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Hold off tens of thousands of on-screen nightmares in this survival horror RTS

Age of Darkness: Final Stand might be the most generic game name I've heard in a minute. But there's more than a few tricks to this survival horror RPG, and an absolutely unreasonable number of ghouls.

Despite the name, They Are Billions "only" managed to render a mere 20,000 enemies on screen at once. Using what developer PlaySide calls SwarmTech, Age of Darkness more than triples that by rendering over 70,000 clammy undead monsters. 

Structurally, however, Age of Darkness works much the same as its steampunk survival sibling. Build up a base, RTS-style, gathering resources and amassing troops to defend yourself against the inevitable night-time hordes. Monsters will spawn from an all-consuming fog that covers the map, one that can be pushed back with light sources.

The horrors will be at their strongest during Death Nights, which comes with a randomly-selected "malice" such as spawning more basic monsters when an elite enemy is killed. Survive these, though, and you'll be granted three blessings to pick from, strengthening your base with increased XP gain, faster construction times, or the chance to spawn double units.

I'm also somewhat fond of the game's aesthetics, painting the undead hordes in an unnerving, neon blue that suggests some kind of massive nightclub infestation. Age of Darkness: Final Stand launches on Steam Early Access on October 7.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.