I was always wrong about dreams.
I thought they were part of my brain.
Thoughts provoked by memories.
I was so wrong.
Dreams are not created in your brain.
You are just a visitor of these unearthly places.
UNLOVED is a First-Person Shooter/Survival Horror/Rogue Like game by developer Paul Schneider, based on a Doom II mod of the same name he created in 2010. It was initially released via Steam's Early Access program in 2015, before releasing officially on September 29th, 2016. It features drop-in/out Coop Multiplayer for up to four people.
The player takes the role of a man known only as "The Fool", who has found himself lost in a nightmarish procedurally-generated maze of rusted and rotting rooms, full of randomly spawning monsters, searching for keys to unlock new rooms and rationing the limited supplies of ammunition, healing, and armour.
A "run" in UNLOVED comprises a single level. You must find three crests, Blood, Moon, and Sun, with the Sun Crest opening the way to a room or rooms containing "Blood Machines" that must be activated to open the exit elevator, at the cost of the player's own health. Whether you succeed or die, any weapons and upgrades you found in the level are lost but you keep certain other items, as well as "karma", the game's currency.
This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Area: A lot of the environments in the game are like this. Aside from the "Apartments" stage preset, there's also:
- Armor-Piercing Attack: The Witch's "Face of Death" completely ignores your armor, presumably because it's a non-physical attack.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Magnum, at least if you start with it as your default Evidence-based weapon. While starting with what is effectively a heavy weapon sounds like fun, its primary drawback is the severely limited ammo compared to the Tactical pistol (-50% maximum ammo capacity and -60% pistol ammo gained from all pickups). Combined with the fact that it'll be massively overkilling light enemies like Servants and Nurses (which the Tactical pistol will usually kill in 1-2 shots anyway), you can find yourself running a bit low on bullets if you're not lucky or don't find another weapon to deal with the chaff. Additionally, the loss of the Tactical kit's critical chance may not be worth it, as a critical hit does 250% bonus damage and can occur frequently enough that a Tactical pistol can (with enough luck) even flat-out surpass the DPS of the Magnum.
- The Blank: The Cutter Demons, with some nasty looking claw fingers for good measure.
- Back Story: Not given in gameplay, but can be revealed bit by bit in exchange for photographs found in the maps. It's disjointed at first, with separate entries containing a dream log, the fevered scrawling of an asylum patient, a criminal investigator's journal, and so on.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: In contrast to the mod version, which used Doom's armor system that averted this, armor in Unloved completely negates any and all damage to your health save for the Witch's "Face of Death" attack and self-inflicted damage from charging Blood Machines.
- Body Horror: Neck mouths, horns, grotesque tumors. Lots of messed up, vaguely humanoid monsters. It gets worse with the Rotten versions, who all look, well, decayed and rotten.
- Boring, but Practical: The pistol. With a ten-round magazine and a low amount of base damage, early on it's mostly only useful for killing Servants and Nurses to save shotgun shells for bigger enemies. But it reloads quickly and is one of only three weapons that enemies drop ammunition for, and with a properly upgraded Trinket and some luck with crit-based Weapon Mods, it can drop even a Clown with a single magazine allowing the player to save the nailgun and railgun for more intense encounters.
- Among trinket upgrades, the Cases that affect your ammo capacity, in particular the higher-level ones that give you a chance of ghost reloads (free ammo). While they're not as exciting as the weapon upgrade trinkets that directly boost your damage, they can make a massive difference to your chances on a run more ammo means needing to take fewer pickups, which means less Heat generation, which means fewer monsters spawning for you to expend ammo on, which means less chance of dying.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Clown, Faceless, Doctor, and Witch have more health than normal and are generally rarer and more dangerous than other enemy types (with the latter 3 being able to survive several shotgun blasts, while most enemies die after only one). Their toughness and rarity is roughly in that order, with the Witch being by far the rarest and most dangerous monster in the game. The four are Expies of the Revenant, Mancubus, Hell Knight, and Arch-Vile from Doom.
