Whether I’m plotting the deaths of my teammates via occult magic or killing my ally out of fear they would betray me, Dread Hunger has never made me feel comfortable – but in a good way. As I worked with my teammates to navigate an explorer’s ship past freezing icebergs and blizzards, the threat of betrayal from within was omnipresent, and the temptation to keep checking over my shoulder was at odds. with the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to me. As an evil Thrall working against the group, being outnumbered and the fear of being discovered forced me to be smart with when and where to act against the group. Dread Hunger constantly challenged me to be smarter no matter which side I was on, and it made me giggle, scream, and have a blast with every game.
Dread Hunger is primarily a social deception game, but it is also an adventure game with survival and crafting, exploration and combat mechanics – and these components can conflict with social deception. . Combat in particular can be problematic, because if you give a player a weapon they will want to shoot someone. Left unchecked, things can quickly escalate into a free-for-all PvP mode without the substance you’d want in a social deception game, but the devs are working to make those kind of easy answers less achievable in their next one. update. .
Dread Hunger screenshots
The best mechanic I’ve discovered as one of the Traitorous Thralls is that each player gets a respawn after being killed, which allowed them to swing me easily if I corner them alone and try to kill me- same. Instead, I had to get creative with the poison, use dark rituals to strike a group of cannibals against someone traveling alone, sabotage the ship, or find other small ways to undermine the group, like throw precious coal into the river so that it cannot be used by the crew.
Conversely, as a good guy he was tempting to just kill someone I suspected was a traitor. But, as I learned when I killed an innocent man out of suspicion, Dread Hunger does not reward this kind of behavior. By killing someone based on guesswork, I mistakenly killed an ally instead and dramatically decreased my chances of survival – not to mention making people a lot more suspicious of me! Instead, finding creative ways to expose the bad guys was my only hope to win the day. The longer I played, the more I understood the nuances of when the band was ripe for betrayal or when it was appropriate to act on my suspicions of another person, and I was rewarded for that discipline and restraint.
The toolbox for both sides to find out the truth was complex and full of different strategies I could adopt. As a regular crew member, I could show my loyalty by openly contributing to the group’s progress, such as fueling the ship’s engine with coal and treating injured teammates. And, by keeping an eye out for those who were the least helpful and / or near those who hadn’t been lucky, I could help infer who the traitors were.
As the villain, I had a bunch of dark rituals at my disposal, each meant to be used indirectly, so that only to keep the fight open as a last resort, like the ability to fill the level with thick fog, obscuring everyone’s vision and making most tasks much longer. And rather than outright killing anyone, I could just drag my feet and make everything take longer to increase our party’s chances of failure, like when I “accidentally” shot an ally. during a fight with wolves and that I wasted precious time and resources healing her.
The delicate balance between adventure play and social deception is a difficult balancing act, but so far Dread Hunger seems poised to tackle this task by forcing players to play smart or endure the blows. consequences of their incompetence. I can’t wait to see what the next game has in store.