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Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

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  • Summary: Underrail is an old-school turn-based isometric indie role playing game that focuses on exploration and combat. The game is set in a distant future, when the life on the Earth’s surface has long since been made impossible and the remnants of humanity now dwell in the Underrail, a vast systemUnderrail is an old-school turn-based isometric indie role playing game that focuses on exploration and combat. The game is set in a distant future, when the life on the Earth’s surface has long since been made impossible and the remnants of humanity now dwell in the Underrail, a vast system of metro station-states. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 29, 2015
    92
    Honest, hardcore, and truer to the original Fallout vision than certain stillborn “GOTY contenders”, Underrail will absolutely delight RPG purists.
  2. Feb 5, 2016
    80
    With dozens or even hundreds hours of gameplay, tremendous replay value and low price, Underrail is a must-buy title for RPG fans that don't mind its slightly outdated visuals.
  3. CD-Action
    Mar 30, 2016
    75
    If you regard the 90s and first two Fallout games as ancient history, Underrail is not for you, because without the anesthetic power of nostalgia it might be completely indigestible. [03/2016, p.71]
  4. Jan 6, 2016
    72
    It's like an alternative Fallout with simple turn-based fights and old school atmosphere. A good tip for Fallout veterans.
  5. Jan 25, 2016
    72
    UnderRail manages to capture the spirit of the original Fallout even despite its abhorrent UI, heavy focus on combat, unforgiving character development system, and the final chapter which is basically a guide on how not to design a role-playing game.
  6. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Jan 20, 2016
    71
    If not for the Underrail Wiki, it would be all but impossible to complete some quests. The in-game journal keeps track of active quests, but makes no mention of their stages or received hints. Still, the game is good, from nice 2D graphics to challenging tactical combat to sense of exploration when every new location has some surprises in store. [Issue#205, p.56]
  7. Feb 17, 2016
    60
    Underrail is a hard and unpolished game that can challenge and entertain the most hardcore rpg lovers. Casual gamers will find its lack of production values and its unfriendliness completely off-putting.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Dec 18, 2015
    10
    A solid rpg experience, underrail remind the old classic fallout combined with deus ex and system shock (psi powers). You can make theA solid rpg experience, underrail remind the old classic fallout combined with deus ex and system shock (psi powers). You can make the character you want, choose your path and explore an enormous system of metro station and cavern (and much more) that is called the Underrail.
    Graphics is basic but it has it's own style and united with the good music and ambient vibe recreate a good visualaudio experience.
    The game also is pretty long, you can easily put 70 to 100 hours and not see everything, not to count the replay value that is very good. Recommended.
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  2. Dec 25, 2015
    10
    It's a great 2D isometric RPG, close to Fallout 2 but with more stuff added: more skills, more perks (called "feats"), tons of crafting,It's a great 2D isometric RPG, close to Fallout 2 but with more stuff added: more skills, more perks (called "feats"), tons of crafting, psionic abilities (they let you play like a mage in a fantasy RPG and allow interesting kiting tactics). It's also pretty close to Wasteland 2 though you only control 1 character. If you liked Fallout 2, Wasteland 2, Divinity Original Sin, XCom games or Jagged Alliance 2 then you will likely enjoy this game, too. Actually, this game is better than Fallout 2. Gee, did I say that? Yes, I did.

    The good:
    - a huge world to explore with a great atmosphere
    - some excellent dialog with witty social satire later in the game
    - all of the loot can be used in crafting
    - psionic abilities offer an additional way to play thru the game (e.g. with Force Field you can create cover against ranged attackers for a turn or two, or you can even block enemies with it and escape the level)
    - the color of the cursor shows if opening a door or a container will anger NPCs around it (if they see you opening/hacking/lockpicking it)
    - already checked containers have "empty" word added to their tooltip

    The so-so:
    - NPCs only barter for a limited set of items (like, "i'll only buy from you 3 leathers, 3 medical components, 3 weapons and nothing else"). If you are a completionist (compulsively greedy looter) like myself, you'll carry all the junk around and re-check the same NPCs over and over because the list of things they want to buy randomly updates. Soon you will be swimming in money, but there isn't much to buy. Btw that guy in Core City... ROFL
    - the 2D art may seem a bit amateurish at start. I'd even say they may need to redraw most of the character portraits with more detail to match the rest of the graphics in the game, like environment in Junkyard and Core City. Some portraits are re-used across characters (docs in Rail Crossing and Core City, and a nurse in SGS) - important characters should have had a unique portrait and everyone else maybe no portrait at all

    The bad (more like suggestions for the next update):
    - no map of zones (see below)
    - a bug in Force Field spell: I understand that the field should expire (disappear) after the AI has done its turn and before you do your turn - but sometimes it expires in the middle of enemy turn
    - in cramped locations it may be not easy to spot enemies behind walls -> have to press Tab for the tooltips too often. It might be a good option to toggle display of tooltips with Tab, not just showing them while Tab is pressed
    - the cave walls all look like thin 1-cell thick wall, even if it's an outer wall. This might not look like a big problem, but in fact it really gives the caves this "auto-generated" low-budget feel, especially because there are so many cave zones in the game. Maybe the wall tiles which aren't between corridors but are between a corridor and solid rock shouldn't show any thickness and instead just show black for solid rock. Also, the walls which aren't visible to the player (looking north or west) should be shown as black space. Currently caves look more like tubes hanging in black empty space
    - the GUI doesn't scale for bigger monitors. The GUI elements are all pixel-crisp but look very small on 1920x1080. Also the fonts are somewhat hard to read - simple Arial or Verdana would work better

