Our Score: 7/10
KINGDOM of the DEAD is a pen and ink drawn horror FPS videogame in which you play as Agent Chamberlain. A former academic who has now become an Army General and is now working for the secret government program GATEKEEPER, whose main goal is to defeat Death and his army.
Push Death’s troops back to the underworld by immersing yourself in a terrifying hand-drawn horror environment!
How the Dead Rise
Your mission is to look into the inexplicable otherworldly events that have been troubling the planet. Which are supposed to be the result of demonic portals to the Kingdom of the Dead. You’ll go on missions all throughout the world, following leads from your organisation. To fight off the powers of death and close each portal with your live sword. Even if your sentient sword is the most important weapon at your disposal for sealing portals, it is far from the most visible.
You’ll start each stage with your trusty pistol and talking sword. And as you progress, you’ll acquire more FPS classics including a shotgun, long rifle, gatling gun, and even a bazooka. You’ll also be able to gather health upgrades to boost your overall health, making exploring more enjoyable. Enemies also utilise weapons against you, such as pistols and shotguns. And when they die, they drop ammo for the gun type they used. While these and other drops from destructible boxes make ammo plentiful, Kingdom of the Dead also provides a fair amount of challenge.
The Darkness Within
Enemies attack you in waves and don’t stop. They will pursue you no matter how far you flee, therefore fighting them off is always preferable to fleeing. The humanoid adversaries approach on all fours, only raising their heads to swing their weapon or take aim at you, giving them an unmistakably ghastly appearance. The fact that you’ll be fighting them with other animals and demons on your mission further adds to the unease, which is amplified by the monochrome colour scheme.
Despite the monochromatic design, Kingdom manages to differentiate each of its stages. Exploring a calm forest full of lurking terrors is a completely different experience than strolling the halls of a cultist house. The level design even has a few intriguing oddities and bold reaches. Later on, you’ll be forced to cross a field while snipers draw a bead on you, pushing you to find cover naturally and use those few moments of relief to assess the situation.
The horrific atmosphere of Kingdom of the Dead is also brought to life by the soundtrack and sound effects. The soundtrack has a nostalgic feel to it, with gloomy chiptune grooves setting the tone. The dynamite and explosive barrels dominate the show, yet each gun sounds tremendous. Enemies are launched into the air, while bosses are severely harmed by explosives, with some catching flames as a result. When combined with the flashes that allow you to see in the dark for a brief duration, it provides a sense of dread as you fight the shadow-drenched enemy hordes.
Arise and Conquer
Kingdom of the Dead is a unique shooter that is inspired by some of the classics and does quite well to stand on its own monochromatic feet. The horror and Lovecraftian atmosphere goes great with the tight combat and level design of the game.