We Who Are About To Die Review by Zydrate (Update)

Here is the initial review on the game.

Needs some time in the oven. Will not refund it because I like the core idea, and will happily change my review once it cooks a bit longer. Without ado, here is the complete first impression review on We Who Are About To Die game.

We Who Are About To Die Review

What we have here is just a roguelite arena simulator. The “depth” here mostly takes place in between fights where you need to make a lot of risk assessment choices more than anything. Can you afford that shield, should you spend money on the training, do you have enough fame to reveal the specifics of the fight you’re going into? So on.

Gameplay itself is fairly simple, with a Chivalry/For Honor/Others type movement and gameplay. You can swing in a multitude of directions to hit various body parts, and you can hold block to block the attacks from enemies. Problem is, they pretty much swing instantly, so I never really spend a lot of time blocking unless I’m just waiting for my stamina to come back and just hope the enemy swings in a direction eventually. I can really only tell where the enemy is swinging if they’re holding a two-handed weapon, anything else and the movements are too subtle for me to pick up. In other games it usually gives you a directional cue around the cursor to at least give it some level of reaction time, but not here. Enemy swings, damage gets taken. As with most games of this ilk, shield-bearers are the bane of my existence as a fight just becomes a hitpoint race to see if I can outlast them.

Sometimes swing-detection is very odd as well, and there’s not a lot of combat feedback. There’s a little chat window on the bottom left that tells you when armor absorbs stuff or how much damage you do, but you’d be a fool to be looking at that when you’re mid-fight. Sometimes I swing, and I just hear some kind of subtle “thud” sound, like I whiffed or missed, but again I have no idea if I actually missed, the enemy blocked, or if their armor took it because I definitely feel like I hit the enemy, but I don’t hear that “squish” sound you usually get from a hit. This happens incredibly often, even when I’m hitting them in the back during team fights. Feel like that should be a free hit, but the game knows something I don’t.

It’s not always clear what carries over between characters, so I can’t really get a clear sense of my progress. So far successive characters have a bit more starting gold to play with and that’s about it. Generally I can get about nine fights in before the enemies come out looking like damn roman soldiers and hitting me for 20 damage a swing (which as I said before, I can rarely block). Dashing seems to have your gladiator only hop an inch, so it’s almost never done me any good and neither does running away to catch your breath because the enemy will always keep pace with you regardless so fleeing is supposed to be a tactical idea, but it just doesn’t work here. Maybe if you join a pit fight, but that’s about it.

So far I’ve just had trouble keeping up with the challenge rating. You can’t always afford new gear after every fight so the first 5-6 fights is mostly just generating revenue to buy a decent hitting weapon or some good armor. As I said before, a couple of times now I’ve made it to rank 9-10 or so and then golden armored soldiers step out of the gates and do more damage than I can ever handle. I know, I know. Git Gud and all but there’s a certain element of unfairness in the AI. This is a roguelite, not a Soulslike. In Souls, you can generally consistently level your gear up to take on the ever increasing challenge, but there’s no grinding to be had, here. You only get a handful of gold every game (sometimes cut in half if you’re a slave or civilian) so there’s nothing to do about that.

I’m not sure why I’d ever want to do a “1 vs Many” when I see on the planning screen that it’s me versus like seven guys. Sorry but that 200%/160% gold/fame payout won’t really be worth it once I get slaughtered by instant-swinging AI enemies. I’ve not once voluntarily picked one of those and never will. I like the FFA pit fights because at least they get distracted.

Admittedly this started as a thumbs up but the more I came here to talk about it the more annoyed I found myself. I get it, it’s a Rogue-Lite and before anything happens in the game it gives you a splash screen saying “This is not called We Who Are About to Live”. I expect my guys to die eventually, I just wish there was a clearer sense of progress. Because gold alone doesn’t really cut it.

Apparently there’s a stamina bug that the dev is working on as I type this (for the next patch). I’m not sure to what that’s referring because I don’t really know what it looks like bug-free or not.

I’d just give this a solid 5/10 – there’s a game here it just needs work, but I will probably keep playing in short bursts. I can keep an eye out for any various QoL updates, and you should as well if this is your type of genre.

This We Who Are About To Die review was originally written by Steam user “Zydrate” and is compiled by Flipside staff.

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