- Cast From HP: Of a sorts. In order to activate the blood machines and open the exit elevator, you pay a cost in health 49% of your totalnote , 7% per machine. Be careful when activating them a later patch prevented them from actually killing you, but activating them builds huge amounts of heat. You don't want to be facing the ensuing monster spawns on only a single HP.
- Character Customization: You can set your colors, as well as equip an array of trinkets to increase various stats.
- The Computer Shall Taunt You: A "one-liner" system was added to game where you will see creepy or threatening messages displayed upon picking up items or opening doors. This serves as a warning that the game's "heat" system is spawning more enemies; red text in particular gives the player notice that there will be many new playmates on which to use that new weapon or totem you've just picked up.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Weapon Mod pick-ups have a random chance of affecting any weapon you currently have and only those. If you happen to pick up a bunch of them before grabbing extra weapons beyond the one you spawned with, you can end up with one very powerful weapon and several stock ones, which can be a problem if you run low on ammo for that one powerful weapon.
- Deadly Doctor: The Drowned Surgeon and his tougher cousin, the Lobotomized Doctor, who have amalgams of knives and scalpels in place of hands. Oh, and they throw green fireballs, too.
- Deadly Gaze: Being looked at by Witch's eyes for too long casts your screen in a black-and-white filter and after few seconds takes a large chunk out of your health through your armor, no less. The Rotten Witches can kill you outright this way.
- Do Well, But Not Perfect: The more stuff you pick up and the more doors you open, the more enemies spawn. Ideally, you want to deal with what enemies are there with the equipment you have, and don't want to pick up any more until you absolutely need it. This is especially true in higher difficulty levels, where just opening your first door in the level can generate enough heat to get a red-text one-liner and spawn a whole host of enemies to fight.
- Eldritch Location: The elevator that begins and ends each level only goes one way: down. Now consider that the town area, with its open grey skies, can be under the other areas.
- Elite Mook:
- Most enemy types have a tougher variant with more health and more dangerous attacks, usually distinguished by being covered in blood or being black or drowned grey in color.
- On Kill 'Em All difficulty and above, large, grey, much more dangerous versions of enemies known as "The Rotten" may occasionally spawn, some of which have different abilities. Beware the Rotten Witch, in particular.
- Emergency Weapon: Your kukri does less damage than a bullet, but you've always got it. It can however, be buffed by certain trinkets and totems.
- Experience Point: Called simply "Q". However, these serve no in-game function, only rewarding new player titles as you accrue them.
- Excuse Plot: Bordering on No Plot? No Problem!. All the story amounts to is a guy named "The Fool" entering a strange realm where he has to fight his way through countless monsters and reactivate the elevator so he can continue down further floors... and that's it. There's no actual dialogue or anything, unless you're using voice chat in co-op.
- Expy: A number of enemies are clearly based on enemies from the original Doom and Doom II, since the game is based on a Doom mod. The Salem Servant has low health and fires a weak single-shot firearm just like the zombieman, the Cutter Demon throws single fireballs and claws at you in melee just like the Imp, the Butcher is a squat heavyset enemy with above-average health that charges at you to melee you just like the Demon (though the bloodied version can also throw fireballs as well), the Clown has above average health, a powerful melee attack and a homing projectile just like the Revenant, the Faceless throws a rapid series of dual fireballs like the Mancubus, the Doctor has high health and throws single green fireballs like the Hell Knight, and the Witch teleports enemies to her and has an undodgeable, armor-piercing, line-of-sight attack similar to the Arch-Vile.
- Additionally, the Demonic Nurses are inspired by the iconic nurse enemies from the Silent Hill series, wearing nurse outfits that would be sexy if they weren't bloodstained and pierced by jagged spikes, with heads overgrown by warped, featureless flesh.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: The ironically-named Faceless, who have quite a few faces, and many eyes, all over their upper bodies. And they are all ugly.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: Bloody or Drowned variants of enemies are usually tougher and more dangerous than the regular version. The Drowned Faceless is an exception, as it lacks a ranged attack and instead is limited to melee hits, while still having average/below average speed as well as being unable to Flash Step, just like the regular Faceless. That said, they still pack a wallop with their melee attacks, so you're advised to keep away regardless (although it's not that difficult to duck in and out of their melee range, slowly slicing them down with your kukri if you dare).
