Let's discover together the dark fantasy universe of Traum with our Undecember test, the hack'n'slash from LINE Games and Need Games, available since October 12th 2022 on Android, iOS and PC. After the disappointment of Diablo Immortal with its very aggressive business model, let's see if this new competitor with its varied bestiary and immersive atmosphere will be able to raise the level and conquer the hearts of the players.
Undecember Test: a hack'n'slash with increasing difficulty
Let's start this Undecember test with a general presentation of the game. As soon as you arrive in the desert of this medieval fantasy world, you will have to progress your character to gain power and stuff. In addition to the main quest, you can embark on side quests.
Even if each mission consists more or less of hitting various monsters through the different maps of Traum's world, choosing your objective priority allows you to explore the areas in a non-linear way, which is quite pleasant. By the way, a little advice, remember to explore each map at 100% so as not to miss rewards which will be very useful for the optimization of your character.
With the loot left behind by your enemies and the destructible environment, choose to kill your opponents from a distance with devastating arrows or opt for other styles of slaughter with a mage's staff, dagger, mace or other bloody weapons.
However, if the fights are relatively easy at the beginning, things will quickly get tougher. To keep on cutting your opponents up to level 100, you'll have to think your build intelligently and not only rely on your fighting skills.
Indeed, Undecember features an aiming assist that reduces the player's impact in combat. Far from being necessary, this aiming assistance makes things easier, but it can also complicate them. Sometimes, when trying to shoot a flowerpot to get some gold coins, the arrows are redirected to the nearest group of enemies, which can be frustrating. Especially since it is impossible to disable the aiming aid.
Free and varied build possibilities
Despite this, the Undecember gameplay shines through its different build mechanics. The studio Needs Games made the interesting choice of not integrating any class system, like Albion Online, which we already told you about in our top of the best mobile MMORPGs. Your skills and fighting style are defined only by the items and runes you carry. As soon as you change them, you completely transform your abilities.
The objects echantment
Each item has affixes, a tier power indicator, and a rarity level in addition to its basic features. One of the most enjoyable parts of our test of Undecember is the depth of itemization, with the affix system on items.
In addition to influencing your build, these affixes can be reset with resources until you get the combo that suits your ideal play style. Despite the randomness of this mechanic, the whole thing is pretty well balanced. With fairly affordable stats changes, you find yourself being able to vary your stuff from one thing to another in a short amount of time by way of crafting. This gives you a good power boost and a very dynamic combat feeling.
Weapons, armor and runes can be obtained through loot, crafting or in-game merchants, but it's up to you to reveal their full potential. Logically, the higher their rarity, the greater the potential to exploit.
The different types of runes
Now let's talk about runes, the second of the three complex build systems in our test of Undecember. There are 3 types of runes in total:
- Active runes, which characterize the player's build by giving him direct skills;
- Passive runes, which boost the skills of the runes they are linked to;
- Binding runes, which also bind to another rune and automatically activate a second skill when the first is activated.
These runes can be upgraded, but all require a specific characteristic level of the character to be used. The characteristics required by the runes depend on their color: red for strength, blue for intelligence and green for dexterity.
But the specialty of runes is their ability to be visually linked with each other on your rune board. You can even move them at any time. So remember to position them wisely to make the most of their power. If you're smart, you can add up to 6 links for some of them. This is what makes Undecember's theorycraft so rich and promises hours of optimization for the most relentless among you.
In a more classic RPG style, you will have to improve your character's basic stats in thezodiac tree. At each level, you gain stat points to spend on strength, dexterity and intelligence, but also trait points. These points can be invested in additional trees that allow you to unlock other bonuses.
If you are finally realizing the possibilities of the runes, the zodiac tree and your use of them, I welcome you to the depths of Undecember theorycrafting.
Join the JeuMobi guild to enjoy multiplayer
But you won't be alone in these dark adventures and in building these crazy builds. If you like playing with others, take the time to join a guild. This is your chance to discover multiplayer and the joys of team slaughter. By the way, JeuMobi has created its own guild in Undecember, so don't hesitate to join us in-game! To do so, just go to the city, find the guild leader NPC and search for "JeuMobi" in the list.