    About the map:
    Fans have already made such a map of zones on the game's wiki, but 1) it's awkward to alt+tab to those maps while playing the game, 2) some maps are not accurate which adds to the confusion, 3) seeing all those zones you haven't yet seen in the game breaks the exploration feeling during the first playthru

    Such a map could be shown only when you use a special "Navigator" item which also could be crafted and consumed batteries (per look at the map). Ideally the navigator should be able to calculate and show a path from the zone where you currently are to any other explored zone where you want to go, if a connection thru explored zones exists (should show rocks to be cleared, too).

    Less patient players can be turned off as soon as they get lost in the endless caves and sub-metro zones. It would be more logical if the zones would fit into a grid, like in JA2 - this would also make the map much easier to draw and present - as the current fans' map in the wiki stretches and bends lines to fit it all in.
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  3. Dec 18, 2015
    10
    The game is everything everyone hoped for it will be.
    It has been a long time for Fallout players, but Fallout 3 is finally released after 17
    The game is everything everyone hoped for it will be.
    It has been a long time for Fallout players, but Fallout 3 is finally released after 17 years since the last one.
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  4. Mar 19, 2016
    9
    Let me get started quickly. I simply love the atmosphere. I get lost roaming the rails, the caves, the tunnels, the abandoned warehouses - forLet me get started quickly. I simply love the atmosphere. I get lost roaming the rails, the caves, the tunnels, the abandoned warehouses - for no particular reason, just waiting for the next interesting encounter or nasty surprise down the road. I revel in the ambiental music, which picks up the pace smoothly when combat starts. The general theme is bizzaro-techno-cyber/steampunk depending on which area you're on. I fool you not, I had the feeling I was exploring the Hub, the Glow or some dark alley in Necropolis more often than not. There is also a strange coolness and attention to detail that usually defines everything: stylish art direction and intentional retro fitting. The gunshots have just the right kick to them, the echoes and screeching sounds in the caves are exactly the right fit. Even the neon flashes in the dump, gritty, grimy, depressing dread dystopic metro stations have the right sound to them.

    "More often than not" is the word to remember here. More often than not, Underrail gets things right; it delivers on atmosphere, combat and mechanics, exploration, inventory system, stats, skills and "perks" and quests. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    The highlight piece of the game (but you should know this already) is the turn based combat system. Take Fallout's combat system and reimagine it into a more complex counterpart. Add cooldowns, movement points in addition to action points, interesting cloaking and hide in shadow mechanics and we've got a winner. To be honest, this is the most maturely developed turn-based combat system I've seen in a while in an isometric RPG. Hats off Styg, you've managed to outperform even established developers - Wasteland 2 for example doesn't even come close, in my view. Well, if you were to be extremely picky, you could say that a proper cover system is missing. Also, multi-level combat a la Jagged Alliance 2. Or, from the same game, ducking or going into prone positions. To Underrail's defense: remember this is not a tactical game with RPG elements (as much as it may seem at times :wink:) - but quite "au contraire".

    I'd like to say at this point that no matter what builds you'll be experimenting with, you are going to miss a lot without being at least partly invested in PSI abilities. Needless to say that mind-affecting abilities aside, those fire, ice, electricity and telekinesis attacks will just come in handy when dealing with a large variety of enemies, each packing a different flavour of resistances. The usual archetype builds you'll meet are the PSIchopath, chiller, firestarter, electronist, gunner, cutter or invisible stalker with a crossbow. Expect to meet anything in between. There are mostly two approaches when talking about defense: one, you can pack the heaviest suit of metal armor that you'll find and become essentially a tank (and try to resist almost every attack) but suffer movement, evasion and stealth penalties. Two, go as light as possible and invest in actually evading the bullets and dodging the cranium-targeted sledgehammers. By going with light armour, you'll keep your ability to be effective at stealth and make it your life's purpose to actually avoid getting hit in the first place. Now, the plus side to this approach is you'll attack first and surprise your enemies more. On the down side, expect to risk being put down by a single, well-aimed sniper rifle bullet, simply because your armour doesn't have the stopping power to withstand the mechanical impact. My views on defense are quite biased - to quote a line from a favorite game of mine, "neither view is balanced, but one is less unwise".

