IntroductionJohnny Graves—The Unchosen One is a horror-themed 3D top-down action shooter currently in Early Access. If horror and mystery are your thing while mowing down hordes of enemies and giant arachnids, then check it out on Steam for 15$.
As of now, the game is in Early Access. We had contacted the developers, and they said that the game is nowhere near its final stage. "It's only about 10% of the final game. We'll be adding new levels throughout the rest of the year, and even this one will get one more monster type."
In the year 1979, New York, a dark shadow has loomed over this beloved city. Johnny Graves, a former agent who comes back desperately to finish the job he started over two centuries ago. Now hell itself has harvested the damned into the arts of necromancy to doom the world once more. Johnny has one night to close the gates of Hell and prevent Satan himself from coming across the mortal divide. Johnny used to be an agent of Hell and a backstabber, now he has a chance to right off his wrongs.
The game has simple dynamics of a shooter and places the protagonist on tactical advances in order to cull the horde with precise aiming. Vision on the map is basically bird’s eye view with emphasis on angular combat that is further given freedom by jumping above obstacles.
Shooting is the main grit of the game as you make a stand against the hordes of undead piling your way. It has a 360-degree scope on bird’s eye view, but the firing rate is slow due to the weapon being a magnum revolver. A special attack resembling a magic bullet that does a chain effect from one enemy to the other, taking down multiple foes in succession, it can be accessed using the right click but has a long cooldown. The traditional WASD keys are what you use to maneuver through the field and spacebar to jump, but you cannot fire your weapon at the same time. Being unable to shoot and jump around like in Counter Strike, thus you have to rely on quick decisions of where to make a stand and flee to another spot.
There is no diverse skill system to alter or improve abilities and attacks to further enhance survival and efficiency. There is no incentive to kill multiple foes at all apart from rewarding your survival or skill while progressing through the level. Enemies do not give XP when killed nor do they drop loot. The best course of action is to just sneak away around them as they feel tedious without reward or achieving a high combo score when killing them. Ammunition is unlimited and has the standard six shots of a normal revolver with the long cooldown of your special magical shot, that has a white bar to indicate the cooldown progress on the lower area of the screen.
Vitality in the game is based on a health bar that is tiered with separate blocks of health and will regenerate by itself up to the last tier it fell down to after receiving damage. Melee attacks by zombies will whittle you down quickly, and it seems it stacks even with a small horde. For other dangers, there are fireballs and a few chemical zombies you encounter to help vary the enemy lines. The fire is a courtesy of giant tree-dwelling spiders that will attack you off the screen and remain aggravatingly out of sight until you draw in close. Checkpoints in the game are too far apart and most of the time you end at the very start of the map.
The environment in general and the mediocre level design were noteworthy for horror, but it seemed I was missing some environmental effects even on high settings. The cemetery had a lot of open graves with some of them emitting a yellow glow, but there was no reason to investigate further or explore to uncover any type of secret or reward. There are some nice details and touches in the scenery of the cemetery, I found the level a little bland probably some areas needed more mist or other spooky aspects. The writing, however, which was witty and spirited, the extent of it was a few lines of introductory exposition and some banter between the protagonist Johnny and the client. That interaction would serve as a selling point if it were to be added more into the game progress.
Graphics and Sound
Interesting but not original but the character designs are different from your usual Van Helsing type of heroes. The environment has an eerie feel, and the horde of zombies gets you excited, but it lacks environmental effects like rain, mist, flickering of lamps, and more. The cutscenes are interesting and have well drawn out characters with a few facial expressions.
A nice soundtrack composition and background tone that help accompany tension and urgency to the game level. Sound effects such as the gunshots, fireballs and zombies are common. The cutscenes are nice but are not accompanied by voice acting or any type of vocal reaction.
The premise of the plot is intriguing with its odd cast, even with little writing. The main character himself felt like John Constantine in terms of attitude and looks. Since it’s in Early Access, I still believe in an optimistic approach. With a polish of overall design in the game, improving the special ability on efficiency and adjusting the character's jumping mechanics, then I would say the game will reach a higher score for any reviewer. The dialogue cut scenes help make it more cinematic, and the environments fit well with the genre that made shooting through hordes a blast! The game is fun and fast-paced in terms of gameplay while having a good enough intrigue for a story for an experienced gamer to dive into. For the Cons, I have to say the game’s horde spawns too often or too much in some areas, there are glitches every 15 minutes, start screen lags a lot, game art is mediocre, the difficulty is for casual gamers and checkpoints are far apart.
| + Intriguing plot|| - Mediocre art|
| + Witty Protagonist|| - Difficult for casual gamers|
| + Fun shooter|| - Bland environmental effects|
| - Lots of Glitches|
| - Long start up time|