Indietail – PERISH

Back in February, PERISH was released on Steam and Epic Games, bringing you 1-4 player FPS action against hordes of enemies with varying objects, unlockable weapons and side-quests, as well as a lot of different possible synergies.

It’s very unique. It’s highly repeatable. It’s a ton of fun.

Developer: ITEM42
Publisher: HandyGames
Genre: Indie, Action, FPS, Roguelite
Release Date: February 2nd, 2023
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, XB1, XBS
Copy was provided by Stride PR.

NOTE: For the sake of playing this game in the intended way, I joined hands with ChrisxChad, FederalGhosts and MarginWalker2k who are all lovely streamers that I highly recommend checking out!

Welcome to Purgatory! Battle your way to the gates of Elysium in these scorched sands as a corporeal spirit condemned to live a shadow life.

Equipped with but a sword hilt, you’ll need to tackle the Dismal Lords that stand between you and Elysium, fighting your way through a plethora of biomes, each with vile foes prepared to make you… well… perish.

Alone or with up to three other players, you embark on a journey through various areas where you get to complete objectives that vary on every mission, from fighting in an arena, lighting up braziers and freeing Eidolons to assembling siege weaponry and burning down temples. In different biomes, you can unlock new weapons to take with you or switch in-between biomes.

In your battles to Elysium, PERISH allows you to amass so-called danake, coins that you can spend on permanent upgrades and new unlocks for your runs. After every biome, you can opt out of a run to take all of them with you… or you risk losing the majority of them by pushing forward, possibly earning more danake in the process.

Either way, these upgrades range from power-ups you can find along the way to new rings, crowns and equipment to use in preparation for the areas to come! Crowns have unique effects like a lightning arch that zaps nearby enemies and arches towards other players with the same crown to other interesting effects… but to be honest, I’ve mostly been playing with the lightning crown because it’s just so darn fun when you zap random enemies, especially when playing with friends!

Similarly, there are three four-step side quests you can unlock and play through that not only reward you on completion but also entice playing the game in a different way.

No FPS game without weapons, right? Ah, I loved them.

From the aforementioned sword-hilt to battle axes, the game usually sticks to its archaic mythology-inspired style… and then you have these guns. Revolvers, shotguns, laser swords… all of it. It’s hilarious.

PERISH at times feels like a Roguelike-DOOM with gory kills, the ability to slash enemies in half, lobbing their heads off,… and obliterating them with lightning strikes and random puddles? Awesome! The fleshy demons attacking you from all sides feel DOOM-inspired…

…but it’s also deeply amusing when you pick up certain power-ups or see this weird twist in styles. Again, I unlocked a revolver at one point and a sword that shoots lasers. It doesn’t fit the mythology-inspired aesthetic at all but that’s fine. It’s a game. It’s for fun. If that bothers you, don’t use those weapons. The game is beatable with just a sword hilt, after all… but it’s also a ton of fun to kick, shoot, and slash enemies with your god-given powers.

Speaking of fun, the game has a lot of different power-ups that grant you interesting effects that at times can even synergize quite nicely. Like throwing daggers? No Dagger Cooldown for 100 Daggers! Like killing enemies slowly and painfully? Poison damage! Like watching enemies slip fatally? PUDDLES!!!

In a way, PERISH feels ambitious with varying degrees of expansive areas, an amazing soundtrack, gory animations, and this almost-AA feel… but it still is very much Indie with clunky hitboxes, janky models, and bugs. I helped replicate a bug that made the game unplayable, hilariously… and the devs fixed it really quickly.

PERISH is a work of passion and it shows. There are many weird and unique ideas here despite the game sticking to the co-op shooter formula of fighting hordes, beating an objective of sorts, and moving to the safe room – a formula you may know from Left 4 Dead. In a way, the two games seem similar but don’t go into this expecting L4D or anything. PERISH is pretty darn unique.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with PERISH and can’t wait to get the boys together to play some more, once the time zones align. I tried playing the game in single-player but I didn’t find it as enjoyable. It’s just not the same without friends.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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