Die Young – Quick Game Review (Early Access)

Die Young – Quick Game Review (Early Access)
Die Young (PC [Reviewed])
Developer: IndieGala
Publisher: IndieGala

Die Young is a first person, open world survival exploration game that is currently in early access on Steam.

You play as a young woman who’s been kidnapped, and stranded on a dangerously beautiful island. You have no idea why you’re here, but you must find a way to survive, and escape. The story premise is interesting, and drove me to want to explore, and find more information. However, since the game is in early access, there’s no closure for the time-being, so I admit was a bit sad that the story isn’t finished yet.

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Die Young’s gameplay focuses heavily on exploration, parkour, and survival. There are main quest objectives, but also several side missions become available as you explore the map. The open world allows you to freely explore the different landmarks around the map at your own pace. The exploration is great, and you find more information about the events that have taken place on the island and look for clues on how to escape.

The best part of the exploration is all the parkour that you get to do to reach some locations. I found the parkour very enjoyable. The motion and controls feel fluid, and the parts of the terrain you are able to grab onto are typically easy to notice because they usually have white paint on them. There were a few jumps that I encountered that were long distance jumps, and timing played a huge role in making successful jumps. Running and climbing uses stamina though, so you’ll have to be careful to not run out of stamina while climbing and fall to your death. 

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There is no character progression system, but you can find items that give you bonuses, such as the running shoes that give you more stamina, or the backpack that gives you more inventory space. There aren’t a lot of items implemented yet, so it will be nice when more gear is available.

Aside from stamina, you’ll also need to monitor your health bar. Early on in the game, you will be defenseless, so you’ll want to avoid combat until you have the tools to fight back. Later on, you’ll find recipes to craft tools to be able to fight back. The tools all have durability though, so you’ll have to keep crafting new ones, which can be a bit annoying since they don’t seem to last very long. Even with a weapon though, you’re still pretty vulnerable, so just because you can fight, doesn’t mean you should. If you do happen to die, you’ll respawn at the last campfire location that you saved at. 

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Thirst is another survival aspect you’ll need to manage. You’ll want to scavenge for food and find water sources to stay hydrated. Eating food restores some missing health, but hunger isn’t in the game yet. Thirst mechanics are pretty balanced, and easy to manage since food and water are plentiful.

Die Young also has a crafting system that unlocks new recipes as you explore and find them. Crafting is done through the crafting menu by combining various resources you’ve scavenged. The crafting system is easy to use and understand, and you can make items like tools, health kits, and a knife. There is a limited number of each resource you can carry, and your item inventory space is limited as well.

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Pros:
  • very enjoyable parkour with good motion, and fluid controls
  • exploration is rewarding, and you can find clues or items to help you survive and escape
  • survival aspects (stamina, thirst, health) are pretty balanced, and easy to manage since food, water, and resources are plentiful (hunger isn’t in the game yet)
  • good, intuitive crafting system, with an abundance of resources to find and craft with as you explore
  • there are some fast travel locations to quickly travel that help cut down on the travel time and backtracking once you unlock them
  • appealing graphics with nice environments
  • sound effects and music are fine – it’s nice to have the audio cues when you aggro something
  • keyboard and mouse controls are fully customizable, and there is full controller support
Cons:
  • inconsistent fall damage; sometimes sliding down a small hill that’s not even that steep can damage or even kill you, but then other times you fall from further and you are just fine
  • (nitpick) weapon durability is low, and having to make more can be a pain
  • (nitpick) some texture popping issues
  • (nitpick) enemy models and their animations aren’t the greatest; they could use more detail, but they’re not terrible either
  • (nitpick) while you can have more than one game, there is only one save slot per game that keeps the most recent save; more saves kept for the same game would be nice
  • (nitpick) performance could use some improvements, but it’s still tolerable (frame drops into the low-mid 50s fairly frequently with above the recommended specs)

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I’ve played the game for over 5 hours so far. The gameplay is enjoyable, but I don’t expect there to be much in the way of replay value once you find and complete everything.

Conclusion:

Die Young is off to a great start. The exploration is good, and parkour is fun. I’m eager to see more content added, especially the main story. If you’re looking to get in at the ground level, and explore and parkour all over the place, then you’ll likely enjoy Die Young in its current early access state. If you’re interested in experiencing a fully fleshed out story experience, then you might want to wait for everything to be fully implemented down the road.

Press copy was provided for this review.