You Will Die Here Tonight Review

You Will Die Here Tonight top down perspective.

You Will Die Here Tonight, an indie horror game by Spiral Bound Interactive, attempts to pay homage to 1990s horror games, blending classic influences with a modern twist. I had a chance to play through the game early; read what I thought about it in my You Will Die Here Tonight review below.

At the start, You Will Die Here Tonight offers a calm setting within the ARIES station, a super police unit. After a brief meeting with the captain, the unit then heads off to secure a strange virus from a secluded old mansion called Breckenridge Estate.

As the group steps into the manor, chaos swiftly erupts. The six super police officers are split up, and their survival depends on exploration of the perilous estate, confrontation with infected enemies, and puzzle-solving abilities.

If this story and gameplay sounds similar to Resident Evil 1, that’s because it is. You Will Die Here Tonight is a love letter to many horror games of the 90s, but it takes the bulk of its inspiration from the first Resident Evil game.

While it would have been simple to just copy Resident Evil 1 and slap a new coat of paint on it, Spiral Bound has elected to add their own twists to the formula.

Death Will Happen A Lot

An ARIES member encountering a dead member.
Death will happen to you often.

You’ll encounter frequent deaths in the game – it’s even part of the game’s title. Everything in the manor actively seeks your demise, from hostile enemies to challenging puzzles. Death constantly looms, and those unprepared will face the consequences.

Fortunately, dying serves as a gameplay mechanic that adds a unique twist to the typical survival horror experience. With each death, you assume control of a new ARIES member, each specializing in a particular skill. For instance, there’s a combat expert proficient in firearms who can enhance weapons at workbenches, and a skilled doctor capable of crafting first aid kits using special plants.

This death mechanic introduces an intriguing strategic element to your approach to the game. Critical items you discover are passed on to the next character upon death, granting them a better chance of progressing in the manor or conquering challenging combat encounters. As a result, you may opt to preserve specific characters for as long as possible to leverage their expertise and make the next character’s journey less arduous.

Another enjoyable aspect of the death mechanic is that past characters remain at the location of their demise. This allows you to revisit their death sites, either to retrieve their belongings or confront a zombified version of them, which you can eliminate.

The only drawback I encountered with the death mechanic is that proficient players may find a substantial portion of the game content locked behind the necessity to die. While not a deal-breaker, it does somewhat detract from the overall gaming experience. Once you’ve mastered enemy placements and puzzle solutions, you can effortlessly progress through the game with minimal concern for lurking threats.

Puzzles and Combat

Combat in You Will Die Here Tonight.
Combat occurs in a first-person perspective.

While exploring the manor with a top-down perspective, you’ll encounter a diverse range of puzzles that play a pivotal role in unlocking key items and new weapons. These puzzles are distributed throughout the various manor rooms, offering plenty of chances to engage your problem-solving skills. What introduces an intriguing element is that errors in many of these puzzles can result in dire consequences. This injects tension into the puzzle-solving process, demanding precise deduction of solutions rather than resorting to sheer force.

The game departs from the traditional horror formula in an interesting manner regarding combat. Instead of engaging enemies with a top-down view, every time you draw your weapon, you seamlessly shift into a first-person mode reminiscent of games like House of the Dead.

While I did enjoy the combat system, it didn’t entirely capture my enthusiasm. The perspective shift is executed competently but remains somewhat static throughout the entire 5-hour experience. Besides obtaining new weapons, the introduction of fresh combat mechanics as you progress through the game is minimal. I would have welcomed additional elements in the combat mode, such as the ability to target and utilize shootable hazards against your adversaries to add a bit of variety.

Story

The narrative of You Will Die A Lot begins akin to Resident Evil 1 but swiftly diverges into its unique path. The manor you embark on holds a multitude of secrets, weaving an enticing tale of its past inhabitants and current residents.

Each ARIES team member contributes their own storyline, adding depth to the narrative. I won’t delve into the specifics to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say, not everyone within the team is what they appear to be.

Within the confines of the manor, you can piece together the story by gathering various clues, such as notes and items. These elements peel back the layers of intrigue and provide hints about the ongoing events, making it a rewarding experience for those who thoroughly explore the surroundings.

Judgement

You Will Die Here Tonight is an enjoyable homage to classic horror games from the past. Instead of merely replicating those games and offering little innovation, the developers have introduced some intriguing twists to rejuvenate the experience. While not every addition is flawless, the overall gameplay is highly worthwhile and is a must-try this Halloween.

8.5/10

 

enricofairme

A lifelong gamer who has devoted the last six years to the creation and development of "Hold To Reset," a website tailored by gamers for gamers. Yell your hot takes at him on X.

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