UnderRail is an isometric CRPG that throws us back to an era where RPGs had no spoken dialog and had very lengthy descriptions of the environment and the people and/or things that inhabit it. UnderRail may not have the graphics that one would expect from a games released at the same time, but this clearly intentional as to really provide a classic experience. This is easy to tell because the environments are incredibly detailed.
I have have poured hours upon hours in to this game with gusto as UnderRail truly is a gem among a miriade of mediocre titles. I am very glad the devs of this game reached out to DSOG otherwise it likely would have gone completely beneath my radar. Aright lets get in to the meat of things.
Sound is rarely ever my starting point in any review, but in this case I’m going to make an exception because UnderRail’s soundtrack is truly exceptional. Sound can make or break the immersion in a lot of games and movies and UnderRail’s soundtrack is on point. When roaming the damp dark tunnels that make up the metro the music is quiet almost hollow sounding, but when spotted by an enemy an electric guitar is added as well as a booming drum whose beats echo loudly as if the drum itself was being played in the tunnel behind you. I will admit that even I am a guilty of playing my own music over a game’s at times, but in UnderRail you are going to want to keep that Music slider at 100% (or at least not at 0).
UnderRail stands on its own as a truly detailed RPG with enough skills and feats (perks) to put even inXile’s Fallout to shame (especially the Bethesda Fallouts). Not only is there a very complex character build system but the combat in UnderRail is super tight and each encounter seems very fair. With many RPGs I often find myself whispering, or shouting in some cases, “How did I even miss?” or “How the hell does that even happen?”. Now I did grumble to myself on occasion while playing UnderRail, but simply because I had made a foolish decision and it had gotten me killed which of course let to some backtracking.
With such a well polished title like UnderRail where the developers hit every point that I could have asked for in an RPG, unfortunately the writing fell rather short. The character dialog in UnderRail is pretty vanilla and honestly is even a bit cringy at times, and not in the Borderlands over the top kind of way, but in the Life is Strange kind of way (Oh God Why). Ok UnderRail isn’t THAT bad but the dialog can be pretty stale at times. The premise behind UnderRail is interesting enough although the story feels like it borrowed a few things from Metro’s book from time to time, but what game isn’t at least somewhat influenced by another successful title?
I may have been pretty harsh on Fallout 4 for having less than desirable graphics, but there is a distinct difference between crappy graphics and stylized graphics. UnderRail harkens back to a more nostalgic time ford RPGs where character models had a sharper edge and there was no sky. Much like the similarly named Undertale, UnderRail excells at creating a nostalgic look without making the game feel dated. The environments are fun to look at and it was only on occasion did I mutter to myself “Not another cave.” Unlike every single drauger crypt in Skyrim, ugh.
While UnderRail may not be the Perfect RPG, but as a big fan of the classic Fallout games it definitely scratched the itch that Fallout 4 failed to. UnderRail, a title that would have otherwise gone completely under my radar has truly surprised me. At $15.00 USD UnderRail is worth every penny and is available on both Steam and GOG so you can get achievements and cards if that is your thing or if you prefer to get games DRM-Free like myself that option is also available.
Matt Followell is another contributing author here at DSOGaming. A long time fan of PC Gaming and a huge supporter of the open source and homebrew movement. You’ll see him interacting with the community from time to time going by the user-name of Radapples.