You Will Die Here Tonight successfully takes inspiration from popular survival horror games while still having its own unique twists. It mixes in roguelite elements without creating a frustrating experience that often comes with that genre. Instead of constantly losing progress and dying as the name suggests, dying is almost a way of making progress.
This is how the developer cleverly puts you in the role of several different members of the elite ARIES Division. After getting through a brief exposition setting the story, your group of elite mercenaries breach into a spooky mansion. Unsurprisingly, everything immediately goes wrong and the team gets separated.
Now it’s time to explore the creepy Breckenridge Estate while dealing with zombies and all sorts of interesting puzzles. One of the more unique ways You Will Die Here Tonight stands out is in how combat works. Instead of shooting at zombies from your isometric camera, you’ll enter a small first-person battle.
Without the ability to move in combat, you’ll have to quickly dispose of enemies walking toward you. But you’ll also have to watch for others sneaking up from out of view. It’s easy to have tunnel vision and only focus on what’s in front of you. And next thing you know, a zombie is biting you from behind and you’ll have to button mash them away.
Just make sure to listen for all the creepy unsettling sounds of the Breckenridge Estate. I often questioned whether a disturbing moan was a nearby enemy or just some eerie ambiance. There’s almost nothing worse than opening a door and a zombie immediately grabbing you. Instead of having the upper hand, they’re right in your face.
At which point, you’re likely to get bitten starting the infection countdown of five minutes before you’re dead. Fortunately, there is a system in place where you can cure it if you’re quick enough. But even if you’re not able to, this is where the roguelite system comes into play.
Dying in You Will Die Here Tonight is intimidating at first, but it’s rarely the end of your journey. Instead of losing progress or resetting to a checkpoint, you can step into the role of a different ARIES member. Despite losing some ammo, you’ll still keep key items, weapons, and not have to complete puzzles a second time.
Aside from functioning as extra lives, each ARIES member has their own personality and unique dialogue. However, many characters have a silly take on what’s going on. This is where the consistent cheesy lines take away from the serious story playing in the background. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it feels as though it hinders the plot.
I wouldn’t question it so much if it didn’t feel that the developers were trying to craft a captivating story. While exploring the mansion, I came across a few notes and journal diaries attempting to build the world further. Unfortunately, you could remove them altogether and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Which is a shame because they give background to what’s going on. However, the notes are limited and aren’t interwoven with the dialogue. That aside, You Will Die Here Tonight’s story still goes in an interesting direction that can be easy to miss. This is due to how certain ARIES members matter more than others.
Over time, the game drops hints that specific characters can upgrade weapons or create medicine. While I like how the developer plays into each character’s background, it can simultaneously be annoying. You’ll eventually end up in a situation where you have a weapon upgrade but can’t use it without dying. This is because there isn’t a way to swap characters.
Fortunately, you can get through You Will Die Here Tonight without this being too much of an issue but rather an inconvenience. Especially since you’re bound to die eventually with how the game handles certain areas. Such as puzzles where making one mistake will instantly lead to your death.
This is possibly the best way You Will Die Here Tonight introduces the roguelite system. While sure you can die to pesky zombies, it’s frequently comical when a trap gets you by surprise. I remember grabbing an item without paying much attention. And that’s how I brutally got smushed against a wall.
Instead of being disappointed or angry, it taught me to return and approach it differently. On the bright side, most puzzles aren’t too difficult even though a couple had me stumped for a bit. You can usually get the information you need nearby without having to backtrack. Not counting a few optional puzzles where codes can be tough to find.
You Will Die Here Tonight | Closing Thoughts
You Will Die Here Tonight is an easy recommendation for survival horror fans. It’s a cheap game that took me around seven hours to beat with great puzzles and entertaining gameplay. Even with a few of my complaints in this review, they’re easy to brush off and still enjoy the experience.
Review Score: 8.5/10
You Will Die Here Tonight was provided by a public relations agency via a Steam code.
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.