    Speaking of enemies, a scavenger named Marty once told me that there be bandits around; robbers; raiders; outlaws; marauders; gangsters; criminals; crooks; thieves; railroadmen; thugs... his own words you know. Don't get me wrong; packs of rathounds, bugs, giant insects, lizards, spiders, or even robots - can be menacing in most situations, especially when they surround you or surprise you. However, *nothing* really compares to dealing with a roomful of human enemies, no matter what faction or allegiance. The fact that they can and *will* use the entire arsenal at their disposal and all the offensive capabilities that *you* yourself can, well, that makes them downright dangerous. At most times you'll have a chance to prepare for assault, which is tactical goodness right there. You can position yourself, hide in shadows or trap the room if your skill is high enough. Attacking first allows you to pick targets close together and blast them with grenades, EMP their energy shields or simply mass PSI them with fire, ice, electricity, telekinesis or mind-control abilities, instilling fear or mass enrage. Carnage is guaranteed and a lot of itemy swag will be left on the corpses, for pillaging purposes.

    Just pick up this piece. You'll remember it for a long while and never regret it.
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  5. Dec 18, 2015
    9
    Underrail is a game that I have had my eye on for quite some time. Years, in fact - I initially purchased into the Underrail early accessUnderrail is a game that I have had my eye on for quite some time. Years, in fact - I initially purchased into the Underrail early access back in 2013. Despite the unfinished build at that time, Underrail's brilliance was evident and brought joy to this jaded RPG lover's soul seldom found outside of those first teenage forays into the worlds of Fallout and Arcanum.

    You create a single character to explore Underrail's immersive underground world full of danger, competing factions and mystery. The character generation clearly borrows from the earlier Fallout titles, using 7 ability scores, skill points and feats, the later of which are heavily gated behind ability and skill requirements. The system feels familiar and deep enough for RPG veterans to immediately begin theorycrafting and planning character builds for subsequent playthroughs. A PC can spend skill points in a variety of general weapon skills such as guns, crossbows or unarmed; you can eventually specialize further via feats, into a field like energy weapons, for example. There are diplomatic, crafting and psionic skills available as well, seemingly allowing a huge variety of builds and experiences in Underrail.

    Underrail's combat uses a competent turn-based system utilizing action points, again similar to Fallout, or more recent releases such as Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin. Your character build, special abilities and relatively low action point cost per ability give you a lot of options in combat. Definitely more than standing around, taking pot shots at your opponent's eyes, anyway. Combat on normal difficulty feels just about right after spending roughly thirty minutes with the character generator to create, what I hope will continue to be, a well functioning character.

    Gameplay out of combat is where Underrail really shines. Your character build comes into play heavily when interacting with the game world. Genre standard locked doors, computers to be hacked and pockets to be picked are everywhere, of course. If you specialize in diplomatic skills, Underrail provides you with opportunities to apply them to turn combat situations to your favor, or avoid them entirely. An encounter fairly early in the game allows for a handful of resolutions, from stealth, speech skills, technical skills or, of course, charging forward, guns blazing. This type of thought and accommodation for a variety of character builds is what the RPG genre should ultimately be about, and Underrail nails it.

    My gripes with Underrail are few and far between, but need mentioning to validate a score of 9/10. What most people will immediately notice are the game's rough graphics. Character models reflect gear worn, which is a huge plus, but they don't look too great regardless. The interface is simple and effective, but could benefit from more artistic framing, similar to Fallout or Wasteland 2. The art direction is consistent and serviceable, but Underrail just looks dated overall, which will, unfortunately, turn many people off. On a related note, Underrail's musical score is fantastic. Grammar nerds will notice some issues throughout many of Underrail's branching dialogue trees.

    Underrail is a game literally brimming with promise and excitement. Even despite the recent renaissance of old school computer RPGs, Underrail looks to be able to count itself among the best of them. I have yet to complete the game, which likely won't occur for quite some time, but I have nothing but the highest of expectations for what is to come from the rest of this brilliant game. If you are at all into this genre, you would be a fool to not pick this game up.
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  6. Dec 23, 2015
    8
    Underrail is a solid RPG set in a huge underground world. The story and writing are serviceable, but it's the atmosphere and diverseUnderrail is a solid RPG set in a huge underground world. The story and writing are serviceable, but it's the atmosphere and diverse turn-based combat that sells it. It does however have some pretty frustrating features or oversights that are typical of old-school games, such as massively time-consuming inventory management / trading, difficulty spikes, no map and often vague quest notes, etc. etc.. Part of what makes the game appealing is trying to find ways to overcome these obstacles, but not everyone will be up for that.

    If you're worried about the graphics, don't be: they are good enough to never be distracting. I particularly like the character sprites which are well animated.
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  7. Jun 22, 2017
    0
    Don't waste your time, little enjoyment reward in an RPG such as this.

    Pros: -Great crafting system -Good passive skill system where
    Don't waste your time, little enjoyment reward in an RPG such as this.

    Pros:
    -Great crafting system
    -Good passive skill system where stats only affect passive skills to a small degree

    Cons:
    -Stats are tied to feats, limiting customization
    -Combat is much harder without stealth and frustrating (enemies often get the jump on you, when you enter combat your opponents go first)
    -Dialogue isn't creative, often dull
    -Inventory is messy
    -No mini-map, need to remember a lot of things
    -Graphics not great
    -Certain sounds hurt my ears (game pissed me off so quick, luckily you can disable environmental sounds)
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See all 23 User Reviews