Dysmantle, developed and published by 10tons Ltd, is an indie zombie survival and crafting game, which is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and XBox. For the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
Dysmantle is a very typical zombie survival game on the surface, however, there are a few unique and fun twists. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world with zombies roaming around waiting for you to go within sniffing distance of them before they attack you. You start off with the most basic of equipment and, as you progress, you’ll gradually be able to gather crafting materials. These can then be used to upgrade everything by using the raw materials that you can harvest from quite literally EVERYTHING in the world around you. When I say you can destroy and harvest resources from everything, I mean everything. Initially you aren’t able to destroy certain things because you don’t have the correct equipment, but as you progress you’ll be able to upgrade and eventually destroy these things and gather the ingredients you need for crafting even more items.
First and foremost - Dysmantle is HUGE. I have spent over thirty hours in total now and I still don’t believe I’ve discovered the whole map. The game does start off quite slowly as initially you’ll come across a lot of things that you can’t harvest from and you’ll start to wonder what you CAN harvest. How did I solve this? I just hit all the things! As you move onwards you’ll find things block your path and be a major obstruction for you - in due course this obstacle will be nothing more than a resource for you once you upgrade enough to destroy it.
This leads me to one of my favourite parts of Dysmantle - everything feels like progress. Every single piece of wood I harvested; every random object that I chopped down with my crowbar - it all felt like progress. Usually I find these sorts of crafting and harvesting games to feel quite mundane and repetitive, but there was something that was constantly drawing me more and more into Dysmantle. After spending 8 hours solid exploring around the map, I sat there questioning why I felt so engaged in this game and even still I can’t pinpoint it exactly. I think the closest I can come is it felt like a fantastic, mindless game to relax with; however, that's not entirely true because it's an incredibly dangerous and aggressive world with zombies roaming around waiting for you to wander into their path. Alongside this, there are plenty of puzzles to figure out to keep your mind occupied - needless to say there is an exceptional amount of content to keep you busy throughout Dysmantle.
I think for me, the major attraction was that everything felt progressive and purposeful. Dysmantle does a fantastic job of moving along at just the perfect pace for you. You’ll always be progressing in something and as you move along in the story you’ll be able to spend perk points in the very well developed and mapped out skill tree. You can gain abilities to have wildlife fight alongside you; you can craft turrets as defence and make them stronger - the possibilities are endless and what you invest your precious skill points into is entirely your decision and can be totally catered to your playstyle. Alongside what you see initially on the skill tree, there are also entire sections of the tree that are hidden from you until you reach certain criteria in terms of stats. So there really is an endless world of possibilities found in the game and even after my 30 hours I still have an unreal amount to do and discover. So for people who like good value for money in terms of play time - Dysmantle is for you.
Overall, I really love Dysmantle and couldn’t recommend it more. I’m a big fan of survival games like Green Hell and The Forest, but at times they felt a little bit too intense and I couldn’t really unwind with them. However, I find games like Minecraft too aimless and player driven to enjoy. Dysmantle really struck the balance between a relaxing experience and a fun survival experience but guided the player well in the things that will help them progress. As previously mentioned, Dysmantle is absolutely jam packed with content and will keep you entertained for hours.
Lj’s Rating: 4.5 face eating zombies out of 5.
For more information on Dysmantle please use the following links...
Many thanks to 10tons Ltd for the Review Key.