Metro 20-2.5D: Underrail Alpha Available

By Adam Smith on March 12th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

I have to go That There London later today and I’ll no doubt find myself being propelled through underground tunnels in a metal tube packed full of people. A terrible fate, I’m sure you’ll agree, but at least the London Underground is not yet in a post-apocalyptic state. Underrail is an isometric RPG from a school so old that it might well be Plato’s Academy. Actually, not that old, more like the mid-nineties, when Fallout was Ultima with guns instead of Skyrim with guns. The surface of the planet is covered in fire and sewage, or something, so everybody lives in underground railway stations, which is becoming an increasingly common solution to the occasional apocalypse. There’s a new video below, a demo here and the alpha is available to those who pre-order.

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52 Comments »

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  1. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Skyrim = Oblivion with Guns with Swords

  2. Kerbobotat says:

    Really reminds me of Metro, especially the last few seconds of the video. Must check this out!

  3. Triplanetary says:

    when Fallout was Ultima with guns instead of Skyrim with guns

    I think you have your chronology a bit off here. Or maybe I’m just being pedantic? All I’m saying is calling Fallout 3 “Oblivion with guns” would make more sense, chronologically. Fallout 4 will presumably be Skyrim with guns.

    Anyway, as for the actual game this article is about, it looks potentially cool. I’m so hard up for new isometric RPGs that I bought Inquisitor! Not saying I regret it.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Agreed. Oblivion was sold to me by some lovely chaps on the PC Gamer forums on the grounds that Fallout 3 was “Oblivion with guns”.

      I actually preferred Fallout 3 and never finished Oblivion. I got bored and a nasty posh man on a horse kept insulting me. And in the game.

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      darkChozo says:

      Yeah, duh. Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns. Far Cry 3 is Skyrim with guns. The difference is obvious.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Far Cry 3 is Far Cry 2 with a couple of tiny shit bits it stole out of Skyrim’s bins

        • somedude says:

          If you changed it from Far Cry 3 to (a potential) Just Cause 3, I would believe you.

          • The Random One says:

            Far Cry 3 is:

            ( ) Skyrim with guns
            ( ) Just Cause 2, only tiny
            ( ) Spec Ops: The Line upside down
            ( ) Not a sequel to Far Cry 2, phillistines
            ( ) Electronic entertainment software

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            X is like Y but different.

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      phuzz says:

      “I love jokes, I love the whooshing noise they make as they go right over my head”
      ;)

  4. colw00t says:

    The Amtrak Wars, anyone?

  5. ZIGS says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s dumb to play an alpha (unfinished) version of a single-player RPG game? The game looks great and I’m gonna play it… when it’s finished

    • Beybars says:

      I would agree with you under normal circumstances, but this game as far as I know is being made by one man, buying the Alpha helps the development process and there’s a free demo to help decide whether or not to help him.

      • ZIGS says:

        Yes, I agree with that. I’m all for supporting development by pre-ordering it, if you think you’ll like it and the alpha as a demo is a nice extra but actually playing it “for real” while still in alpha is not a smart move

        • The Random One says:

          I agree with you, but as small developers need both a revenue stream before they can deliver and someone to test their games, I am glad there are many who don’t agree with us.

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      JiminyJickers says:

      I’m with you. Will grab this when it is finished, not interested in spoiling it by playing the alpha.

  6. elsparko says:

    This looks absolutely amazing… Now if only most of the tiles wouldn’t look like redone versions straight out of Fallout. Let’s see how this project evolves.

    • domogrue says:

      Yeah it looks like a product of dev art, which uses placeholders (sometimes from other games) to fill in for eventual final art products. That or we got ourselves a new Limbo of the Lost!

  7. Blackseraph says:

    I know based on games, (which obviously imitates life) that ventilation shafts are generally huge but you can actually walk in that vent, which seems a bit absurd already.

    • colw00t says:

      Vents for anything underground tend to be radically oversized compared to above-grade heater duct. You have to move a lot more air in and out to keep it livable.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s pretty amazing how many walkable vents there are. You don’t really see them or think about them, but there’s miles of them underground. Blacksburg, a small town with a big university, has six miles of steam tunnels.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_exploration

  8. InternetBatman says:

    2013 and 14 are going to be amazing years for top down RPGs. This, Dead State, Age of Decadence, Project Eternity, whatever Jeff Vogel puts out, Shadowrun Returns, Eschalon 3, and Wasteland 2. Now that is a serious list of pc exclusives to rival whatever the new consoles get.

