review by special guest editor Focks
(Editors note: this is a very long game, and due to print time constraints, only about 4 hours of game play were unlocked.)
I Shall Remain is an indie, post-apocalyptic, ARPG zombie game, Published and developed by Scorpius Games. Set in the aftermath of WW2, the Nazis have released a deadly virus in the US. The game tells the story of two brothers and their relation to the world that emerged because of the virus. ISR has real time character progression and RPG systems, over 100 abilities, many weapons and weapon enhancers, plenty of infected, 20+ mutations, a large amount of NPCs and teammates all in a 20+ hour long campaign. Weapons include melee: such as knives, swords, pipes, brass knuckles, and many more Small arms: pistols and SMGs, Rifles, Shotguns And heavy weapons: flamethrower rocket launchers.
Each weapon has at least 4 levels of effects and bullets can be enhanced. Grenades, mines and flares can be found throughout the game and the player can pick up objects in the environment and injured NPCs. Occasionally there are vehicles the player can control and use its weapons. Throughout the game there will be buildings for the player to explore which can have items inside.
You gain experience from everything you do in ISR. Whatever your playstyle is, the game will grant you experience in the places you need it. Doctrines allow you to improve attributes and/or give you abilities and each doctrine can be upgraded. There are currently 128 doctrines in ISR. Serum is the currency in ISR. There are traders that buy and sell things for serum such as weapons, medkits, ammo, and flashlight batteries. You can upgrade ammo with serum and use it to control your characters infection.
There are quests in ISR similar to real life scenarios. They add on to the story of the game. About half of the quests in the game aren’t related to the main story line. The side quests help the player immerse themselves into the game world.Fatigue builds up when your character is outside. It affects hp and stamina regen and your chances of properly aiming. There doesn’t seem to be very many places to rest. There are many places for you to scavenge for items in the game. Every weapon has a durability. You can repair them yourself, with scrap you get from dismantling items, or find an npc or teammate to do it. There are plenty of teammates and you can choose what skills they get. You control the weapons they use. There is a detection meter in ISR. Shooting a gun, using your flashlight, and running raise it. Melee weapons, walking, high infection and no flashlight lower it.
Overall ISR is a well made zombie rpg with a decent story. I like the fact that it is set right after WW2. It has plenty of weapons and many skills to choose from. The fact that you gain xp based on what you do it offers many different playstyles and seems to have some replayability. There is a survival mode and a permadeath option for story mode.
A few very small negatives about ISR: If you disable shadows, the dark holes in the ground that zombies come from reflects the environment. When you kill an enemy they release red clouds that can obstruct vision. The camera clips through background buildings and weapons degrade too fast.
I Shall Remain is a good game and is totally worth $15 if you enjoy zombies, top-down ARPGs or both. This is a game i would recommend others that are looking for a zombie game.