Joining us gives you access to in-game upgrades based on donations from all members, as well as access to the guild store. We're also planning to set up group raids, which are co-op boss fights for up to 8 players. So don't miss the opportunity to beat up monsters with us. You can even join our Discord to discuss it!
Game modes and crossplay
Now that you've stepped into the other game modes with the co-op boss fight, you should know that there are 4 combat and exploration modes at the release of this Undecember test:
- Single-player Story Mode;
- Chaos Dungeon mode, which will have you facing waves of monsters to be threaded like skewers on the point of your sword;
- Boss Raid mode for team PvE;
- The Mythic mode with cards to summon to defeat a boss with his minions.
As you may have noticed, the game does not offer any PvP content for the moment, unlike Diablo Immortal. But it is still very much focused on multiplayer and you will find a competitive dimension with a bit of hard try thanks to the boss time ranking. To climb the rankings, you'll have to optimize your stuff and your strategy to take down each boss as fast as possible.
One of the best things about our Undecember test is the ease of access to items. For example, with the shared repository between all characters on the same account, I can easily transfer items to another character for a different build.
Plus, since the game is available crossplatform on mobile and PC, I can link my Steam progress to my Google Play account with a simple code and continue playing on the medium of my choice. Thanks to the controller support, I can really play in the way that is most comfortable for me. But as we will see later, the comfort of the game is limited by the developers on some aspects of the gameplay.
An immersive atmosphere and quality graphics
Let's move on to the overall atmosphere part of our Uncember test. Honestly, this dark hack'n'slash has largely conquered our hearts on that side. We advise you to use headphones to get the most out of the experience.
In addition to the effective music, it is above all the quality sound design that instantly immerses us in the atmosphere of Undecember. From the wind on the desert sand to the screams of the prisoners in the dungeons, Needs Games' title ensures a complete journey for your ears throughout the adventure.
Graphically, there is no disappointment either since the spells animations give a real feeling of power, especially when the opponents burst into pieces under a rain of flaming arrows.
But what surprised me the most was the graphics quality during the gameplay. The level of detail can be adjusted in the settings, but the free exploration of the game and the fights are still really beautiful, especially compared to the cutscenes which are rather passable. Anyway, there are very few cutscenes, and to be honest, Undecember is mostly played to slice monsters, not to follow its story.
On the other hand, if you are the type of person who follows the story by listening to each dialogue with the NPCs, you will be happy to know that in addition to being fully translated into French, they are all dubbed into English. With subtitles in French or in other languages for non-bilinguals, these voice-overs bring a real depth to the exchanges and allow you to fully feel the emotions of each character.
A business model that limits free-to-play
After all the good things we've said about the game, it's time to move on to the annoying part of our test of Undecember: the business model.
Not to put too fine a point on it, let's just say that compared to Diablo Immortal, as a free-to-play player, you can get the composition of runes and items you want and level them up to the max with minimal premium money. It must be said that Blizzard's hack 'n' slash literally saves you several months of farming for Euros and this is not the case in Undecember.
On the other hand, the title has chosen to reduce the comfort of free-to-play players with the inventory and deposit in town. The slots available to store your stuff are very limited and can only be purchased through the premium store.
As a result, you have to go back to town regularly to drop off your stuff and waste precious time sorting out your loot compared to players who prefer to spend real money. After a few hours of play, the deposit in town gets more and more crowded and this can be really disturbing at the end-game.
Conclusion of my Undecember review
In the end, Undecember takes the old school hack'n'slash formula and brings in some interesting new theorycrafting mechanics to multiply the gameplay styles. Both immersive and fun to explore, the world of Traum can become frustrating due to its inventory and deposit slot limits that force players to spend in-game.
But Undecember will continue to evolve with patches and we hope it will get more multiplayer content, since that's what's missing the most in the game offered by LINE Games. If our test of Undecember has convinced you to try it, the game is available for free on PC, Android and iOS.