Review by Richard Winstone
IRATUS: Lord of the Dead, Can this unusual take on the Rogue genre take of will it be left for dead……
Raising up from from the depths of Unfrozen’s development team comes another rogue-like game, taking inspiration from the Darkest Dungeon, Dungeon Keeper, you can see where this is going but with a new twist, this time you’re the bad guy.
Iratus is a powerful necromancer who has been contained for centuries, Locked away in a tomb awaiting his chance to escape. With the world in impending doom, he awakens to fulfill his ambition of ruling the world before its too late….
Time to bring forth your darkest creation and rebuild your undead army or perish as a forgotten foe.
At first glance, you’re introduced to a very dark, sinister world with very detailed environments, you learn quickly that this rouge title doesn’t just rely solely on physical damage, but many abilities can cause stress damage, to a point where enemies become irrational attacking the own allies and even causing death by heart failure.
There is a strange satisfaction to being evil, harvesting the corpses of your victims, to gain body parts to create new more powerful monsters, compete in-game task i.e so many kills, reach a particular level to unlock new more powerful minions.
If you can keep your minions alive they will level up improving and changing their abilities, granting armor buffs, increased damage you can also replace parts are you find higher quality parts or use alchemy to combine and improve low-grade hearts you have harvested.
the better the bits the stronger your minions are if your lucky you may harvest the occasional brian allowing you to insert it into a minion instantly leveling them up.
Iratus himself never directly engages the enemy, but from the shadows, he can cast a range of buffs or low key damage/stress spells this does drain your mana however so use them wisely.
As you murder the pesky humans you gain souls allowing you to reawaken your necromancer skills from harvesting more parts to igniting the entire enemy team on fire, or providing armor buffs and allowing your team to switch positions.
In between battles you get the chance to construct your base of operations, allowing you to set minion to building to give buffs, a careful balancing act is needed to be successful, too many minions used will leave your army to weakened in undead minions, to little and the lack of buff will make progress difficult.
In typical dungeon crawler style you have a choice of paths, do you pick the path of least resistance, or try and capitalize on parts and key features like quest point and the ability to sacrifice your minions at an alter to gain powerful items.
I won’t lie regular readers will know this, I’m not a rouge RPG kinda guy, even so, the in-game tutorial is pretty thorough, its doesn’t show you how to beat the game but definitely sets you on the right path you will fail it’s the whole point of the genre, die, learn, start again, get further, die, learn kill your first boss.
It’s a little frustrating at first when we all so used to plod through games because the easy setting is a cakewalk, but the rouge genre really adds a sense of achievement when you finally figure out how to kill particular enemies and take out your first elite enemy squad.
I have really enjoyed my time with Iratus and will continue to play it’s hooked me I need to get to level 4. Any rouge fans out there with any general tips drop a comment below.
Overall the graphics are great, the gameplay is challenging, the base building system is a nice edition and playing the bad guy is priceless. Id like to congratulate Unfrozen on one of the best indy games I have played in a while this game is Hound approved.