  9. Mephz says:

    So is the game a proper rpg? Can you put your stamp on the character, decide his personality, pick dialogue options and make impact on the world around you? Guess what I’m asking is, does it have immersion?

    • Triplanetary says:

      I can’t tell if you’re being serious or facetious. Nothing wrong with immersion, of course, but if you’re trying to satirize people who act like no “true” RPG can exist without these features, you’re doing a fair job.

      • Mephz says:

        just proper in my mind, you are free to like what you want. If those things aren’t in it then it’s just a dungeon crawler imo

        in my opinion the rpg is overused and a lot of games that aren’t even close to being rpg are called rpg.

        • Ich Will says:

          Right, these games which let you choose exactly who you are shouldn’t really be called RPG’s as you are not having to play the protagonists role, but free to choose your own role. PG’s. Now I’m thinking of monkeys drinking tea.

          • Mephz says:

            said nothing about not being the protagonist Mr funny guy, I just want to decide what kind of protagonists I am when I play.

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah, precisely. If you are choosing your own role you are not playing a role the game has given you, ergo it is not a role playing game, Mr. unfunny guy.

          • Ich Will says:

            I’m just pointing out that in a role playing game you should be expected to play a role, if you are choosing what role you want to play, can it really be called a role playing game anymore? I guess as long as the role you choose has integrity in the world presented but how can you know that before you have played the game? What if before playing Fallout, I decided I wanted to be a fire mage. That character has no integrity in the fallout world, ergo I have to play my character in a way which would be deemed poor roleplaying. A fire mage who never uses a fire spell.

            However, should I play the witcher, my character is explained in great detail to me enabling me to roleplay Gerald accurately without having to fudge when my idea of my character isn’t possible in the world. I might not want to always do what Geralt would do or fight how Geralt would fight but because I am playing his role I do. This is roleplaying.

          • Mephz says:

            You make a character that fits the setting obviously. Just like when you sit down to play world of darkness you don’t bring up the D&D rulebook and make an elf.

            I never actually finished playing Witcher, exactly because it was a boring premade character. That was a good game though, acceptable amount of options and it “felt” like what you did made a difference. However didin’t like the main char so got bored soon-ish.

          • Ich Will says:

            How can you tell what’s an appropriate character for a game before you played it? My example was obvious, but what if you wanted to make a psyker in fallout, is there anything in the game to suggest whether this would be possible of not until you are hours in? I think that honestly, you just don’t like roleplaying, which is not any form of elitism or condescension – I don’t view roleplaying a game a superior way to play these stat and level based games.

            Anyway, this game is really nice and you’ll be happy because you get to craft your character at the start! Not far enough in to see how much effect your actions have on the world, and by the way, i couldn’t agree more with your point there!

          • Mephz says:

            Had to google psyker, some kind of warhammer thing? Again why would I expect to be able to play one in fallout? It would not fit the setting, it’s not from the same universe.

            How can I tell what’s an appropriate character for a game before you played it? Depends on the game, but I usually know more than I want about a game before I get my hands on it. I never preorder and I never buy at full price, so when I get my hands on a game I usually know the basics about it. In the case of fallout 3 I had played the two that came before so I had a clear idea what was possible and what not.

            I simply don’t enjoy games that are stat or level based if they don’t have any roleplay as I prefer it. I’m not interested in hack and slash or dungeon crawlers. Feel free to enjoy them yourself, but I do think it’s fair to allow me to ask if the game fits my standards for rpg or not, before spending money on something.

            And thanks for the last part.

          • Ich Will says:

            I mean’t psyker as a generic psychic character – it’s a reasonably common use of the word in roleplaying circles – and you may expect to play one because when fallout was released every rpg based in a future scenario had psychics in it, as a foil to the fantasy rpg’s magic user.