- Drowned Surgeons and Lobotomized Doctors aren't even nearly as dangerous as they appear at first glance, either although they have a damaging fireball attack, it's a single linear shot which is easy to dodge, and they're otherwise almost as slow as the Faceless, being similarly unable to Flash Step. They're extremely tough, but ultimately not nearly as dangerous as Witches, Clowns, or even standard Faceless.
- Fan Disservice: The Demonic Nurses, which have mostly human bodies in sexy nurse outfits, only stained with blood, with jagged spikes sticking out of their shoulders and warped flesh covering their heads that make them look a bit like headcrab zombies.
- Fireballs: The vast majority of enemies with projectiles use these, varying colors. The Clowns' ones look like screaming skulls.
- Flash Step: Enemies do this, appearing in front of you in a puff of black smoke.
- Ghostly Gape: The Witches.
- Guide Dang It!: Prior to the "one-liner" update mentioned above, the game's most important mechanic was never explained in any way within the game itself: "heat" system. Basically, enemy spawns are not infinite, but rather based on an "aggro" stack that builds up as you pick up items and open doors, and goes down with each new enemy spawned. Once the stack empties out, no new enemies will spawn until you start to fill it up again. Until they realize the correlation between the messages and heat, new players tend to grab everything they can find and end up mobbed to death as the level fills up with almost a hundred enemies at once. Even the "one-liner" update doesn't really help much.
- A brief description of the Heat system (or "Punishment" as it was called) was added to the game's Steam store page in the 1.0.10 update released in late 2019.Punishment System
Everything you do in this game has consequences. The more you take, the more the evil grows. Greed and too much curiosity will increase your punishment until you get completely overwhelmed by an endless tide of monstrosities.
- Almost the entire game is this, as there are no tutorials or explanations for any of the mechanics whatsoever, other than a popup message describing each weapon's alternate fire mode whenever you swap to it (which can be disabled from the options once you get tired of seeing it) and the description of your current objective (Find the Blood Crest/Find the Moon Crest/Find the Sun Crest/Use 0/7 Blood Machines).
- A brief description of the Heat system (or "Punishment" as it was called) was added to the game's Steam store page in the 1.0.10 update released in late 2019.
- Hand Cannon: The secret 6th weapon in the game is the Magnum, acquired by equipping a Pistol Magnum Mod as your pistol trinket. It converts the pistol into something more like a heavy weapon (complete with a different weapon model), with massively boosted damage per shot in exchange for a heavily nerfed fire rate, maximum ammo capacity and ammo pickup gain, and a slightly reduced clip size (as well as the loss of the crit chance, stability and reload speed you would get from equipping the alternate pistol trinket, the Pistol Tactical Kit).
- Hitscan: Your three basic weapons (pistol, SMP, shotgun) do this, but only one enemy is capable of such, and thankfully their attacks are weak: the Salem Servants.
- The Witch's attack is also unavoidable if it gets to fire it off, but fortunately it takes almost five seconds to charge and will fail if you break line of sight before it connects.
- Homing Projectile: Drowned/Rotten Cutters and Clowns can throw these; the Clown projectiles can cut much tighter turns, and can even "chase" players around corners if close enough.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
- Sliver of Mercy ("For the weak and inexperienced"): Easy, for levels 1-5. Enemies are weak and ammo/health/armor drops are worth 50% more.
- No Hope ("If you can't fight them all, better bring someone along"): Normal, for levels 5-15. Supplies are still worth 50% more, but enemies are tougher.
- Kill 'Em All ("You feel a constant, sharp pain and you want to inflict it on others"): Hard, for levels 15-30. Drops are fewer and worth their normal amount. Enemies are tougher still. The Rotten may appear on this difficulty and above.
- Time to Die ("Let go of the fear of death"): Harder, for levels 30-50.
- Beast Mode ("Pure insanity"): Harder still, for levels 50-100. A single Demon Chest containing a rank 3 trinket or ring may spawn at random, and the collectible card pieces have a small chance of giving you another one.
