Die Young: Our First Impressions

Die Young is a hybrid first-person horror survival game currently in development and is due to come to Steam sometime during Q4 of this year. Though we don't currently have a demo for review here at EAG, we did find some footage of the first twenty minutes of gameplay posted to their facebook page, which you can take a look at for yourself below.

The Story

The premise of the game is simple, yet enticing, and honestly quite terrifying. You are a young girl who was left to die on a mysterious Mediterranean island. You have no idea how you got there, who your captures are, or why you have become the victim of this attack. As the introductory monologue explains, it all started with you and your friends partying on the beach. Then something happens that you admit you can't quite remember. All you know is that you were kidnapped and left to die in some hole in the ground. You are finishing up the narration when all of the sudden a note is mysteriously dropped down the hole. You look at the note and find it contains a map with a location marked on it, which, upon inspection, ushers in the beginning of the gameplay. You start by escaping said hole, and once you do you are faced with one goal, and one goal only: get off the god-forsaken island.

The Gameplay

The player is left with, primarily, only their wits to survive. The island is inhabited with various hostiles set on killing you, and you must rely on your use of stealth, obstructions and obstacles in the environment, and your brain power to combat and escape the various enemies. As any good survival game, hydration and gathering various resources plays a crucial role in the gameplay. As the player, you are not only fending off the island dwellers, but you also need to survive the elements as you wander the heat-ridden island. Crafting also plays a part in the game here, but I am not sure to what extent. The gameplay footage and other coverage of the game neglect to fully explain crafting, so that is something we will have to wait to see more of.

You try to do all of this via quests assigned to you as you encounter new locations, as you find notes from past victims, or as you find and collect certain items scattered throughout the map. A lot of these in-game elements are nothing new to gamers like us, but they seem to be integrated very well and add to the overall gaming experience rather than take away. Games like Ark: Survival Evolved, though it is a wonderful game, have a gathering and crafting system that leaves first-time users overwhelmed and confused. This does not appear to be the case for Die Young.

As the game is also an open-world game, one of the biggest draws is its explorative aspects. The island is covered in mines, caves, and ancient ruins for the player to explore and navigate. The gameplay that I have seen doesn'tThis leaves me with plenty of questions: will certain resources only be available in certain areas? Will there be different enemies or wildlife trying to hunt me down in various locations? Or maybe the environment has little more to do with the gameplay than simply provide a beautiful landscape for the player to enjoy.

The Design

Speaking of the landscape, the gameplay and provided promotional footage are simply breathtaking. There is an impeccable amount of detail throughout the environment. You can see the light beams through tree branches, the water has a reflective aesthetic to it akin to water you might find in the real world, and the grass and other plants beautifully flow ever so subtly in the wind. Thus far, the developers have done an incredible job capturing the Mediterranean landscape in a way that truly sets it apart from other horror titles. Where other titles rely on the use of darkness and shadows to elicit fear in the player, Die Young takes a unique approach to horror ambiance. The unique environment is polarizing, to say the least, and the trailer posted below gives us a perfect idea of what this game is capable of.

The Potential

I cannot tell what part of me is more excited about this game: the open world/survival game lover or the horror game lover. Though I love both genres equally, the horror part of the game is what I find to be most game changing. If you have read my article on the current state of the game The Long Dark you will know I am a huge fan of the game and am eagerly waiting for Hinterland to release the long awaited story mode. But as the article states, I love the game so much because it does such a phenomenal job at keeping the player at the edge of their seat. The game never has a dull moment and the environment is beautiful all the while.

As far as open-world survival goes, this what I find to be the biggest potential draw to Die Young: It looks beautiful, the concept is brilliant, and if executed well, looks as if it will keep the player on edge throughout the game’s entirety. But even more than this, I believe the horror gameplay has more to offer the game industry as a whole. Finally, we see a unique approach to the horror game genre; finally, we see something other than zombies (at least the developers have not said the antagonists are some sort of zombie); finally, we see something that goes beyond simple grotesque imagery and petty jump scares. Though I do hope both gore and jump scares riddle Die Young’s gameplay, it is a breath of fresh air to see a game that promises an experience that treats these aspects as traits to the overarching story and not essential to the core gameplay. Die Young looks as if it will take the best aspects of games like The Long Dark, The Forest, and Dying Light and wraps them in a beautiful package in a way that all other games have yet to do.

As this game has yet to be released, most of this is speculation. But if what we see thus far has anything to say about what the game has the potential to be, then I think the gaming community is in for one heck of a surprise.

As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, and don’t forget to let us know if we missed anything. Stay tuned for future coverage on Die Young, and check out the rest of our website for more content like this.

Phillip Prado
Phillip Prado is an avid follower of all things tech, culture, and art. He studied culture and communications throughout college and has been a writer the majority of his life. Tie that in with his lifelong love for video games and here we are. "I genuinely just love being a part of something creative. Indie game journalism allows for that in a way I have not been able to find anywhere else. Not only do we, as writers, get to create, but we get to surround ourselves with something inpecably inspiring."
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