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AT SUNDOWN: Shots in the Dark - Review

AT SUNDOWN: Shots in the Dark finally hits Steam, with a new and refreshing approach on multiplayer! Developed by Mild Beast Games, we’ve been hearing about this game for almost a year, since it has been nominated for several Gaming Award categories, and winning some, particularly the BAFTA Games, “Ones to Watch”.

Originally released on Discord store on October of 2018, At Sundown quickly gained a lot of attention, but fans had to wait for other platforms such as Steam or even consoles for that matter. Going for a time-exclusivity deal has helped Mild Beast Games polish the game and release a proper and final version, but what does really await us At Sundown!?

At Sundown is a top shooter with stealth elements, that uses darkness and light as a way to mix the whole action into a new level of intensity. Players fight in almost complete darkness, using only shadows and specific lights to their advantages, such as lamps or throwing flares as part of the team’s gear. There are a total of 6 different maps in this current build, all arena-based where a maximum of 4 players fight for survival online.

There are 4 different characters to play with, each with a specific color. The green Dusk, the red Dawn, the yellow Midnight, and the final, the blue Eve. This makes two males and two female characters, and each represents a class, or at least, some sort of “preference”. Eve is a skilful sniper, Midnight wields a blade, Dusk seems to love his shotgun, and so on, but the truth is, there are 11 weapons to unlock and equip on your favorite warrior of the night.

The wide range of weapons gives an extra satisfying motivation to keep engaging in combat. The arsenal consist of a basic shotgun, revolvers, and auto rifles, but quickly becomes heavier with sniper, swords, grenade launcher, and if all of this is not good enough, some particular weapons are at your disposal, such as a very special umbrella, a shock-bow, and even a juggernaut with a devastating swing! All of these weapons look extremely amazing to use against your friends, but unlocking them requires some effort, not to mention learning to maneuver them!

If the above concept does sound tricky to you, do not fear, there’s a training ground ready for all your knowledge to be properly acquired, together with all the cool arsenal! There is a total of 24 challenges that goes through each and every weapon available within the game. Each challenge is composed of two levels, the basic challenge and the advanced one. The goal is to teach players all the skills of the game, rewarding the performance with medals from Bronze, to Silver, and finally Gold, which is the highest rank. XP is unlocked based on the medals earned, and the more experience points, the more goodies are earned.

With this exercise, players sharpen their senses and learn the mechanics involved in the game, as well some tricks to take over the online matches. You can run, sprint, fire both primary and secondary weaponry, melee, snipe, and even how to properly use bounce mechanics of specific projectiles that can hit corners and blind sides. Now you can even use a bad-ass technique to take down all your opponents using angles!

Every single arena is very unique, and delivers amazing moments of intensity and unpredictable gameplay. Three maps are unlocked from the very beginning, but the others require at least level 13, and it’s convenient to say these last maps are the wild ones. Locations such as the Subway have players fight with a train crossing randomly the middle of the map, being an extra obstacle. Other locations such as the Factory and Mansion offer a large amount of structures to take cover, hide, or use the angles to your advantage. Levels are simple but good looking and both the dark and light elements are a pleasant fusion to look at. The game never stops being colorful, even if the darkness is your ally when hunting or being hunted!

At Sundown offers all sorts of game modes. Of course online is the primordial focus, but that doesn’t mean single players are left out. Offline bots are available for local matches if one does not feel comfortable enough against other players. Local Multiplayer is perfect if you’re having friends over and there’s a need for that casual, relaxing fun. Players can also host a match and give the room code to friends, so they can set up a more private party, but there’s always the chance to Host a game and set up all your desired options, or just joining a game match, for 1vs1, 2vs2, Free for All, and even Arcade!

Created with Unity, At Sundown shows a huge customization while in-game. Full controller support, with remapping ability, even for extra mouse buttons, which is always pleasant. We should also take a moment to appreciate the lack of chromatic aberration being forced down to customers, and also, since we’re on the matter, the Bloom effect can also be toggled off. Same goes for Blood and Bodies from within the game. Other options such as VSync and Anti-Aliasing are also present. Overall Graphics Quality and Visuals can be changed from Low to Medium and High, and shadows can further be reduced.

Overall, and entering into technical details, I personally noticed no frame rate drops while playing with the High setting, on a GTX 750 Ti, which is now a Low tier card, but still performs very well in this game, and generally speaking, the Unity engine doesn’t play well with low-tier cards based on nVidia’s Maxwell architecture. If anything, we must make reference to the fantastic optimization made by Mild Beast Games!

Playing online or with local friends, one thing is surely certain, there’s fun waiting for you At Sundown, and although it might take some time to learn and gain reflexes, once you do, the learning progress will become simpler and rewarding. A fun multiplayer game that can be extra fun at long sessions, especially with friends, presented with a huge optimization and offers decent customization as well.

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