- Unearthly ("You are already dead"): Harder Than Hard, for levels over 100. Up to two Demon Chests may spawn at random in addition to the possibility of getting one from card pieces, and all enemies gain the Witch's ability to summon more enemies.
- Abyss ("The abyss stares into you"): Restricted difficulty for levels above 150. Features Abyss Wanderers. Kill three of them and you will get an Abyss Chest granting a powerful rank 4 trinket, if you survive the run.
- In Name Only: The original Doom II mod 'Unloved' was a fairly normal but extremely high-quality custom campaign mainly notable for its dedicated and genuinely terrifying horror atmosphere. Aside from genre and a few aesthetic similarities, this procedurally-generated Coop Multiplayer Rogue Like bears little to nothing in common with the original mod aside from the name.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Any Silver Keys you find can be used to open any Totem boxes, or the Demon Chests. The Totem boxes reward you with a Totem item, which provides a buff for the remainder of that map, while the Demon Chests are carried with you and if you finish the map successfully, are added to your trinket inventory and can be opened at a Karma cost in exchange for a random rank 3 trinket.
- Interface Screw: As your health gets lower, more and more blood spatters the edges of the screen, making it even harder to see in the bloodstained gloom of the levels. Certain enemy fireballs (particularly those of Clowns) can briefly fill your screen with glare when they hit you as well, and the Witch's "Face of Death" attack will grey out the screen once it begins, even if you break line-of-sight after.
- Irony: A common criticism people had of the original Doom II mod this game was based on was its habit of dropping the player in an enclosed space with a shitload of powerful monsters. Cut to now, and this game basically has that problem as its main difficulty feature. Many of the rooms are small and separated by tight corridors, with the potential for hundreds of mooks to be flooding them at once. Though with the way enemy spawning works, and the "heat" mechanic, it's now entirely player-produced and can be avoided with enough skill and patience, whereas in the mod it was an unavoidable event.
- Jump Scare: Zig-Zagged. No scripted scares are in the game, but the mazelike levels makes it easy to fail to notice an enemy until it's on top of you.
- The Millstone: If a player forgets to set a minimum level cap on the game they host, there's nothing stopping an inexperienced player from joining a high-level game (where they'll die in a few hits and do almost no damage with their underpowered weapons) and then, oblivious to how the Heat system works, just running around blindly grabbing every item they see, regardless of whether they have any use for it or not, not only wasting supplies but spawning a huge wave of enemies to cause a Total Party Kill. If they don't listen to the desperate pleas of the host or other veterans who should be playing at that level, the only way to stop them is to boot them from the game.note
- Monster Clown: The "Clown" enemies. And they're tough.
- Non-Indicative Difficulty:
- The one weapon only challenges (i.e. pistol only, shotgun only, smg only) can actually make the game easier if you've spec'd out your character to specialize in a single weapon, as it converts all ammo in the level to the ammo for that weapon, ensuring you'll have a steady supply.
- The quad damage challenge is widely considered the only way to complete an Abyss difficulty level in single-player without rank 4 equipment (which, without friends who already have some to boost you, you can only get by completing an Abyss difficulty level). Otherwise, the amount of shots it takes to kill enemies is simply too high to handle with rank 3 weapons, while the damage enemies deal to you can be mitigated with heavily armor-focused rank 3 trinkets.
- Non-Indicative Name: The "Faceless" monster actually has many faces on its body.
- One-Hit Polykill: A specialty of the railgun (penetrates all enemies in a line) and nailgun (penetrates two or three enemies). The shotgun can also manage this, with careful aim and sufficiently-weak (or weakened) enemies.
- Roguelike: The maps are procedurally generated, with key items and supplies placed at random, though with certain restrictions. You begin with only one gun (or none at all, based on your trinket setup), but can collect more per run. The RPG Elements prevalent in the genre take the form of "trinkets" you can receive after a run, which can be equipped for subsequent runs, increasing your Character Level. There are also weapon upgrades and "totems" found in each map that last for the remainder of that run.
