The Phantoms are Everywhere in Ghostware: Arena of the Dead, Early Access Impressions

A few weeks into playing Ghostware: Arena of the Dead shows there’s still bugs to iron out and features to be added, but once when the adventure elements are put in, this game looks promising!

Ghostware Arena of the Dead ArtworkOnly skilled gamers who love first person shooters and platform style games can get requisitioned to play Ghostware: Arena of the Dead. This retro style game by Daev Team and published by HyperStrange has a great story to like, but if you can’t make it past the trainer mode and the first challenge, then this game is frustrating. That’s because where you respawn after dying again matters!

Here, you’re playing a videogame character and like in the movie TRON, where you’re transported to a dead world in the digital matrix. Here, you meet The Wizard and are forced to fight in old style games–like Capture the Flag and Deathmatch–to find the truth to what’s going on. Although I didn’t make it far in the early access release, I’ll keep trying again. Not many games will hook you into its concept, but here, I’m itching to get to the slower parts where what’s offered is marketed as an adventure game.

The official game description says, “[At] one minute you’ll be rocket-jumping through arenas, and next you’ll try to uncover the mystery behind this decaying simulation and its connections to the real world. Apart from the plot-heavy campaign mode you’ll get your chance to dive into the instant action of Arcade Mode and exclusive maps only for this mode.”

Ghostware Arena of the Dead Screenshot

Because Ghostware: Arena of the Dead is in early access mode, there’s a lot of missing features, and what I played felt buggy. Maybe that explains why my mouse pointer isn’t working right on the menu screens. After a lot of futzing around, I got it working. Also, I can’t jump and land onto the speed bumps properly to help me get to the next platform. Plus, that syndrome of ending up in unmapped areas makes for another issue. Once I was finally past these hurdles, there’s a cool retro looking game which brings fonds memories of Reboot the Animated Series! The character designs are familiar. And for the other unfortunate souls captured here, they are AI controlled (for now).

The gameplay is smooth, and everything fans love from those late 90s shooters like Unreal Tournament are vividly recreated here. I got a bit of motion sickness while playing, and I’m sure that can be adjusted with the in-game settings. I just have to figure out what needs to be fine tuned before hitting this game again. The adventure mode has me curious, and as for where that is in the game, I suspect they are buried deep. Hopefully that won’t put this product into the grave. The concept is right, but to get to what I assume are more RPG driven moments to make hard choices are what I’m after!

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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