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FamiTom

Death Road to Canada - 15 Hours In

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Posted (edited)

Some of you might have heard me talk about this game a lot. Don't just take my word for this, it recently became the past week's top-selling game on the eShop. The game is set in a reality where the world has become infested with zombies, and you have to traverse the hordes and loot supplies to get to Canada, the last remaining nation on earth.  The best way I can describe it is like an Oregon Trail spinoff, but with funny-as-hell turns and zombie fighting intermissions. It has you pick-and-choose options in a crap ton of scenarios that could all end really well or really badly. There are a lot of reasons why I love Death Road to Canada, and here are a few.

1. The Difficulty

Death Road's difficulty is done so perfectly that it never gets frustrating. Like I could have just died after a 35-minute long session where I was about to cross the border and I'll just laugh it off and start anew. The thing about this game is, whenever your party dies, It's back to the very beginning. I don't know about you, but when I buy a game, I want it to last. I never buy a game without being 100% sure that I will enjoy it (the fact that I picked this up on day one should tell you something). This game will last me for so long that the 40-ish minute gameplay will take me a year to beat on all the difficulties. Death Road is definitely a difficult game, but not a frustrating one. Extra Credits has a great video on this which might explain how I feel:

Currently I'm sitting on 1 win for more than 50 losses and strangely enough, that doesn't bother me at all.

2. The Couch Co-op

So you know how most games with couch co-op have vertical or even - god forbid - horizontal split screen for each player to see what they're doing? Death Road makes this SO much better. The game is centred around staying close as a team and not letting hordes surround you, so there's no need for split-screen. Both players share one screen, which works well in tabletop mode as well as docked. This is great because the multiplayer makes the game so much better. Don't get me wrong, though. Playing alone is fun too, but with a friend, you know you're gonna laugh your ass off. Single-player is fun because of the gameplay, but multiplayer works well because of the difficulty and humour that the game has to offer.

3. The Gameplay

This is one of those games where even in unavoidable fight-or-die sieges,  the combat isn't the game's top priority, and that works out just fine. You'll find yourself running past them as quickly as possible often, and using unique characters in different situations. Your characters' skills may decide who's gonna take the hits, or who should lead the party. Your top priority should never be to just kill zombies, the game doesn't work that way. Instead, the top thing on your to-do list should be to gather all the precious resources you can get your hands on. Food, gas, medical supplies, bullets and weapons will always run out at one point in your adventure, and so you want to gather plenty to trade at camps or recruit new members. What I call the road-trip scenarios (the Oregon Trail part) heavily influence the way you'll win or lose. And in a game like Death Road, that's okay.

4. The Characters

 Death Road lets you create custom characters, which each come with a Perk, which gives you a leg up in certain situations related to things like strength, medical experience or car repair and a Trait, which helps you out in those RNG scenarios. Things like the charming personality, where you won't get robbed or backstabbed, the civilized personality, where you're the most trustworthy person on your team, and even the anime fan, which gives you a katana (I don't really know either). You can add all of your friends and enemies to the game and watch how they leave you in the dirt, help you out, or get killed (fun). Perks and Traits are unlockable as you play the game, and you get to chose which ones you unlock. There are also Rare Characters with special looks and skills that you can't make or find anywhere else that only sometimes appear to help you out. These features really add a spice of random in a game where certain events might otherwise get repetitive.

 

5. The Replayability

Because of the difficulty and the RNG in this game, coupled with all the different and challenging game modes there are, each with their own new twist, the game manages to re-use and recycle an hour of the actual game into months of endless fun, in a way that works really well. Here's a quick run-down:

Normal mode

Familiar characters mode - Normal mode but normal characters are substituted for the customs that you made

Long winding road - Extra long

Short trip to heck - Shorter but less time to prepare

Rare characters - The super rare characters become common

Deadlier Road - Take a wild guess

Marathon Mode

 K*E*P*A - Play as the game dev and earn a "cheevo"

Extreme modes of some of the game modes listed above can be unlocked

Complaints:

Sadly, not everything about Death Road is perfect. I know I've sung the praises of its multiplayer, but it still leaves me wanting more. Online play isn't available, and for someone like me with not many friends close by, that can be an issue. I would be okay with that if there were LAN play included, but no dice there either. And even though the game lets you recruit four people to your party, only 2 player couch co-op is supported. However, I asked on an AMA and apparently, 4-player is planned for later this year. That would come in real handy when I'm throwing a party again!

