Unto the End is a stylish combat platformer that encourages you not to fight

Audio player loading…

Unto the End (opens in new tab) was announced in mid-2017 as a "2D cinematic combat-adventure" about a father in a Viking-inspired fantasy world who embarks upon a quest for revenge after his family is killed. "But that's just the setup," developer 2 Ton Studios said at the time. "What we really want to shine is the narrative that only the player's actions can craft."

Today the studio announced that Unto the End will launch on December 9, and revealed a new gameplay trailer showcasing the different ways players will be able to engage with that narrative. Fighting is obviously going to play a major role in the game, but other options will sometimes be available, and may have a big impact on your experience.

Instead of charging straight at every enemy you see, for instance, you can approach with your weapon sheathed to signal that you mean no harm. You can offer to trade with some creatures you meet, or you can just haul ass—some enemies don't really want to fight, they just want you to go away.

Key to all of this is figuring out what NPCs want, which is tricky because you're in a foreign land and don't speak the language: Get it wrong, and your friendly interaction might go south in a hurry. Fortunately for players who are more interested in the narrative experience than combat (that would be me), Unto the End will have a "combat assist" option that will provide more time to "read and react" to enemy actions, "while still offering a challenge."

There are strong stylistic similarities to Another World (opens in new tab) and that's good enough to draw me in, but separate from all that I really love the idea of a fighting game that doesn't force you to kill everything you see. That hearkens back to Another World too: It's not so fondly remembered because of its platforming and combat, which are unremarkable and often tedious, but for its brilliant graphics, audio, and cinematic storytelling. If Unto the End can bolster those elements with deeper gameplay, it could be pretty great.

Until the End will be available on Steam (opens in new tab), GOG (opens in new tab), and Stadia. Find out more at 2tonstudios.com (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.