The First Few is a series where we take raw unfiltered first impressions of the game and write down exactly what we think within the initial hours of it. Whereas a review covers the experience as a whole, The First Few focuses on the opening act of the title or more commonly known as the “hook”.
The Witching Hour
As the game opened and I adjusted my settings, I noticed something peculiar. I had no clue what Deadbolt was about although I had run an announcement article months earlier. Deadbolt, unlike most games nowadays, was shrouded in mystery and there weren’t a billion trailers to spoil the experience for me.
With this odd musing fresh in my head, I flipped on V sync and stepped into the game. My first vision was a tutorial (of course) with standard WASD controls at the forefront. Glazed on the wall of the building was my next set of instructions, kill all undead.
A zombie game.
As I approached the first enemy armed only with a knife, I performed a single stab to which the zombie replied with a bullet to the head. As I respawned, this effectively taught me there were only one shot kills. So I attempted again and this time mashed the left mouse button to take down my first foe. I continued onward to find a gun and blew away another creature of the night. Instantly I was hooked, zombies had to die.
An hour later, I was comfortable in the skin of whoever this guy was. I learned how to evaporate through vents and use cover to protect my fleshy bits from the undead masses. The gameplay is tight and rewards proper prior planning before going in guns blazing. After some practice, I found myself able to drop into a room and take out two guys before they could draw their pieces. This may not sound impressive but when every enemy can finish you in one hit, this makes for insanely tense situations. I guess that’s what really makes this game infect my mind so much, every gun fight feels like either a perfectly executed hit or a skin of my teeth victory.
The only thing more infectious than the gameplay in Deadbolt has got to be the soundtrack. As I trekked through the halls of the house, the music would be very low as I began my infiltration and then climax as I reached my main objective. The sounds ranged from 90s hip hop style beats to 80s rush style electric riffs. If nothing else, I could play this game just for the music… Hell I may already be doing that.
Gone But Not Forgotten.
As I neared the final hour of my initial play time of Deadbolt, I started to take notice of the novel design of it all. Severed zombie heads would serve as surveillance cameras or even motion detectors for the headless sentries they were formerly attached to. The game continued to push me to try my best to navigate the ventilation and come out on top in the end. The only thing I’m a little lost on is exactly what some of the things in the game do.
Mystery is great and all, but not having a way to teach me that I can store weapons in my car (which I still haven’t really figured out) is kind of surprising. After such a meaty “here’s how to use WASD controls” tutorial level, they leave you kind of high and dry. The fire (oh yeah, you talk to living fire) does give vague hints but even those are almost solely about mission objectives. Not about the random souls I collect from each mission or the aforementioned car trunk In fact, I don’t really even know who I am three hours in! But maybe that’s the intrigue of the game. The mystery keeps me playing while scratching my head since I have no clue where the story is going. And you know what, that’s a good thing.
After my first few, I feel compelled to keep going. This game does a great job of embracing you in its clammy hands and never letting go. Each level makes you feel like you really did something significant and that’s something not many games can invoke nowadays. Good on you Hopoo Games, you’ve made me a believer.
Control method: Keyboard & Mouse
Time spent: 3 1/2 Hours
Andron (or Ace as he likes to call himself) is the so called "Head Honcho" of Bombchu.com. He has a deep passion for video games primarily RPGs, Fighting or Adventure. When not gaming, he's furiously typing on his keyboard or coming up with new schemes.