The Flame in the Flood
Top Critic Average
If you can handle the wild river - and the odd bug - there's plenty to love in this heartfelt survival game.
The Flame in the Flood is a beautiful procedurally generated survival sim that gains a welcome sense of momentum from the need to stay on the move. Its unwieldy menus and tendency to crash ruins some of the fun, unfortunately, but not enough to diminish the strength of the hopeful, riverbound journey at its core.
Lovely and challenging with enjoyable crafting and survival elements, but poor river controls make it harsher than it should be.
Not the deepest wilderness survival game around in terms of gameplay, but certainly one of the most atmospheric and thought-provoking.
This challenging voyage makes for one of the most memorable and satisfying survival games in the last few years
The Flame in the Flood is an harsh and absorbing survival game that never lets you rest on your laurels, with fantastic audiovisual design direction.
Beautiful but clumsy, with a very helpful wet dog.
Overall, the experience of playing The Flame in The Flood is more frustrating than nerve-wracking. I get that survival games won't be easy, but their systems should feel balanced, not bullshit. And the nodal method of traveling down river can feel futile in its own way. There's a big, bad wolf between me and any desire to play this further.
The post-societal visuals of crumbling buildings, broken-down cars drifting along the flooded river, and menacing wildlife lurking in the distance, paired with an excellent folk rock soundtrack featuring Chuck Ragan, creates a unique atmosphere of exploring a desolate frontier. It's easy to become absorbed in this world and end up spending much more time on this treacherous river than you initially intended. That is, until it swiftly kills you without remorse. It seems mother nature is a cruel mistress indeed.
The Flame In The Flood is a remarkably well crafted entry in the survival genre that sets itself apart with compelling gameplay, an intriguing setting, and a stellar soundtrack. Having released on computer and Xbox One last year, its arrival on PlayStation 4 with the Complete Edition will hopefully see it find a new audience to entice on a beautiful, and bleak, journey down the river.