Gamescom 2016: Die Young is a Fraught Fight for Survival in a Picturesque Setting

Gamescom 2016: Die Young is a Fraught Fight for Survival in a Picturesque Setting

Lee Abrahams

A young girl wakes up alone, having been kidnapped and dumped on a strange island. With no clue about how you got there, and no idea why you were taken, it’s up to you to not only find out why you’re here but also how to get off the island. Mixing survival elements with basic parkour, as your character is capable, though not a Mirror’s Edge-level wall runner, your main goal in Die Young is to explore the island any way you see fit in a bid to make good your escape.

Indiegala Managing Director Riccardo Rosapepe was on hand to give us a brief tour of the island and the many dangers you stumble across. Set on a Mediterranean island the team have utilised local plant life, weather conditions and landscape in a bid to make Die Young look as authentic as possible, based on their own experiences and knowledge of where they live. It looks slightly rough around the edges at present, but is also a large open area full of potential dangers that you can explore at will.

Gameplay sees you exploring the island to find clues, grab crafting items to make weapons, food and healing supplies and uncovering clues to help you progress. You’ll also need to find campfires to save your progress, as well as giving you spots to respawn from in the event of your grisly death. You can do as much exploring as you see fit, though if you just go from A to B then you might miss out on a lot of additional story points, so it plays to stray off the beaten path.

You’ll need to scavenge for items to heal yourself, as well as find water to rehydrate to stop you burning out under the blazing sun. Aggressive wildlife can chase you down and attack you, plus we ran into one hulking fellow with a huge scythe that can apparently cut you down in a single hit. When we asked about combat, Rosapepe said that you could find basic knives and melee weapons, but your main avenue was in avoidance or escape. He stressed that a girl with a knife and no combat experience wouldn’t be able to easily kill an angry dog, or armed man, so they wanted the game to be as realistic as possible. So it seems a stealth and flight rather than fight approach is the order of the day.

Thankfully you can also find allies along the way, as not everyone on the island wants you dead, so it pays to observe people before trying to either kill them or do a runner. Part of the mystery also revolves around a scrap of paper that was left with you when you woke up so clearly there are two factions at work when it comes to whether or not you make it out alive.

Platforming is handled by parkour style jumps, plus a little aiming reticule that lets you tackle smaller jumps to rocks and ledges. It’s tricky stuff without highly obvious markers to guide you, but again that is deliberate with the team wanting players to feel that progress is earned rather than given. With Ghosts & Goblins being cited as inspiration, you know you’re in for a tough time.

With a huge island to explore in your own time and plenty of grisly mysteries to uncover, with other dead girls being found hanged during the brief demo we were shown, there is plenty here to intrigue you. As an indie game from a small studio, the scope and ambition here is impressive though it does still look rough around the edges. Hopefully the challenge and storyline will be solid enough to make Die Young a satisfying experience and it certainly looks like something a little bit different that will hopefully pique peoples interest when it makes its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next year.

  • Sounds interesting. Never heard of it before now.
  • Just when i thought i heard all of the new and interesting ideas. Here comes another one to make me think 2017 will be one of the best years, top 5 if i may, in video game releases.
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