Montero, the fight of the soulless

Harken young reader! Harken and listen to the tale of great adventures, of brave warriors and exciting battles, of terrible monsters and thrilling tales in Montero.

Montero is, well, a medieval tale simulator. You take on the role of a eyeless dwarven warrior trained to kill strange monsters. Your task is to go to a randomly generated village somewhere, collect some equipment and ready yourself, and then go kill said monster. Montero is a roguelike game, in that, despite gearing up your hunter with equipment and consumables, each mission is totally self contained, the only thing being passed between them being your skill at hunting monsters.

Chop chop chop!

The graphics are, well, kinda weird, with fully 3d simulated characters, but for some strange reason they have no eyes. Heads, faces and even eye sockets, Yes! But for whatever reason all the people just have soulless heads. Other than the terrifying heads, the game itself looks very nice, with a nice low-fi style that works really well.

The world of Montero, itself, is quite well fleshed out, the villages feel alive, albeit slightly deserted. Wandering through them in the day, walking through fog thick enough to apply for a Silent Hill job, feels very creepy, while the nighttime feels oppressive and restrictive, especially when wandering through the forest looking for food. And foraging is a large part of the gameplay, exploring to find or collect resources to craft weapons and other useful tools, before taking the fight to the the monster, is critical.

The combat itself is simplistic, perhaps slightly too much. When encountering an enemy you enter into turn based combat, which sees  you and the enemy trading blows. You have a range of attacks, the amount depending on how many weapons you have collected or crafted, each weapon haves two different attacks, most of them alternating between hard and slow, and weak but fast.

Got my backpack and not a care in the world! Cep’t those monsters

Overall, Montero is an interesting and well thought out game, but it is incredibly dense. There are very few tutorials, the most information given to you is in the form of a few in-game books explaining some in-game aspects. The vast majority of my knowledge came from experimenting: doing something and then seeing what happened. This is certainly a viable option for games, and can even work pretty well. But this, this complete lack of any guidance is, in my opinion, too much, leaving me with hardly any idea of what to do. But hey, maybe that was a stylistic choice, in which case it really worked.

Montero is available on PC right now, via Steam.

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