This game was written with a review copy of the game during the Early Access phase.
Nether is an open world game set in a post-apocalyptic setting, as a survivor you must travel the open worlds and survive for as long as possible, finding companions and enemies along the way. The game has just come out of Steam’s Early Access program, and as such the road ahead still looks a little rocky for this title, but hopefully the developers will iron out the creases and inject a little more life into the game.
When you first jump into the world of Nether you must register your account, a process that is tedious to say the least. You must purchase and install the game, then use a browser to create your account as the registration process isn’t currently built into the game. Once you’ve created your account, you must then link it to your Steam account, a process which at the end made me want to take a break and that’s before I ever booted the game up for the first time. Once this is all done, you’re free to jump onto a server of your choosing, but sever names here are confusing to say the least, they all appear to look the same and don’t allow for any customization. The same can be said for player customization, currently there aren’t a lot of features you can change apart from clothing colours and basic facial details and of course the skill tree which is fully customizable to your playstyle.
Jumping into the game things start to improve as the visuals are quite stunning, the post apocalyptic world is captured well and each section of the map has a different vibe. Outdoor environments are filled with plenty of objects to look at, from half destroyed vehicles to torn down buildings and ghost towns to fiery bonfires. Once you enter a building that outlook evaporates quickly, the internal environments lack any love and the oddly placed objects such as couches and chairs feel as though they’ve been added just to break up the bleak grey walls and not to create a survivor riddled world.
Looting is a major aspect of the game, allowing you to find supplies almost anywhere in the game world. Loot points are random, so this does encourage players to travel and look into the nooks and crannies on the map that most people wouldn’t dare or bother to explore. You can sell looted items in the shop, but currently the prices are all over the place. Selling a pack of trading cards for example will give you $20 which can buy you a packet of crisps which regenerates a tiny portion of health, as such the shop is a last resort when it comes to purchasing food or medicines as it can quickly drain you of looted items.
Despite the servers being able to hold up to 64 players, most of my time was spent talking to others via the chat option. I came across very few players during my time in the game, which is disappointing as playing with others can give you a different perspective. Player interactions are few and far between, though I hope that now the game is out of Early Access more gamers will flock to the world of Nether and roam its deserted cities and vast landscapes. Despite my disappointment for not meeting any players, I did come across a fair few of the in-game enemies known as Nether. These mysterious creatures can pop up at anytime and can strike without much warning. They roam the wastelands and also have the ability to teleport, meaning they can pop up behind you to take advantage. They didn’t prove to be much of a challenge, even with a butter knife, but they did put up a fight especially when in packs. Despite that, Nether are your greatest concern, even more so that rogue players as they won’t stop following you no matter how far you travel. Once you grab the attention of a Nether it’s good to say they’re along for the ride, their teleporting ability means that can travel through walls, floors and ceilings to find you, players just give up the chase if you run long enough.