- Palette Swap: There are over two hundred different two-tone color schemes for The Fool. You obtain them by trading in ink bottles found in the maps.
- Permadeath: There are no respawns mid-stage- if all players die, the level is over. However, you keep earned Karma, trinkets, ink bottles and photographs. However, it is possible for players other then the host to disconnect and reconnect, regaining full health - but you get that chance only once. A downed player can also be revived by an ally as many times as necessary, but unless they can find some health quickly it certainly will be necessary again very soon.
- Power-Up Letdown: Trinkets earned from Demon Chests are randomly generated and can't be upgraded with Karma, so it is entirely possible to go to the trouble of finding and retrieving a Demon Chest, and have the resulting Trinket give little to no benefit over the fully-upgraded Rank 2 Trinkets that most players would likely have by that point. This was rectified in the 1.0.10 patch which not only made it easier to acquire Demon Chests, but also allowed Rank 3 trinkets to be upgraded like Rank 1 and 2 ones.
- Totems are also completely random, and while some (such as the Tactical Goggles) can be incredibly useful, others can end up being completely worthless- such as getting Demon Nails (massive increase to the damage of the Nailgun) in a level which doesn't contain a Nailgun. Because you generate heat just picking up a Silver Key and even more heat opening the chest, the randomness makes most players consider Totems not worth bothering with.
- Weapon upgrade mods aren't quite as bad as Totems (you can't get a mod for a weapon you don't currently have), but far too often you end up getting something useless like extra ammo capacity rather than something useful like damage or crit chance.
- Procedural Generation: No two levels are the same. Each level has randomly generated rooms and items, and you never know what you'll get until you find it.
- Ragdoll Physics: Enemies go limp and lifeless once slain. Equip a pair of gloves that enhances the knockback of your melee attacks, and lighter enemies like Nurses and Servants can be comically sent flying across the room like they were shot from a cannon!
- Self-Imposed Challenge: One of updates added a challenge system, in which the player can add a restriction or change to the gameplay in order to cause enemies to spawn Rubies, which can be used to upgrade Ring trinkets; the more difficult the challenge, the more rubies can spawn. These gameplay changes range from "no flashlight" to "pistol only" to "all enemies are Rotten".
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
- The Amulet of Heavens totem converts a random enemy into a "Guardian Angel" who glows bright blue, has significantly enhanced health, and fights on your side. If your Guardian Angel gets killed, after a while a new enemy will be randomly converted into another one.
- The Amulet of Chaos totem causes random enemies to go insane, sparking infighting between monsters.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Played with. Stock, the shotgun can still deliver decent damage across a long hallway; spread-decreasing weapon mods can tighten the cone to the point of almost firing a slug, while spread-increasing mods can turn it into a blunderbuss.
- Shout-Out: Two to the creator's previous games, Super Panda Adventures and Gun Girl 2, in the form of equippable figurine trinkets. There's also a figure of the Doomguy, and you can find his armor as a totem.
- Some update added a dingy pizzeria tileset. The developer has openly stated this to be a Shout-Out to Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location.
- Several of the threatening quit screen messages are shout outs, including:
- One of the Heat System warning messages is "You are not prepared..."
- Sickening "Crunch!": If you remain in a Witch's line of sight long enough for them to finish charging their "Face of Death" attack, you will hear one of these as the Witch apparently crushes your insides (the attack bypasses armour).
- Spooky Painting: All over the place, but they don't do anything besides look menacing. At least some of them are real paintings, perhaps most notably the infamously nightmarish Saturn Devouring His Son.
- Undercrank: "Demon Speed" resembles this, as monsters eerily blur across the screen to get into your face in an instant.
- To be specific, this is achieved by giving them an abrupt boost in their walking speed so they suddenly zoom towards you with no warning.
- Underground Monkey: Most of the enemies have two possible color schemes, indicating their abilities.
- Zerg Rush: Very likely to happen if you pick up too much stuff and generate a crap ton of Heat. Tons of enemies spawn and you're likely to run out of ammunition before you can kill them all, usually resulting in a failed run.