            I don’t have any problem with you asking if the game is something you would enjoy, but your wording was a direct attack on people who enjoy what I call roleplaying, making us out to enjoy “just a dungeon crawler” when nothing could be further from the truth. We immerse ourselves with the character and like a method actor, become that character while we play the game. I find the experience infinitely more complex and rewarding in a well crafted RPG. You found Geralt a boring experience. I found him a painful experience, I found myself making decisions which could spell death for innocents yet appeared to be the right thing to do. I agonised over choosing a side in the war and when I did, I instantly regretted it. I found my mind to be a world or hurt and I found myself contemplating why I lived the life I did (Remember I am him, as soon as the game closed, I was me again). I hated myself because he hated himself. Dungeon crawl? I can’t even remember the combat or the dungeons and yet it was one of the more memorable games I’ve played. Does that sound like I had played “just a dungeon crawl” and yet that was a game with no character selection, no ability to choose stats nothing!

            Like I say, this is how I find my fun with games, not saying your way is inferior, it just would be for me personally as I suspect my way would be inferior for you.

          • Mephz says:

            Don’t think I’ve ever roleplayed a game that had psychic users hehe, well maybe if we count force powers in star wars d6 or something…Anyway.

            Obviously there are times when what I had planned to roleplay does not fit at all, 3 options then:

            1) work it in if possible. If I can include it into my character’s story easilly, if his personality fits and so on
            2) Restart the game and make a new character, either go another direction with the plot this time (if the story has multiple branches and endings) or make someone that fits (this is less desirable, only if the game is very interesting and I see no way around it)
            3) Get annoyed, stop playing the game and go play the next one (this is actually fairly common for me)

            Currently I’m playing morrowind, I do believe it’s my second time but I was so young I don’t really remember anything in it so it’s a blast to play :Þ

            edit: About Witcher, no not shallow experience at all. It was a good game, I just could not stand the main character. I’d rather want to have Jar Jar Binks talking, his voice ugh. Good game though, plenty of choices, you felt that what you did made an impact also. I mainly got bored with it because the main char, he bored me endlessly. I did not manage to feel sorry for him, simply because I hated him.

          • Ich Will says:

            Extraordinarily minor spoiler: This game has psychic powers in it ;)

  10. squareking says:

    According to Desura, I have this alpha already. I don’t know how it got there. Was Underrail part of a bundle at some point?

    • dE says:

      It was in the groupees greenlight bundle. I initially mistook it for one of those Indie EPs that are always part of the deal for some reason.

  11. Totally heterosexual says:

    This looks like a RAIL of fun.

    No?

    It seriously looks nice though.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I’ll probably play it with a trainer.

    • The Random One says:

      Now now, let’s not derail this thread. We’re all adults here and we know our stations.

    • unimural says:

      Does anyone know if the game’s story is railroaded or if you’re free to go off the tracks?

  12. qrter says:

    I bought into the alpha a couple of months ago, and I’ve played what is available. I really, really enjoyed it. It can be hard as nails at times, the game really forces you to approach encounters strategically.

    If you like isometric rpgs, I highly recommend it.

  13. Mephz says:

    tried the demo, could not play it. It just crashed right after making the character at the loading screen. Running at xp comp or with admin changed nothing. Oh well next game.

  14. Chizu says:

    I actually just remembered I owned this the other day when I saw it was in my desura account and I thought to myself; “What the hell is this?”

    Turns out i got it from that “build a greenlight bundle”

  15. Sixosaur says:

    Where I come from (some part of India), ‘London’ is slang for the loo. If you ask someone, “Where are you going?” and he replies “London”, it means he’s going to go number two. Likewise, number one is Paris.

    (The etymology has nothing to do with the cities themselves, I guess.)

    I’m just writing all of this to tell you guys that the first few sentences made me O_O

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      Harlander says:

      In that case, is “riding the Eurostar” slang for anything?

  16. lordfrikk says:

    Not only the tiles but also the music uncannily reminds me of Fallout.

  17. denizsi says:

    This is an awesome little Turn-Based game by a one-man team and the developer is not in just for the nostalgia. He is making a game with very sensible improvements on top of the 90s Turn-Based games. If anyone is interested, he shows up pretty frequently at RPG Codex to address all kinds of feedback and the reasons or details behind many of the details of the game. Check it here:

    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/underrail-formerly-known-as-timelapse-vertigo-pre-order-now-available.69181/