Seething forth from the dark depths below comes a new game by the dev team at Unfrozen. Iratus: Lord of the Dead puts you in charge of things most dark by being the Necromancer bringing forth undead beings to try to lay claim to humanity and all those silly living things. It features base building, leveling, sending your minions to fight and explore the depths of the area around you and building new undead from scratch. Is Iratus just another emo goth wannabe or is he truly a Necromancer to be feared? This is our Iratus: Lord of the Dead review for PC.
At first glance, it would be hard not to feel try to compare Iratus: Lord of the Dead to another game, Darkest Dungeon. While esthetically they are similar and both feature not only physical damage but also stress-based damage as well, they are both different beasts in a similar genre. You take up the title role of Iratus, a Necromancer who has recently escaped from his imprisonment in the deep dark cave. From there you set yourself and your faithful undead minions on the task of building a new base of operations as well as exploring the map to lay waste to those who foolishly left you to rot.
You can create a certain few types of minions at first (Skelton, Banshee, Zombie, etc.) and you can unlock more as the game progresses. You can find extra undead troops here and there, but for the most part, you will be building them yourself from scratch. As you defeat various fleshy beings you gain items like bones, hearts and such which you use to make new members of your undead horde. Generally, these are just generic pieces, but sometimes they can be of a higher quality giving your new Skeleton some extra stats or you can use alchemy to make better parts yourself. There is a good variety of creatures you can make with abilities allowing them to destroy the human vermin in various ways. Your undead can also level up through natural means of earning experience or by giving them a rare brain loot drop to instantly level them. As they level you can choose a specific direction for a skill to slightly change its use.
Not only will you be building minions, but you will also be building a new base from scratch. To build and upgrade it takes a specific minion and architect parts. These building can range from one that instantly heals up an ailing creature if it rests there during a battle, to a building that search’s for extra parts, to a building that supplies you with mana and various others. This gives you another thing to take time to expand upon and plan out in a way that may better suit your playstyle.
Now it’s time to talk about the big juicy part of Iratus: Lord of the Dead. It’s combat. If you’ve ever played Darkest Dungeons than you have an idea of how combat here plays out. But again, this game is a different beast. Your undead horde cares not for stress or any of the human weaknesses, but if they take enough damage than they are gone, permanently. The attacks you do vary from actual physical attacks to ones that affect the mind and sanity of your enemy. Your Banshee can unleash a wail that lowers the attack of those it effects while also doing a small bit of stress damage. You can build a group of four that may focus on one type of damage or maybe a group that blends both. Remember that there is a variety on the human side as well and they can be some tricky bastards. There are attacks that can focus on the whole line of your enemy or a specific line position forcing it to change its position with another or making it stay in place. You also have stances if you wish your creature to instead wait and act on this instead. Cause enough stress to the enemy and they could flee, outright die or be afflicted with insanity and possibly start damaging their comrades. On some missions, you will accompany your group and through that be able to cast spells you have learned with mana (which is a finite stat that you can regain in with certain practices).
Top all that off with a story that seems to be well written and the voice work was done throughout the game adds to the flavor of this particular game. Also interesting at times is to read the flavor text as your undead fight, the Banshee is rather heartbreaking. The music is well done and adds to the tone of Iratus: Lord of the Dead. Art for the game is great, sticking to the esthetic and adding to it making you feel like you are in the deep dark below with your undead horde.
A PC / Steam key was given for review purposes.