We messed with a million ways to deliver death to Dimps in UNDECEMBER

The opening scene from UNDECEMBER.

The opening scene from UNDECEMBER.

If you’ve been waiting to dip your toes into a new kind of isometric ARPG, UNDECEMBER should be on your radar. This brand-new IP from LINE Games, available on the App Store and Google Play harkens back to the early days of the loot-driven genre by refusing to water down the character growth puzzle that’s caused so many others to fall victim to cutter-cutter customisation rules.

By pairing deeply personal stat management with a unique weapon-driven combat system, UNDECEMBER puts absolute control of your build rightfully back into your own hands. If you’re a big fan of concocting your own talent sets in RPGs, this one’s for you.

It’s quick and easy to work out whether UNDECEMBER is for you, too. Because it’s available on mobile as well as PC, the install size is conscious of the limitations of mobile storage, making for a dainty package that won’t take long at all to install.

The starting town in UNDECEMBER.
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After that, you’re dropped straight into a daring sprint across a town that’s teeming with undead soldiers for you to rip through, with seamless cutscene integration taking you deeper into the world you typically only see from above. There’s even generous English voice acting to keep your sessions from being bloated by a continuous song of crushed skulls and hefty grunts.

Worried about being thrown into the deep end? Fear not. For this initial dash, your mana is limitless, cooldowns are non-existent, and your skills are set up to a small selection of buttons you can count on one hand. You’re free to churn through the soft opposition any way you want.

Whether it’s by raining infused arrows from above with a bow, manipulating the elements with a staff, or cutting them down with the raw strength behind a blade, you can get a feel for how combat plays out right from the start. With most of your skill slots being filled within the first few quests, you won’t have to wait long to get back to that high-speed slaughtering once you put the tutorial behind you.

Though it can easily be played as a single-player adventure, UNDECEMBER doesn’t forget to embrace some of modern gaming’s better ideas: MMORPG elements are baked into its core. As soon as you make it out of the tutorial area, you arrive at a small town where you’re free to interact with dozens of budding hunters and well-equipped warriors, allowing you to quickly form a group whenever you feel up for taking on more challenging battles.

You’re free to ignore these potential best friends and go about your own business, but it’s easy to chat about any mutual goals that might spur a hunting party that rages well into the night, share build tips, or simply shoot the breeze.

Invite them to join your cause and you’ll see them out in the killing fields. Leave them behind and you’ll head out into the wilderness alone, without fear of some well-built brawler coming along to steal your precious pray.

Beyond all the blood and guts that come from your inevitable rampage, it’s the game’s character growth mechanics that help UNDECEMBER shine through as more than just another loot-driven isometric ARPG.

Monsters rising up in UNDECEMBER.
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On top of being able to completely customise your skillset around a weapon rather than a class, you have full control over the extra boons you tack onto each of your chosen skills as well.

By carefully curating runes gathering via quests and other ventures, you link them to the abilities you slot into your personalised grid, squeezing extra damage, debuffs, or damage-over-time effects from your fully personalised loadout. The number crunchers out there will have a ball piecing together an intricate rune puzzle together to form a perfect battle strategy, but there’s plenty of fun to be had by trusting in what your wild imagination wills up as well.

On top of that, you’re constantly working your way through the game’s Mastery system, steadily unlocking the sorts of incremental stat changes that can make or break the perfect build further into the game. It’s not just the gear you beat out of the legions of beasts and demons of UNDECEMBER that make or break your eventual end-game strategy, but how you decide to spin your web of skills and stats as well.

UNDECEMBER gameplay.
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Whether you’re just getting started with your skillset or have spent hundreds of hours building up the perfect system for a calculated slaughter of the hardest hordes out there, it ultimately won’t matter which skills you’ve chosen, but how you go about using them.

Challenging bosses with dynamic attack patterns and various gimmicks will motivate you to constantly experiment with skill combinations and gear settings. And the game also offers gamepad support. That’s a relatively new development for the ARPG space and one that should never be taken for granted. So if you grew up glued to your desk for dozens of hours a week grinding gear in Diablo II, your old bones needn’t worry about sitting stiff as a board by your mouse and keyboard again.

Hook up your preferred gamepad and recline in your gaming chair, or maybe even consider connecting your PC to a TV for the console game experience instead.

And with UNDECEMBER calling Steam its home, you can even effortlessly use Steam Link to stream the game to any room in your house, play it from your phone without sucking the battery dry in a couple of hours, or even run it locally on Valve’s epic new Steam Deck handheld, enjoying the graphical quality of the PC version without compromising with the smaller screen size of your handset.

Whether you’ve sunk thousands of hours into a game like it before or you’re just now looking to try out the genre that’s constantly topping the Steam charts, UNDECEMBER already looks to be blending the best bits of the competition together.

Once you log in and wedge a ballistae bolt into the side of a fortress-carrying dino, you’ll be hooked on the potential of this skill-driven action RPG, its bleak desert sands ushering you toward the dusty town where the start of your lengthy legend may very well begin.

UNDECEMBER launches on both PC and mobile on October 12 as a F2P MMORPG.

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