DEACRAFT is a bit of a mess. It’s trying to be all of these things at once, but it feels like the effort was thinly spread out and no single aspect of the game really stands above the rest – it’s just all kinda… basic.
Let’s start with the combat. There are some good ideas here. You basically play as a half-zombie half-human hybrid and can attack with normal human weapons like axes, knives, and guns, but also have this zombie arm to pull off special attacks. The special attacks are limited and you’ll need to chug certain items to maintain a certain level of undead to continue using them. It’s not a terrible system, it’s just coupled with some incredibly stiff and monotonous combat.
This is the type of combat where attacks cannot be canceled, staggering enemies is seemingly inconsistent, and it felt like I was fighting the survival mechanics more so than the actual enemies. At the start of the game, you can barely go two or three enemy encounters before your energy is depleted and you have to trek all the way back to home base to sleep and then cycle again once you’ve gone through the next few encounters and so on.
The game practically forces you to to dump your early skill points into increased energy, hunger, and thirst – otherwise it is a struggle to get anything done without having to make those constant trips back to home base. And even once you do have higher levels, the constant back and forth between home base and the town is really annoying. There are merchants that sell parts in the town, but no actual crafting table is available there – so it becomes this constant back and forth that grew tiring within just the first thirty minutes of the game.
And what makes that first thirty minutes worse is that it showcases the game’s shallow quest design that you’re pretty much stuck with for the rest of the experience. I quite literally had to slowly escort some dude while taking out zombies and then after that point, about 80% of the quests became simple “go here, fetch/kill this, come back” or “go home, craft this, bring it back” and the like. It is never fun to load up a new game like this, head to the mission board, and be presented with a handful of straight up fetch quests – kinda sets the expectation for how much work went into the game as a whole.
And that’s ultimately my problem with DEADCRAFT. I have so many other, better options within this very genre that why should I spend the time here playing something that just feels so unfinished. Only about 10% of the dialogue is voiced, the environments and level design are the most basic thing, and the overall game loop is just boring.
I mean, the stuff you can craft is kinda cool and the fact that you can plant bodies to grow zombies is also interesting, but it’s wasted with what the rest of the experience offers and I pretty much lost all interest after just a few hours with the game.
If you’re wondering about its performance on PC – I can at least say that I had little issue there. It runs well, no crashes, no bugs (that I’ve noticed), and the keyboard and mouse controls are not outright terrible. It’s still missing mouse navigation in the menus – which would be really nice given just how many of those there are – but otherwise it’s fine.
That said – DEADCRAFT is still unfortunately an easy pass and not worth the recommendation. The zombie-human hybrid thing is cool, but pretty much everything else about the game feels half-baked and it was honestly a struggle to play for this review.
Quote: DEADCRAFT is unfortunately not worth the time. The zombie-human hybrid thing is cool, but pretty much everything else about the game feels half-baked.
DEADCRAFT retails for $25 USD on Steam. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.