(sharon) #1

Though it’s only just come to Xbox One, the game first launched in Early Access on PC in December 2017


Fade To Silence


DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND ROBIN VALENTINE


PUBLISHER THQ NORDIC / DEVELOPER BLACK FOREST GAMES / RELEASE DATE OUT NOW / COST £39.99/$49.99


The sinister presence of the Eclipse,
which taunts and threatens you via a
rasping voice in your head, only makes
you feel more unwelcome – and more
determined to beat the odds.
Initially, the game falls into a typical
survival formula – you’ll chop trees,
hunt deer for food, light fires to keep
warm and use scavenged materials to
craft new gear to make your desperate
existence a little easier. It’s satisfying,
if a little rough around the edges, but
at first very familiar.
Fade To Silence’s core twist,
however, is that you soon find yourself
joined by other survivors. Each has
their own skills, and you’re able
to direct their efforts, whether it’s
gathering resources, building new
structures or crafting items for you
and your growing community.

Silent but deadly
It’s a really strong idea, in theory.
Basically, the longer you’re able to
stay alive, the more the actual nitty-

If there’s one thing
that always gets our
goat in games, it’s
a lack of respect for
the player’s time.
This snowy survival
sim isn’t without its charms, and
boasts some sharp ideas, but it’s an
experience undermined by repetition
and tedium that turns conquering the
elements into an unbearable grind.
Fade To Silence’s world is a post-
apocalypse blanketed in snow, where
a seeping corruption known as the
Eclipse infects the living and spawns
monstrous mutant creatures. Dumped
into this hostile environment, you’re
tasked with keeping yourself alive as
you embark on your quest to cleanse
infected outposts across the land.
It’s not an especially pretty place,
but its driving winds and bleak plains
do have a certain atmosphere, and
there’s something striking about being
so unceremoniously deposited into
such an obviously hostile location.


gritty of survival is taken off your
hands by your followers. Soon you
become more scout than scavenger,
seeking out forests, mines and other
resource nodes, but then marking
them for your followers to collect while
you continue exploring and taking on
the Eclipse’s monsters.
In execution, however, your
community becomes one of the
game’s most frustrating elements.
Actually managing and directing each
survivor is an incredibly clunky and
unclear process, and they seem to
become tired or distracted every time
you take your eyes off them. At first
it’s a relatively ignorable problem –
left to their own devices, they tend
to at least gather enough food and
firewood to keep themselves from
expiring. But thanks to the nature
of the crafting system, over time it
becomes a greater and greater source
of frustration.
Essentially, while your character is
able to put together the basic gear

short
cut

WHAT IS IT?
A gruelling survival
game with a dash of
base management
and lock-on
third-person combat.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Satisfying in parts,
but it takes an age to
get anything done.
WHO’S IT FOR?
People looking for
something to do in
the background while
they play a really
engrossing game on
their phone.

086 THE OFFICIAL XBOX MAGAZINE


REVIEW