Undecember Review – Pay To Win ARPG

This Is eXputer's Undecember Review.

Undecember was pretty popular during its beta release and it was actually praised as the Diablo killer, so it’s safe to say that people had high hopes for its final release. But something happened during its launch, and Undecember started receiving hate for it which we will discuss in detail in our review.

The game almost looked like a complete upgrade from what the Diablo franchise offered during its beta. It paired smooth hack-and-slash gameplay with stunning visuals and it was free-to-play on top of that. These things carried over to its final release as well but the developers messed up the micro-transactions.

Story And Setting

undecember review
The Story.

The story and the setting is actually not the key highlight of this game, however, it is not boring either and will keep you engaged for the entirety of your playthrough. Basically, the setting in Undecember is Traum, which is a fictional world that came into existence with the power of the 12 Gods within the game’s lore. The plot revolves around the emergence of a 13th evil God named Serpens, whose existence puts everything in disarray. Your objective in this game as the protagonist is to actually use the power of the runes of the 12 Gods in order to defeat Serpens and his armies.

Now as far as the delivery is concerned, the voice acting in this game is actually pretty amazing. Character models are not that well animated though, but the voice acting itself adds to the storytelling a whole lot. Some of the NPC questlines are additionally made better due to the acting as well, elevating them for otherwise mediocre status.

Gameplay

undecember review
The Gameplay.

Undecember is your typical hack-and-slash title with various weapons, builds, and magic spells. There is a lot that you can experiment with in the game, however, it also does some things extremely differently from other titles in the same genre.

However, let us discuss the character creation menu first.

undecember review
The Character Creator.

This menu is actually very simple both in design and the number of customizations that you have access to. You can choose the gender of your character and then proceed to customize their face and hairstyles. Aside from that, you can only change your skin tone, and that is about it for character creation. There is not a lot more that you can do here.

Something else to note here is that there are no classes in Undecember as you’d expect from other ARPGs. Because the thing is, this game allows you to experiment with literally any available weapon and magic spell, and they are not locked behind using a certain class, which is actually a really good gameplay choice.

Another interesting thing about this game is the healing system and how it allows you to consume items. There are two main potions in the game, one for health and the other for mana. Mana is consumed by using all of the rune skill attacks and magic spells, whereas health is reduced when enemies deal damage.

Now here’s the fun part. There are options that you can tweak to turn on auto-heal. Basically, whenever your health or mana is below a certain limit, the game will automatically use the potion for you. That is a very creative take on the healing system for this genre, even if it might not be new overall.

Undecember review
Stats In The Game.

There are three basic stats in the game. however, the number of skills is countless and these are unlocked based on the stats that you choose to level up. Strength is tied to your health and armor, whereas Dexterity improves dodge and hit rate. Intelligence on the other hand affects mana and barrier.

Additionally, all of the weapons require you to have a certain amount of Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence to wield them. These stats can be leveled by using stat points, and these are additionally gained when your character levels up.

Now it’s time to discuss the combat system which implements the use of runes for different weapons. The use of runes to create different skills that you can use is a great concept, and you can obtain a wide variety of runes that can either be used by themselves, or combined with others to get buffs. However, experiment with those runes that best fit your build or the weapons that you’re using. Runes can also be used to get magic spells in the game additionally.

game analysis
Waypoints In The Game.

As you explore the large maps, you will find many waypoints that can be used to fast travel. However, you can only fast-travel to those waypoints that have been explored by your character at least once. It is actually useful to go back to your base and stock up on heals and upgrades often because of this reason, as you will often have to venture out into dangerous territory to find new waypoints.

When talking about weapons, you can not only get new ones at the blacksmith in the game but you can also enchant your weapons with different magical items that you find. These provide your weapons with magic affinity and upgraded damage.

The main and side quests in the game are pretty generic. There is not much to do except beating mobs of enemies and then fighting a boss. There is a whole loop of exploring a new area, fighting the fodder enemies there, and lastly beating the boss of that area. This gameplay loop gets repetitive but the combat system tries to keep things fresh.

game analysis
The Microtransactions In The Game.

Now let us discuss the things that have absolutely ruined the good parts about Undecember. It is the overuse of microtransactions that are forced and cannot be avoided, since almost every little thing in the game from storage to pet abilities is locked behind a paywall. The diamonds required to purchase things can only be obtained by using money.

This is a very cheap move on the part of the developers that has ruined their almost perfect Isometric ARPG. The game is currently receiving a lot of hate due to these microtransactions and it is deserved. You can’t just lock something as necessary as storage behind a paywall and not allow an in-game method of upgrading the storage. 

We didn’t really expect a game without microtransactions as it is already free-to-play, but this is not how you implement them. Make better use of the pay-to-win system or maybe introduce a battle pass. But don’t lock the basic gameplay mechanics under the tag of microtransactions

Visuals And Performance

undecember review
The Visuals.

Undecember looks great for an isometric ARPG. Attack animations are smooth and elemental effects look stunning while using weapons. The sound design of magic spells is also well done. Overall, the visuals are above-average for a game that’s actually free-to-play.

Performance-wise, we didn’t face any issues while reviewing the game. The game was able to keep up a smooth 60 FPS at high resolutions and we didn’t experience any stutters for 99% of our experience. However, there are still some minor bugs in the game that will probably get fixed in a future update.

Verdict

verdict of the game
The Verdict.

Undecember could’ve been so much more, it could’ve been one of the best free-to-play games on the market right now, but microtransactions ruined any chance of that happening.

The beautiful and smooth gameplay experience with creative mechanics that you cannot find anywhere else will now get ignored due to the mediocre implementation of microtransactions. The game itself is still great, and we recommend that you check it out if you can ignore the pay-to-win systems. 

This concludes our Undecember review, and we hope that you were able to learn the pros and cons of the game. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.

Was this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍

Undecember Review
Overall
2.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Undecember could’ve been so much more, it could’ve been one of the best free-to-play games on the market right now, but microtransactions ruined any chance of that happening.

Pros

  • Smooth And Creative Gameplay Mechanics.
  • Unique Pet Abilities.
  • Great Voice Acting.
  • A Wide Variety Of Rune Skills.

Cons

  • Generic Quest Design.
  • Extremely Bad Implementation Of Pay-To-Win Mechanics.
  • Almost Every Upgrade Locked Behind Paywalls.

Asad Ahmed

Having a knack for gaming and writing, Asad has annexed these two media to bring you the latest video game content. RTS is where his gaming journey started, but RPGs are where he fell in love with it. Skyrim is his all-time favorite game.

Related Articles