a killer you have to protect either graves or stones from the victims. Each killer has a unique ability to transform into a stronger version once the ability is charged up after killing victims. The monastery killer equips a large scythe while the hospital’s killer transforms into a four-legged monster. If a victim secures a key they can then escape the area. Should they escape its game over. But honestly, it’s game over as the killer doesn’t move fast enough to intercept the victims. This makes everything you’ve done worthless and really put me off playing any more of the game. Especially after killing the victims multiple times.
If you play as a victim, you have to avoid the killer and either destroy rocks/coffins or plant bones into graves. Once you’ve done this task enough you receive a key. You now have two exits to make your way to. You are also not alone, as there is up to 3 other victims who will be either helping each other or focusing on their own escape. This could be a great time for the victims to coordinate their attack. But currently, there is no reason to as escaping is so easy.
A Way To Be Dead’s Issues
The main issue is the escaping mechanic. This is an area that needs to be improved. Such as whoever has the key movement speed is reduced and is highlighted to the killer throughout the escape. That way it provides more technical fun for both sides.
There is a levelling up system, but they only upgrade stats by 1%. In its current state it doesn’t feel completed and can bring a lot to the game if it is fleshed out.
A Way To Be Dead Presentation
The detail on the victims is very low, but the models for the killers is highly detailed. This isn’t an issue, since the victims are supposed to seem like generic victims from a horror film. I honestly can’t remember the audio quality, it worked well with the game.
My only concern with the presentation is that it is far too dark. For the killer, this isn’t an issue as they can use a special view that highlights all key objects such as victims and the objects you need to protect. And for a horror game it isn’t particular scary.
A Way To Be Dead’s Final Thoughts
Since this is an early access game it is rather unfair to do a full review. Should the game be updated with new features I’ll update this review. But in the meantime, it doesn’t feel very fun. And I feel no reason to play it again. For this reason I’m giving A Way to be Dead a 3. But that will go up if the updates improve the game.