Othercide is a single-player, role-playing horror adventure strategy game developed by Lightbulb Crew and published by Focus Home Interactive. You are humanity’s last hope and command the Daughters, the only people who can stand up to Suffering and death. Daughters are the echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, known as Mother. In Othercide, you will die, you will fail, and you will rise again.
Players will play through Recollections; there are seven days in a Recollection. A Recollection is like a run/window of time to battle enemies and prepare your Daughters for the boss at the end of each run. And, on the seventh day, you confront the boss.
Each day you can take on a number of missions as long as your Daughters are not tired. However, after each battle, your Daughters fatigue. Depending on how many battles are available in a day, you can indulge in combat as long as you have Daughters available. However, this is when difficult choices come in. Battles are categorized by Hard, Challenging, and Impossible. As rewards increase, this is an indication of how difficult a battle will be. As you level up your Daughters, and once you hit a certain experience threshold, you can learn new abilities. These abilities can determine life or death.
While playing Othercide, you will spend your time equally on the battlefield, which consists of grid-based maps, and in menus tending to your army. The prep stage for combat consists of the Birthing Pool where you can create more Daughters so long as you have vitae. Vitae is a currency that can be earned after completing missions.
On the battlefield, you and your enemies take turns attacking one another. You can always keep track of your and your enemy’s actions by using the Dynamic Timeline System. This feature is amazing because no matter what action a character takes, it shows up on the Timeline. You are always in the know and can react accordingly. You can attack instantly, you can delay an attack, or you can react to enemy movements and attacks to try to interrupt the enemy.
Daughters have three classes to choose from: Shieldbreaker, Blademaster, and Soulsinger. The Shieldbreaker wields a spear and massive shield. She is the strongest of the sisters with high defense. Blademasters wield long swords and are able to dish out massive damage with a single swipe of her blade, but she is the most vulnerable. Soulsingers brandish dual pistols and are able to attack many times and interrupt foes to protect her sisters. Each character is useful in the fight for Humanity and has great synergy with one another!
While dishing out damage and interrupting an enemy’s attacks, you need to watch your Action Points (AP). You have a total of 100 AP. If you use 50 or less, you will appear in the middle of the Dynamic Timeline System and you can attack sooner, sometimes before the enemy can make an attack. Using any more is called Burst and you will end up at the end of the Timeline, and your enemies will attack you more frequently. While using 50 or less AP is great, sometimes you have to make the tough call to Burst and thin the herd, making your battles more manageable.
You can also continue your onslaught with attacks at the cost of a small percentage of your HP. However, be careful, resting your Daughters by going to the next day does not heal them. You can only sacrifice a Daughter if they are at the same level or higher. For example, if you’re Shieldbreaker is level 3 and badly hurt and it’s your favorite unit, you can sacrifice another unit that’s level 3 or higher, to heal said unit. This is one of the many difficult choices you will have to make during the course of your playthroughs. In making the decision to sacrifice a unit to heal your damaged unit, you get a random stat from the sacrificed Daughter added to the one you healed.
Death is inevitable. While the Dynamic Timeline System is your friend, players will slip up and make a mistake. The great thing is that the Codex is there to help players learn more about their enemies and you can view your Daughters in the Cemetery to either revive or, if you’re low on resources, create another Daughter in your favorite skill build or build a completely different one. Daughters can be resurrected by using a Bright Soul or the effect of Rememberances. Bright Souls are attained from completing Rescue Missions.
Rememberances, on the other hand, unlock randomly during a battle and can be used during a Recollection, as long as you have enough Shards. The further you progress in a Recollection, the more Shards you can accumulate. When all your Daughters are defeated and it’s time to start anew, you can purchase perks to help you in the coming fights.
The addition of the Codex specifically, which is an encyclopedia of all the characters you meet in your fight for Humanity, is extremely helpful especially when you need to refresh your memory on how to take down a foe. You’ll also find within the Codex info on Memories and Events. Memories belong to Mother and are unlocked as you take down foes. These Memories not only add backstory to the characters but you can also use Memories to strengthen your Daughters’ attacks.
Othercide is also a visually interesting game, with the only colors used being white, black, and red. In addition to the nightmarish creatures you must vanquish, the art direction hones in on that horror theme, with levels being in dilapidated cities, and sometimes forcing players to fight in heavy rain. The black and white also makes everything feel so bleak.
As stated, you play as Daughters who are all women. Their color schemes are also white, black, red, with the red making the characters pop. You’re able to tell the difference between each character by their hairstyle and outfits. The soundtrack is equally good adding to the horror feel but also giving off stressed vibes. When facing a boss, just from the music alone you feel like you’re in the thick of it.
What also stands out for this game, despite being difficult, is the simplicity of the game. After Mother’s tutorial on how to defeat your foes, menus on how to manage your Daughters start to open up and it can be a lot. However, the learning curve is pretty gentle and the only things that become difficult are the enemies and the choices you have to make.
In the course of this review, I have lost to the first boss three times. I tried many different strategies and, although the boss was a challenge, I was ready to go at it again each time I failed, using all the perks that I had at my fingertips. I reviewed where I went wrong with my Daughters’ skills and considered different team compositions. I was attached to all the Daughters I created but I reminded myself that death was not the end, I just needed the means to resurrect my favorite ones or continue to train those that were healthy and performed well in battle.
Othercide is a difficult but satisfying and rewarding experience. From the art design to the music to the challenging battles and management system, players will get lost in this horror strategy for hours!
Othercide is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Othercide is a difficult but satisfying and rewarding experience. From the art design to the music to the challenging battles and management, players will get lost in this horror strategy for hours!