Death Becomes Us - Graveyard Keeper (REVIEW)
by Tobias Worthington
Church sermons, back alley organ sales, and a little bit of cannibalism. The new RPG from "Lazy Bear Games" brings all your twisted fantasies to life. A blend of old school RPG, micromanagement, and dungeon clearing; Graveyard Keeper gives you a little bit of everything. With a fully fleshed out tech tree, 3 different types of experience, and an extensive crafting system, you'll be entertained for hours. Completely avoidable story means you can stay away from your responsibilities forever.
An old school 8-bit feel, an ever changing weather system, and a wondeful fleshed out day/night cycle. Fantastically designed and colored sprites gives Graveyard Keeper a fully immersive feel. Upgradable tools and parts each have their own sprite giving a sense of progression. A pleasant surprise was the games real-time shadow processing, as you walk around all the placed items cast perfect shadows. With the overwhelming flooding of near photorealisitc games, "Graveyard Keeper" gives the perfect nostalgic rush you're looking for.
Graveyard Keeper's gameplay is an amazing blend of RPG, and micromanagement. A deceptively large map leads to tonnes of discoverable NPC's, each with their own loyalty level and quest line. With questing consisting of crafting, battling, and fetch quests; hours of gameplay can come from just making friends. If trying to impress the local townspeople isnt your cup of tea the quests are completely optional. If you're like me, you can focus your energy on upgrading your land, stealing organs from the recently deceased, doing alchemy, and eating human flesh. Getting to the highest level of tech requires either a decent amount of grinding, or enough money coming in to buy XP.
While Graveyard Keeper's story is indepth and fully fleshed out, it is grindy. With 30 NPC's each with their own loyalty system and lengthy quest lines, hours of crafting and fetching are to be had. Every quest you do gets you one step closer to getting the next tier of each NPC's store, giving you access to more advanved items. Getting back to your love is your only goal; consulting with witches, witch hunters, talking skulls, and ghosts. How long it takes to get there is completely up to you. Spend your days running errands for peasents, or spend days carving marble statues. Completely up to you.
The sound design in Graveyard Keeper is strangely juxtaposed. Epic background music fills your ears as you explore forests, fitting for the environment and design. The other side of that coin is the sound effects, with the pops and bangs giving an almost cartoony feel to a non cartoony game. The one catagory of sound effect i adored was the enemies. The clanging of blades and squelching of slimes was music to the ears.
With a large map and a multilevel dungeon exploration will be a constant thing on your mind. With multiple areas being under your managment and design, it is up to you, as keeper of the graveyard to figure out the most efficient way to place your graves and tools. Underground tunnels connect all your important locations. Skulls and spiders adorn the walls. NPC's each have their own unique character design and unique speach patterns.
Graveyard Keeper is a blast from the past, nostalgia filled ride. With hours upon hours worth of gameplay, a tech tree, and multiple locations to work design magic. 100 percenting this game will take a long haul, at least it's a long haul you'll enjoy every step of. In this game you get to make the decisions. Be a pious religious leader by day, and a magic practicing organ harvester by night.
4 out of 5
Grindy but a fun time!