DYSTORIA Review: A ‘Descent’ Into Greatness

Way back in 1995, (before XBOX ) and when almost every game was an Indie Game, I played a 3D PC game that changed my gaming life forever…

The game was called “Descent”, it was a doom like space shooter with you as an oversized “Batteries Not Included” like space ship that had you whizzing and bumping around a maze like environment, shooting your enemies and reaching the goal, raising and lowering your ship’s gravity to avoid lasers.  It had a killer network LAN mode and was way before it’s time.  In terms of gameplay, mechanics, longevity you name it, this game had it all (plus it ran from a floppy disk on DoS).

So this brings me to a newly released game on STEAM that I have been playing over the past few days, it’s called DYSTORIA and it is flaming fantastic!


DYSTORIA by Tri-Coastal Games is a futuristic, action filled, gorgeous indie game title.  It has you starting off in a very familiar setting from “The Last Starfighter” playing an arcade machine stuck in the middle of nowhere, this scene just ignites a warm feeling for all us older lot who actually remembers the mid 80’s, a great start.


SPOILER ALERT: Suddenly you are abducted by aliens (who clearly have issues with your late night gaming habit) and you are beamed up to the mothership to stand a series of tests in one of their smaller space ships.  These are not any old tests though, but ones that all of humankind and its existence are dependant on, so in other words you have to save planet earth by proving we are not the weakest link in the universe goodbye!


DYSTORIA focuses on gameplay, excitement, action and feeling.  It offers unique game mechanics like the ability to ‘crawl’ along all sides of the level so if you don’t feel like flying, then you can choose to glide along the walls, floor & ceiling.  This adds a great aspect to the gameplay and allows you to be sneaky and tactical.

You can only shoot in the direction you are facing so you need to be alert at all times.  You shoot lasers, throw bombs and destroy massive parts of the level in order to progress, which is highly satisfying watching the massive explosions chain off after you shoot the massive silo enough times.  This is possibly repeated a little too much throughout the game, but it is still fun to do regardless.

The controls are slick and it feels like you are really floating, especially when just hovering stationary.  The enemies’ AI can be slightly predictable but they do not let you have it easy by any means, just because you see someone shooting a gun at you, doesn’t mean you can get out of the way!

The enemy can come from anywhere so you have to be on your toes but there is a good balance of win/lose ratio, you hardly ever feel that you are going to breeze through a level without a fight but sometimes you can die without knowing who killed you.  In some levels you have to defeat all enemies so no hiding in the corner and sneaking to the end portal.


You have to collect three orbs hidden within each level which then opens up the end portal, you can also upgrade your ship to a more advanced ship as you progress.

All ships in the game seem to have different handling which is a nice touch.  You do have a shield apparently, but the aliens will see to it that you don’t have it for long.


The sound is an excellent electro 80’s synth mashup and really adds to the game’s feel, it reminds me of Air Wolf’s opening theme tune and many a 80’s TV show incidental music which is always a good thing to me.


DYSTORIA has all of the components to be an absolute classic.  It has depth, elegance, great story and a brilliant look.  The gameplay, graphics and mechanics are smooth, although it can get repetitive sometimes, there are many times it draws you back in to have another go, this symbolises a good difficulty balance and plays on our (sometimes) infernal human instincts.

With 30+ open levels and a nasty end level boss there is enough to get your teeth into, I recon this would be amazing in VR, but Tri-Costal have said that only a PC STEAM version is available so that will limit your VR options at present.

DYSTORIA features moving platforms, switches for doors, triggers that change level geometry, deadly moving lasers to avoid, destructible blocks to blow up (often revealing hidden areas of valuable pickups) and much, much more.

Go Check It Out – Out Now DYSTORIA ON STEAM

For more info check out dystoria.com

Go Check It Out – Out Now DYSTORIA ON STEAM



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