ULTRA-INDIE Daily Dose: I Guess This is Horror Multiplayer

Nightfall is possibly the best game for a Monday Ultra. This is a Resident Evil-inspired project by GRIME, the objective is to gather what supplies one can from the house and surrounding estate and then fight your way through the infested forest. I picked this game in my search for horror multiplayer games on Itch.io. My initial impression is that this is a wonderfully rough build. It appears to be a beginner’s attempt at an Unreal project implementing assets from the Unreal store but does so that competently creates a cooperative horror survival experience. The game does describe itself as an Alpha build so a lot of issues aren’t substantial, if anything I didn’t encounter any bugs that ruin the game.

Now I was trying out a similar title but the multiplayer just straight up wasn’t even implemented so being able to host a lobby and start the game was already off on good footing, Due to the lack of visual prompts I didn’t realize I could open doors for a moment but items are easy enough to spot with a glowing blue outline. Everything in Nightfall that was important was visually readable as such, enough that I found the progression and navigation well enough. My companion and I made our way to the surrounding estate for supplies following the lamps, pathways, and item trails. Instead of waypoints or a compass leading me like a lost toddler, I much enjoy environmental leads that likely saved some work for the developer.

One problem, please don’t copy/paste the entire Wikipedia description of items, at the very least put a header on what the item does in a paragraph above separated by a line break. This should say “Pistol Ammo” otherwise it’s an assault of jibberish.

The combat in Nightfall itself works well enough as can be expected, aiming and shooting is responsive and smooth enough while not so enabling that it trivializes enemies. Zombies require precise headshots or many body shots to kill and wolves approach fast and in groups which keeps players on their toes and watching their surroundings. Damage does use what appears to be an asset plugin that handles hitboxes and displays damage values, I don’t know such visual feedback is needed but it’s not an issue, being attacked works well too with visual and audible cues to inform players they need to make some space. This may seem like an unimpressive detail to bring up but there are so many bad launch titles that get this wrong and it is infuriatingly asinine to get unnoticeably killed by an inanimate model that glares at you while all your blood vessels burst and spray.

While Nightfall did start heating my PC it didn’t struggle with the game performance which has been my experience with other less detailed Itch.io games which weren’t effectively optimized. I credit this to the combinations of high poly assets and lighting and weather effects. It is common to overuse these to hide lacking content in games and perhaps it does some here but what I did like is how the slick rain on deadfall and branches lurching in the wind had me paranoid of monsters moving just out of sight range.

Nightfall is not a complete project but I enjoyed my morning playing along to the creeps and then promptly ending my session as my co-op detonated me with the grenade launcher. If you’d like to give it a try check it out at Itch.io. Also if you’re hooked we at Dread have a whole lineup of Ultra Indie highlights, new each week.