(sharon) #1

you need to get started, the more
advanced items required to explore
beyond the starting area can only
be crafted by your companions.
Guiding them through the process
of constructing the right building in
which to make the item, then making
the individual components of the
item and then finally crafting it is a
bafflingly lengthy and painful process.
We found ourselves at certain points
with nothing left to do in the area, but
with no option for progressing to the
next other than to sit by our campfire
and wait hours for our new equipment
to be completed. It’s an excruciating
waste of time.


Cold shoulder
And thanks to the game’s approach to
permadeath, you could lose all of that
progress at any time. Fade To Silence
occupies a strange sort of halfway
house with this mechanic – you’re
given a number of lives, with more
collectable in the world, but if they run


out, it’s game over – you have to start
the whole thing over again.
Though you can carry over a few
boons from your previous run, there
are otherwise few concessions to the
fact that you’ve seen all this before.
This is no roguelike - very little is
noticeably randomised or changed,
and subsequent playthroughs even
see you having to redo the tutorials
and sit through lengthy character
monologues you’ve already heard.
With deaths often feeling sudden
and unfair – whether you’re being
ambushed by an inexplicably
dangerous teleporting enemy, getting
caught in an unexpected blizzard, or
falling victim to one of the game’s
many bugs – running out of lives left
us wanting to put the controller down
and walk away each time.
Fade To Silence isn’t a terrible
game – particularly in the early going,
there’s a sense of achievement in
slowly mastering your environment,
and it’s refreshing how much

DOG DAYS
Progress far enough
into the game and
you’re gifted with a
sled, pulled by a pack
of wolves, to help you
get around the map
more quickly.
Unfortunately, it’s
another case of ‘nice
idea, poor execution’.
Its wooden tracks are
sorely unsuited to the
uneven terrain,
causing it to judder
around wildly and
even, on one
memorable occasion,
fly up 60 feet into the
air. And it steers
about as well as you’d
expect from a bundle
of sticks pulled by a
pack of wild wolves.
It’s such a pain to use
that we found
ourselves going back
to walking.

“Actually


managing and


directing your


survivors is a


clunky process”


ABOVE Followers
reveal their
tortured
backstories to
you in lengthy
monologues.
LEFT The snow
mostly looks
good, but
otherwise this
is a pretty
ugly game.

OXM VERDICT
A handful of clever
ideas hamstrung by
poor execution that
leaves the game a
tedious grind.

4


FAR LEFT Our
hero, Ash, is a
grizzled
stereotype
with a troubled
past. Yawn.

emphasis it puts on player agency,
encouraging you to find your own
way rather than following prescribed
objectives. What it is, however, is an
experience that takes far more than
it gives, demanding players to spend
hours wrestling with it and, in some
cases, simply sit around waiting for
something to happen. With so many
fantastic titles out there these days
fighting for your evenings, including
many far better survival games, Fade
To Silence can’t possibly justify being
such a tiresome timesink. Q

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