When I see a throwback to the janky 3D RPGs of the mid ’90s, I check them out. Yes, I do. Dread Delusion just entered Early Access, bringing with it a bunch of warbly textures and large landscapes to explore. The game is a first-person RPG meant to be reminiscent of the King’s Field PlayStation One games and, after playing it, I can say that it hits the mark. The game is affordably priced and set to stay that way. It’s supposed to be in development for six to nine months. Moore depth to the main questline, weapon unlocks, spells, and additional features are planned. But the question stands: is Dread Delusion worth it now in Early Access?
Dread Delusion opens up with your character as a freshly released prisoner. The man who has just freed you is also responsible for incarcerating you. He offers a deal: you’re to go and find a certain woman and apprehend her. Do this, and you’re a free man. You then go outside, find a rusty sword in a chest, and are briefly taught the basics of the game. The world is focused, but still has a decent amount of space. There’s no stamina meter, so your character can run as much as you’d like without issue.
Speaking of characters, once you set off, you can use a few starting stats. I selected things like attack and defense. Shortly afterward, the game informed me that sneaking was the preferable option and I went, “aw, shucks!” Enemies of certain factions will attack you on sight. If you get hurt and need to heal, you can either use a potion or sleep in a bed. If you die, you’re resurrected at specific respawn points. You’ll also find blue orbs called Delusions that grant you additional points for attributes.
The attributes allow for multiple choices, of course. You can put points into charm to get access to new dialogue options. Or you can improved your lockpicking to make it more likely that you’ll get that door open. Lockpicking operates with dice rolls, which I am not at all fond of, but I can’t say that it’s not at least appropriate. Dread Delusion isn’t an immersive sim, however. Killing an enemy won’t allow you to pick up their weapons and outfits. Though you can steal everything that isn’t bolted down. Don’t expect an Elder Scrolls situation. Again, this is more like King’s Field.
After the woman your character is looking for escapes in an airship, your former jailer gives you a passport and sends you into town. In town, you gain access to multiple sidequests and shops. I wanted to buy a better sword and chainmail right away, but they’re quite expensive. It’s necessary to do some other quests first. I’ve gotten involved with an organization hunting a cult’s god, agreed to help rob a merchant, and found a man’s missing journal. The dialogue is well written and very much to the point, which I appreciated. There’s also a bit of lore, which is actually interesting.
Dread Delusion already has hours of gameplay and plenty to see and do. Truth be told, I’m quite impressed by what it already has on offer, so my vote is that Dread Delusion is already very much worth it. I love a good 3D RPG with horribly dated graphics, so it’s right up my alley. I’m looking forward to seeing how development progresses as it gets closer to the finish line.