I love a good survival horror game, but not all games are created equal. And not all players are created equal as well. As much as I wanted to enjoy The Nullpoint the combat prototype proved to me that I’m not ready to tackle something of this scale. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad game. Far from it. I’m just saying that I sucked at just this little slice of the game. Your mileage may vary. That said, I tried my best to get a feel for the gameplay. Tried and died. Tried and died again. And tried and died some more. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Getting around and doing stuff in The Nullpoint is pretty simple and self explanatory. The room that you begin in also has some tutorial tips to guide to around until they decide to take the kid gloves off and punish you for not being ready. Well, that was my experience at least. Like in most squad based games you can order around one or any number of up to five survivors of the expedition. Left click, or click and drag, whomever you want to go out exploring and right click to move and pick up stuff. And to shoot. You’ll be doing a lot of fighting in the prototype. And a lot of dieing.
Here’s the thing. You have limited ammo. A pipe won’t do jack against the creatures you encounter on the station. Believe me, I tried. And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, died. You can pick up clips in ransacked camps littered with dead bodies, but these are few and far between. You’re more likely to perish on the way to the next “safe zone” than you are in finding those precious few bullets. And whether you’re a crack shot or miserable without god mode on like myself you’ll be wishing to save the last bullet for yourself.
Of course, remember this is a combat prototype. The final game might be slightly more forgiving. Just slightly. It’s intentional to have scarce resources. They want you to jump at every flickering light and every little noise, just wondering what’s past that next hallway. It could be nothing, it could be a first aid kit, or it could be a group of monsters just itching to kill you like your poor buddies. If you run out of ammo it’s down to taking your death like a man or running away like a coward. Maybe I should try running next time I load up the prototype demo instead of hoping that I can clear out a room before death becomes me.
The Nullpoint, at least based solely on the combat prototype, is not for me. I don’t have the twitch reflexes to be able to make snap decisions and my “fight or flight” responses in games are to usually empty my guns out and then go swinging with a crowbar until everything but me dies. I love the idea of the game, and I really do hope that they can get funding in the final couple weeks, but I’ll be passing on this one for my sanity’s sake. It’s already fragile enough as it is.