Dreadlands is more inviting and charming than terrifying, even though it’s a bloody post-apocalypse.
I’m in a hurry. Everyone except the leader of my gang is on the floor, and the two remaining, undamaged enemies approach the tree where I stand and push. I summon three bombed-out rats rushing at the first best enemy. They are unreliable, but potentially deadly. And this time I’m lucky. The rats blow one of the enemies to pieces, and my home-made firearm makes the process short with the other.
Dreadlands is a Swedish-produced, turn-based strategy role-playing game that takes place in the same universe as Crater. The Swedish influences are not as clear this time, and the predecessor was an action role-playing game, but otherwise the games have a lot in common. Both are charming, and paint a pretty own post-apocalypse. But both are also quite uneven in terms of gameplay, and do not really reach the full potential of the concept.
This time you get to choose between three different gangs, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Scrappers are an easy-to-play fit option that is okay in both melee and firefighting, Tribe-kin is a bloodthirsty variant of nature-loving hippies, and Skarbacks is some kind of cyborg that can withstand more beatings than the other gangs.
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What is it?
A strategy role-playing game in the same universe as Crater.
Intel Core i5 7600k
16 GB RAM
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A nice ugly new world
My biggest objection to Dreadlands is how repetitive it becomes after a while. As you explore the map, discover more and more settlements and perform both main and side missions, it becomes increasingly clear that the game has a rather limited and narrow structure. This would not have been a big problem if the battles had been a little more polished and dynamic. They are absolutely fun in the right doses, but I think the game would have worked better in the long run if even gangs had developed at a faster pace.
Namely, it gets a bit annoying to perform lots of dozens of missions to level up your gang, as well as get resources for all sorts of upgrades. Especially in the beginning, it would have liked to go a little faster, because it is only when you start to be able to put together a more dynamic gang that the game becomes fun.
Dreadlands tries to stand out from the competition by including a card system. In the beginning, you have fairly simple and limited cards, with occasional more fun abilities, like those bomb rats. They definitely help sometimes, but they do not add as much to the game as they should. In the end, I can not help but like the game, despite the shortcomings. It’s a well-made little game, though. But just like with Crater it’s hard to shake off the gnawing feeling that this could have been something bigger.
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