Unto The End by 2 Ton Studios is a beautiful but intense 2D side-scrolling adventure. An intro screen tells you this game is unlike any other and for the most part, they are correct.
While many games use very detailed graphics to help immerse you into the game world, Unto The End takes a different approach which I’ll mention shortly. Let’s talk about the graphics for a moment. You are a hunter out in the wilderness working your way back home. The graphics are simple but no less immersive as you travel across the snow and dark caves fighting enemies along the way. The biggest issue I had with the graphics is that when underground there are several stretches where it’s pitch black and even with your torch the light seems dim in certain areas.
The audio is great in this game. There is no dialog but the ambiance is what really makes the sound stand out. As you move along you can hear the wind howling across the land, your footsteps crunch in the snow, and even see and hear as you breathe in the cold temperatures. Approaching enemies make various sounds letting you know they are nearby even if not visible on the screen. There is a multitude of other unique sounds including rattling chains throughout the game making Unto The End an audio masterpiece.
The gameplay mechanics are focused more on realism than fantasy as little things such as slow bleeding that can occur during a fight. If you do not find a campfire to heal yourself, you can slowly bleed out until you die, long after your battle. Battles are also unique in their own way. Don’t try to rush in there and use brute force when attacking a boss. It won’t work. You need to use all your fighting skills smartly to defeat a boss. However, once you reach the next boss, you may need to develop a new strategy to defeat your new opponent. As a result, players will find themselves often battling the same boss over and over until you find a strategy that works for them. Depending on the player, these losses can motivate you more or drive you mad enough to step away from the game for a bit. All is not lost as there are times when the best strategy is to ignore the opponent and continue on your way. If that doesn’t work, try offering a gift instead of a sword.
One element of the game that I found confusing is the way that checkpoints are done. There is not always a clear indicator you’ve reached a checkpoint. There were times I lost a battle and thought I would respawn right near the enemy only to find out I needed to go back over an area I already covered before I reached the opponent that just defeated me.
Unto The End Review Final Thoughts:
Unto The End isn’t going to be a video game for everyone. That being said, the graphics, audio, and unique gameplay mechanics do make it a fun 2D side scroller game. Unto The End is available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, PC, and Stadia for around $25.