On portable mode, there's some noticeable lag. Not enough to stop me from playing or to make the game any harder, but it might not look as visually pleasing as you might have hoped if you want to take it with you. But hey, it's a miracle that I can even take it with me at all on the go considering this game was meant for the PS4, Xbox One and Steam.

 

Alright, I think I'm just about ready to give this game a final score: 

4 Weirdos Out Of 5 - Needs More Multiplayer

rating.jpg.a62cd25fed903771a64be67602ed6853.jpg

Pros:

 -  Perfect difficulty scaling that's deliciously hard but never frustrating

 -  Couch co-op doesn't affect your enjoyment for the worse and makes you laugh your ass off every time

 -  Gameplay works fine with the hilarious RNG stories

 -  Custom Characters

 -  Replayability multiplier: 1000

 -  laughs to be had

 

Cons:

 -  Only 2-player couch co-op

 -  No online play or even LAN

 -  Noticeable lag on portable mode

 -  Might not be quite as fun if you're always alone or hate re-playing parts of the same game over again

Edited by FamiTom
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I know you’ve said it is still worth it as a single-player game, but I just can’t get past how much more I would enjoy this game in local multiplayer. 

I have been dying to get Cuphead, but I always talk myself out of it for the same reason. 

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11 minutes ago, JNASTY said:

I know you’ve said it is still worth it as a single-player game, but I just can’t get past how much more I would enjoy this game in local multiplayer. 

I have been dying to get Cuphead, but I always talk myself out of it for the same reason. 

Cuphead is more of a “ragequit” game than Death Road, although they’re both hard. You might be more determined to finish Death Road than Cuphead. But I definitely see where you’re coming from. This might get a little repetitive without the occasional multiplayer session thrown in. Which is why it’s such a shame that there’s no online! 

By the way, if you want to play Cuphead online, google Parsec. Just a little tip :)

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On 6/3/2018 at 5:14 PM, FamiTom said:

Think I wrote that somewhere already 

643x0w.jpg

No, I'm talking about ORGAN trail. You did mention how it was similar to OREGON Trail, but in ORGAN TRAIL you are driving across the zombie infested US in a station wagon. People get bit instead of dysentery. You have to forage for supplies and shoot zombie attackers instead of hunting. It was super fun and super hard on my PS4.

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51 minutes ago, Jonny B. Goode said:

643x0w.jpg

No, I'm talking about ORGAN trail. You did mention how it was similar to OREGON Trail, but in ORGAN TRAIL you are driving across the zombie infested US in a station wagon. People get bit instead of dysentery. You have to forage for supplies and shoot zombie attackers instead of hunting. It was super fun and super hard on my PS4.

Ooooooh. It’s like death road but more Oregon trail-ey!

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Can you play as that Link character all the time? I’m such a Zelda nerd that that fact alone might make it worth a pick up. 

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3 minutes ago, JNASTY said:

Can you play as that Link character all the time? I’m such a Zelda nerd that that fact alone might make it worth a pick up. 

He’s a rare character, so some sort of trait might let you transform into him over time, but otherwise you’ll have to waste hours finding him or try your luck in rare characters mode. You shouldn’t get too attached to anyone in your party either. They die A LOT.

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He’s a rare character, so some sort of trait might let you transform into him over time, but otherwise you’ll have to waste hours finding him or try your luck in rare characters mode. You shouldn’t get too attached to anyone in your party either. They die A LOT.





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