It isn’t often that I grab a game that is in early access, and it is even rarer that the game is a single-player game. Gloomwood is the newest game to be released under the New Blood Interactive banner and has a fair amount of promise. The setting is excellent, and it is a blast once the gameplay is understood. Some small things make the game feel fun to play. The level of challenge is debatably in a good spot. Be that as it may, I don’t know if that outweighs all the aspects that weren’t as filled in as they could have been. Let’s look at what worked and could be tweaked a bit before Gloomwood’s eventual full release.

Nailed it-

Gloomwood is a game that uses its atmosphere as a horror stealth game well. It’s been called Dishonored meets Thief, which, after playing, is an apt comparison. There is a lot of stealthing around in this game. You have a ring on your finger that tells you how hidden you are; if the yellow shows, you are easily seen. This leads to some tense moments as you sneak up behind someone charging up a strike to bring down an enemy, hoping you aren’t seen by someone you may have missed. It feels great to skulk around and find new climbable ledges or pathways you didn’t notice before. As I’m falling at them, I have already started challenging myself to nail a charged shot on an enemy. Landing that shot feels rewarding, but it feels catastrophic when you miss it and have to start a huge fight sequence.

Enemies hit incredibly hard if you get caught out 99% of the time; it feels deserved and like it was the players’ fault. The enemies with guns make screwing up an ever-present punishment throughout the game. The loop of creeping around trying to break into safes while avoiding them is rewarding, plus any chance I get to chuck a bottle at a wall to distract some loser who sounds like he swallowed gravel is always enjoyable.

What it misses on-

The part of the Dishonored comparisons I disagree with is the combat. Dishonored had fluid action that felt difficult, but the player could still escape a situation that went south fast. After all, you can’t be hunted by the enemy if you stab everyone.

In Gloomwood, if more than one person saw me, odds are I was dead. The fighting feels clunky with the sword, and since bullets are generally scarce, this will happen often. (Especially since easy mode is locked and unavailable to play at the time of writing.) It felt like it was a tad too punishing, especially given the lack of a playable easy mode.

The stealth isn’t always proper, either. Gloomwood is in early access, so when the game screws up, it certainly gets things wrong. Case in point: if I am on a ledge above someone, there shouldn’t be any way they see me if they are walking up a staircase facing away from me. But, somehow, I was lit up like a Christmas tree, and they spun around and murdered me. There was also one point where I was crouched in a doorway with an enemy staring at me, and they didn’t see me for some reason. I don’t know why but I was able to charge up a stab and take care of them even though I was in plain sight. You can watch exactly what I mean here.

What are you… storing?-

I believe the best part of Gloomwood is the storage system. In an homage to Resident Evil 4’s attache case, the protagonist of Gloomwood pulls out his fancy little suitcase and sets it on the floor. You can move stuff around at will, which I appreciate. (I love being able to organize inventory.) You can also drag and drop straight from the suitcase, so if you don’t want something, just chuck it away like the good old days of throwing away a Mozambique in Apex Legends. It can be a tad fussy if the game decides there isn’t enough space to open it, but it is such a unique and pleasant way to store things it is highly forgivable.

You can also steal bullets from guns which is a great mechanic. Not usual bullet looting, literally stealing them from the weapon by picking it up to check and see if it has any ammo. I loved that and wished that kind of a mechanic was more present in gaming.

So at the end of it all, is it worth it to get Gloomwood right now? Sure, if you plan on repeatedly playing it as it grows and gets its footing. As someone who doesn’t have that time to put into a game like this, I would wait until it gets some significant updates or hits the full release. The combat did frustrate me, and the lack of specific necessary options in the game was an annoyance. Exploring an area was super satisfying, and I felt my curiosity grow as I played. It peaked when I figured out how to get out of the map.

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel