Folks it’s time to Nether, and I’m sure even if you don’t know what that is, the mere sound of the word has turned you into a shivering, uncertain wreck. And quite rightly so too, because I couldn’t find anything to do in aforementioned Nether, other than get shot in various states of undress. Yes, this week’s Let’s Play is that gee ol’ first person, survivalist, Fallout come Day-Z, post-apocalyptic, bastard simulator, Nether. As with Daylight, Nether is a title I’ve had skulking around my Steam library for sometime, yearning to be played. The reason I haven’t done so up until now is because previously I was using a 32 -bit version of Windows Vista, which not only doesn’t run the game, or anything for that matter, it makes contemptuous remarks, and occasionally spits at you if you try to. Fortunately I’m no longer tethered by such archaic software and am free to wander around the wasteland incredulously spluttering about where I’m supposed to go and why nothing is happening, to nobody at all.
Nether’s an odd game, and one I feel I’d be better able to comment on had I played Day Z. It functions by way of a hinge presumably very familiar to all those that have played the zombie encumbered ARMA II mod, in that you’re let loose on a huge map filled with other players, with minimal supplies thrust into your trousers, presuming you’re wearing any, and are told to be on your way. After that, it’s Hobo Simulator 2014 as you scrape and scrounge to find supplies, before inevitably running into a gruesome looking NPC enemy or worse still an embittered IRL player, and immediately have to start over after being force fed your own legs. Really Day Z is the be all and end all of these online survival games, and having not experienced it, I’m probably missing the bar Nether is trying to leap. Or at least stare at longingly.
Still, in spite of its rather clunky framework (a trait I hear Day Z can’t exactly point at and laugh) and the endless nothingness, I enjoyed Nether. Chiefly because of that nothingness. I value solitude, seemingly above all other things in life. When I die, it’ll be fine because at least I’ll be alone, right? Um. Yeah… I mention in the video that the thing that pulled me to and kept me playing the Fallout series was its dystopia; the broken, dilapidated world, unleashed from the red tape of its previous duties, and leaving hints of its past life everywhere, allowing you to tear about the place marveling at things like empty cans of beans and bits of steadily failing brickwork. Though the pace is much slower and the real eye-catching artifacts of the environment are fewer and further between, Nether rekindled that wandering sense of survivor’s solitude. For six or seven quid, it’s worth a bash, but don’t expect to be vomiting with excitement the moment you boot the thing up. Here’s the Steam link for you too, because I’m nice: Nether on Steam.
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