We Who Are About To Die – Demo Impressions

We Who Are About To Die is a top-down gladiator simulator in real time combat, with you controlling one gladiator. The controls and mechanics are very similar to Exanima. The game even shares some keyboard keys, like holding down ALT to stab with certain weapons. The developer is a sole dude named Jordy Lakiere, and the game, while somewhat janky is pretty impressive for a one-man show.

You play as a random gladiator, with emphasis on random. When you start, you can pick a background story for your gladiator, which gives you random starter stats and weapons. And since the game has perma-death as the default system, you will be playing a lot of randomized gladiators before dying is not part of the repertoire.

As mentioned, the game controls very similar to Exanima, which is another physics based melee fighting game. While Exanima is very refined when it comes to the combat, WWABTD is a bit more rough around the edges, and seemingly more dependent on “RPG” -stats. The fighting works, though, and it’s pretty fun to dance around, timing blocks and cuts. The game also have a dismemberment system, so heads will be flying through the air on a regular basis. There is also a big focus on stamina management while in combat. If you tire yourself out, you will have trouble blocking or making attacks.

Who said gladiator life was fair?

All these skills – while the true test of survival rest in your hands since it’s player skill-based, can be improved through in-game experience. Surviving fights, and killing your enemies earns you XP, which have you going up in rank, gaining you new skills. Using a weapon also increase your skill in that weapons, which I find is a nice system in any game – becoming better through use!

Another one bites the coliseum dust

Between the fighting there is some light management to be had, buying new equipment, paying doctors to fix your wounds, etc. There isn’t too much to do here currently, so my time in the game was mostly hopping from one arena to the next. There are also a bunch of different fights to be had, difference in numbers and teams that is. 1 vs 1, or how about a 3 vs 1, if you feel like a bully.

So, while a bit on the jank-side, I did find the demo fun, and I recommend giving it a go if you enjoy these type of games, especially if you appreciate the tension of having forced iron-man. The demo can be found on the Steam page!

Thanks for reading.


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