is a first-person, massively multi-player Survival Sandbox
game set in a post-apocalyptic setting where the remnants of humanity struggle for existence in a world overrun by flesh-hungry ex-human creatures. The twist is that the enemy in Nether
are not zombies, but rather mutant/demonic creatures called "Nether" which come in an assortment of subspecies and have the ability to teleport.
Nether is built on the Unreal
engine, with influence from games such as DayZ
, with a touch of Left 4 Dead
. The game takes place in an urban environment, with many tall buildings adding a vertical dimension to most areas. The urban setting also means points of interest are closer together, so travel time between points of interest are much shorter than, say, the wide open country-side of Chernarus
. The game is relatively faster-paced than other massive multiplayer sandbox survival games, although exploration and resource gathering are still a core element of gameplay.
The game is currently in Beta, being sold on Steam under their early access banner. Bugs, control issues, and gameplay balancing issues are to be expected and are currently a major topic of discussion amongst the game's community.
Provides Examples Of:
- All There in the Manual: Almost all of the backstory regarding what's going on isn't even on the game's website, let alone in the game itself. Most of it can only be found in various publicity material released by the developers to third party channels.
- After the End: The game takes place a decade after The Cull, a mysterious event (believed to be an unusually powerful solar flare) that transformed 2/3rds of the human race into exceptionally hostile demonic creatures called Nether.
- An Axe to Grind: One of the better melee weapons is a medieval battle axe, described as "probably looted from a museum".
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: In a Shocking Swerve, the game went from a "pay real money for cosmetic items" model to a full "pay to win" model with most major game items buyable with real cash, while the price of most items using the in-game currency has been jacked up so high that it's impractical to buy them with game money earned in-game. A business model the devs had original promised to never implement. Not coincidentally, this switch occurred at the same time Phosphor Games "abandoned ship" and transferred all responsibility to the game to "Nether Productions".
- Co-Op Multiplayer/Competitive Multiplayer: Like It's progenitor and all the games in the genre it spawned, the game features a blend of cooperative and competitive play. On the one hand, the majority of players will kill each other on sight, if for no other reason than the (very reasonable) fear that the other guy will kill them if they don't shoot first. On the other hand, working together with other players considerably increases your chances of survival, especially after the February 2014 patch that significantly increased the aggressiveness, population density, and overall pain-in-the-ass factor of the city's Nether population. The game is currently slanted towards an every-man-for-himself free-for-all, but the Devs are planning to implement a Tribes system to encourage more cooperative play.
- Crapsack World: It's your typical post-apocalypse. Society has recovered enough that there are violence-free "safe zones" where some degree of societal order exists, but pretty much anything goes outside their walls. Oh, and there are also the hordes of flesh-hungry Nether.
- Good Bad Bugs: A well-known bug puts the player in "spectator" mode upon logging into a server, allowing them to ghost/fly around the game world as a floating camera, following other players and basically seeing the game from a omniscient point-of-view. The inability to chat (or do pretty much anything) when this bug occurs prevents the potential for abuse. However, there is no consistent way to trigger it and it may or may not have been patched out of the latest version of the game.
- Griefer: As with most other games in the newly developing genre, the majority of player-on-player violence is done not for profit or survival, but simply for the pleasure of it.
- Humans Are Bastards: The game's tag-line is "Prey or Pray", and the trailer features a young woman wandering the post-apocalypse hunting other humans for supplies before being slain herself by someone else coveting her stuff. The Devs knew exactly what they were doing when they set the social parameters of this game.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: A mid-level character skill allows players to regain health by consuming food, as long as their hunger meter is fully filled.
- Instant Death Bullet: Mostly averted, even the most powerful weapon in the game (the sniper rifle) deals 800 damage (players start with 1000 health and can upgrade to 1250 by leveling up). That said, a headshot from the sniper rifle can be a one-hit-kill, and even a torso shot can kill instantly if the target is injured or the shooter has leveled up their firearms skill for bonus damage.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The katana is the absolute best melee weapon in the game. It kills basic Nether Crawlers in 2 hits, whereas most other high-end melee weapons require 3 hits.
- Le Parkour: It's a far cry from Mirror's Edge, but a mid-level skill perk does allow you to clear over low objects that would otherwise completely block your jumps. Also, despite the urban environment the level design doesn't allow for a lot of roof hopping, since most buildings are spaced too far apart.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- It's a complete coin toss as to whether any given Nether encounter will result in 2 or 3 Nether (a manageable amount even if you're armed only with a kitchen knife), or more than a dozen Nether including 3 or 4 Giant Mook enemies (which can often be lethal even to a high-level player armed with an automatic weapon).
- Hell, even if you'll find food before your starve to death can be a matter of complete chance (it's best to run missions to earn money so you can actually buy some, instead of having to rely on scavenging).
- Money Spider: Slain Nether will, on rare occasions, drop random items in addition to their body parts.
- Nerf: Firearms used to be scattered across the city like candy. After the February 2014 patch, they're much rarer, with most having to be crafted from scavenged components using the new crafting system. Bullets are still relatively common, though.
- Obvious Beta: Well, yeah. The game is currently solid, but there are a variety of gameplay and graphical issues, not to mention the fact that graphical options are lacking and they haven't even implemented a way to rebind the keys yet. Oh, and only a small portion of the map has been actually implemented.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Well, one of the major selling points of Nether is that the main enemy isn't zombies. That said, one uncommon type of Nether is a partially-transformed human that moans, walks very slowly, attacks with flailing melee strikes, and explodes violently upon taking damage, dealing out a massive amount of damage to anything standing nearby. They're usually found scattered around specific areas, such as churches or parks. They're usually very little threat, but can sneak up on you if you're caught in a deathmatch against another player or are dealing with a horde of normal Nether.
- Power Equals Rarity: After the February 2014 patch, all firearms are very rare as loot, but the components to make a pistol or submachine gun are a lot easier to find than the components you need for an assault rifle or sniper rifle.
- Averted early on prior to the patch, however; pistols were more common than anything else, but otherwise you'd be about as likely to find an SMG as your were to find a sniper rifle.
- Rainbow Pimp Gear: Many of the purchasable clothing items are quite colorful.
- Survival Sandbox: Much like DayZ, from which it draws much inspiration.
- Scavenger World: It's the apocalypse, natch.
- Twenty Bear Asses: You can collect Nether body parts and trade them for food, medicine, ammo, or basic weapons (a pistol or a submachine gun).
- With This Herring: You start out armed only with a kitchen knife and a small backpack. You also revert to this every time you get killed.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: If your hunger meter runs out, your health will gradually drain away until you eat some food or die.