In Sundered, you are exploring a world in ruins, where two groups, Valkyries and Eschatons, were fighting to obtain the power of a mysterious stone, called the Shining Trapezohedron. Their fighting caused a rip in reality, filling the caverns they fought in with eldritch energy, which turned everyone into monsters. Centuries after the fighting, you play a woman named Eshe, who becomes trapped in these caverns, where she meets the Trapezohedron. The Trapezohedron decides to give Eshe power to fight, allowing her to explore the caverns.
One of the perks of this game, besides beautiful graphics and references to mythology, is the maps are never exactly the same. Every time you die, and you will frequently, you can spend shards gathered to upgrade your skills and then go back to exploring the caverns, which will be slightly different. Though, the main chambers will stay the same. This keeps the game from feeling monotonous after a few deaths. Also, the upgrades are permanent, so you don’t have to worry about losing them after your next death.
There are three regions you have access to initially. Finding where you need to go can seem confusing at first if you are used to linear game play. However, your objective is to unlock abilities, which allow you to progress further along in each region and defeat each boss. You don’t have linear game missions to worry with. Once you have defeated the bosses of the three regions, you can proceed to the final region, where you fight the final boss, called the Nyarlathotep.
I have yet to make it to this final region, but I have enjoyed the game play so far. Two aspects I enjoy is the encouragement to explore, and character death not feeling like a major set back. I believe this is a refreshing change to most games. Combat skills are not complex, but monsters do love to ambush Eshe when you least expect it.
My favorite part of the game though is having a choice for Eshe to either embrace the corrupted power of the shards she collects or to have her resist. Embracing the corrupted power will cause her to lose humanity, while resisting will unlock exclusive upgrades.
These choices will lead to one of three endings, one of which is neutral. I look forward to seeing each of them, and recommend this game to anyone who loves exploration, and choice driven story elements in their games.