No Rest for the Wicked, we experienced the first hours of Moon Studios' game

No Rest for the Wicked, we experienced the first hours of Moon Studios' game

Make or Break: These are the words that the head of Moon Studios used, exactly one year ago, to describe the ambitious new project of the team behind Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. “Either we can revolutionize the action RPG genre or we will end up slowly disappearing”: a challenge that will make your wrists tremble, but the Austrian studio has agreed to take on it.

After specializing in the classic 2D Metroidvania formula for two chapters of Ori, the developers briefly tried to leave their comfort zone to try something different, without abandoning the stylistic signature that actually became the central element. The focus of this new adventure with a medieval fantasy setting.

Benefit from Early Access for the first time on Steam, We experienced the first few hours of No Rest for the Wicked..

Style and influence

Editor: No Rest for the Wicked

The journey of No Rest for the Wicked begins with a simple editor, but here we are already faced with very special design choices, associated with Strange proportions of personality, which cannot be modified. Therefore, the available options are limited to the shape of the face and the presence of beard and hair, after which the game asks you to give a name to the kingdom before leaving.

At this stage we are witnessing Evocative introductory sequence Which explains what ship we're on and serves as a tutorial for the basic actions, both those related to exploration, scenario interaction, and the combat system, which must be learned quickly when the ship is attacked by a group of ferocious rebels, while a powerful storm rages.

He has taken measures to our opponents and the combo system, which Varies greatly depending on the weapon equippedWe managed to keep the pirates away from the fight, but it seemed that the fury of the elements did not want to give us a chance, and so the ship crashed with unprecedented violence against the rocks that adorn the coasts of what had always been our destination: the Holy Island, struck by the plague that we had been summoned to investigate.

The approach that Moon Studios envisioned for its new game is clear from these first lines: An experience dominated by deep clasheswhich restores a full sense of impact when our shots hit the target, but at the same time very visually inspired sequences alternate on the screen, which behave especially during interlude scenes. Real animated paintings

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The hero's awakening

Our character wakes up in a movie
In No Rest for the Wicked, our character wakes up after a shipwreck

The method devised by Moon Studios to reset equipment at the beginning of the campaign makes perfect sense, and so our character wakes up half-naked on a beach, among the corpses of the rest of the crew. We go a little further in understanding what is permissible and what is not permissible, until we understand this More often than not, the elements of a scenario bend to our will to explore themwithout setting strict limits.

It's an approach that leaves you a bit stunned It takes time to be fully absorbed and exploited, but for now it works and instantly puts traditional looting standards into practice between chests to destroy, open chests, and examine corpses for weapons and armor that can make us more effective and more resistant to the wrath of the many enemies that we will find on… Along the way.

Two enemies to face in No Rest for the Wicked
Two enemies to face in No Rest for the Wicked

As mentioned previously, Depending on the weapon used we will be able to perform different movementsBoth in terms of attack combos and some devastating special maneuvers. Weight is a factor that must be taken into due consideration, so it will be necessary to accept compromises, choosing fast but dull blades that maintain agility or broadswords, axes and hammers with unprecedented power but at a high price.

A very similar discussion can be had regarding armor, from lightest to largest, finally arriving at Upgrade system Which allows you to improve the character's statistics based on the experience points gained, touching on elements such as health, activity, strength, dexterity, intelligence, faith, concentration and load capacity.

Like souls?

An enemy has just set us up
An enemy has just brought us into “No Rest for the Wicked.”

Despite being primarily a Diablo-style action RPG, No Rest for the Wicked certainly has something in common with soul lovers: Battles require concentration and thinking, strong nerves, organization, and a great sense of timing and distance. It often happens that you die by the skin of your teeth, but the system does not prove punitive and brings us back to the final point of return, without losing anything of what we have achieved up to that moment.

Of course, opening bridges, stairs, and in general shortcuts that make navigating the map more flexible, especially after starting from a checkpoint, makes you think about this type of experience, but with the very important difference that in the Moon Studios game Enemies in the area do not reset when saving a new locationBosses do not present a challenge that requires dozens of attempts before victory is achieved.

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Warrick the Torn will try to tear us apart in No Rest for the Wicked
Warrick the Torn will try to tear us apart in No Rest for the Wicked

And Eric is tornwhich we found ourselves encountering before arriving at the Grand Sacrifice Center, actually presents itself as a huge and surprisingly fast monster, but far from being unexpected: its movements can depend on a powerful range and are painful as hell, but they are announced quite clearly and thus can Avoid them by dodging at the right time.

More than anything else, in this clash as in others, he is the one who has the upper hand Strength indicatorwhich regulates the amount of blows that can be dealt before having to take a break, along with some surrounding mechanics such as using a parry if you have a shield, a shoulder strike that can destabilize an opponent and of course consumables, be it food, potions or explosives.

Great experience

No rest for the wicked stock
No rest for the wicked stock

Looting and combat are at the heart of the No Rest for the Wicked experiencewhich also has a strong focus on exploration and interaction with a world that already in this initial version of the game seems keen to make as many things available to us as possible, especially regarding the extraction of materials using shovels, picks, axes and… fishing rods.

In short, inventory fills up quicklyOnce we reach the secret, the merchants finally seem able to give meaning to the collection that has been carried out up to that point, with the support of the inevitable blacksmiths who can buy our items, sell our new items and perhaps restore the durability of the tools we talked about. About a few lines ago.

Our character is struggling with one of the quests obtained in Sacrament in No Rest for the Wicked
Our character is struggling with one of the quests obtained in Sacrament in No Rest for the Wicked

Arriving in the city also coincides with some interesting narrative progression, which at the moment gives the idea of ​​wanting to enter A relatively specific and continuous trendBut given Moon Studios' CV, we imagine these may be false leads in light of some unexpected events. What catches our attention more than anything else is the idea of ​​what lies ahead in terms of content.

The city we visited in the game is actually quite large Ready to lay down tasks that lead us to explore its boundaries in search of new challenges, and although we don't know how far the current build will go, we have a clear feeling that developers at this level are determined to do big things, literally filling the experience with content and substance.

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Aesthetics and technology

The cutscenes in No Rest for the Wicked are amazing
The cutscenes in No Rest for the Wicked are amazing

First we talked about the sensation we feel in front of a moving painting, which was also expressed in the Digital Foundry analysis: In this case, No Rest for the Wicked is undoubtedly One of the most technically interesting products seen in recent yearsequipped with stunning visual capabilities, which sometimes leave you speechless.

However, the folks at Moon Studios didn't limit themselves to the looks, they worked on the details A world that seems alive and dynamic in its interactionsAlso, above all, thanks to the physics engine that gives character to each individual event, be it the splinters of wood from the barrel we just smashed or how the rain affects objects in the scenario.

Explorable “No Rest for the Wicked” scenarios

That's it in a nutshell A great sight for the eyeswhat No Rest for the Wicked can offer, is accompanied by a soundtrack of equal value: the songs on the soundtrack are really evocative, the dialogues in English (subtitled in Italian) are very well interpreted, and the sound design in general is strong and convincing.

Technically, we hope the project will see a strong improvement in the coming months, given that Nowadays, the experience seems rather difficult Even for high-end devices.

The first hours of No Rest for the Wicked strike with the force and character of a project that has evocative moments on a technical and stylistic level. However, the character of Moon Studios also appears in the gameplay, with its deep and engaging combat, and in a structure that in this Early Access release already indicates the desire to create an extraordinarily rich world, with the hope of improving performance with upcoming updates.


  • Technically brilliant
  • Visceral and cardiac combat
  • It promises a lot of substance


  • Definitely needs improvement
  • Interactions to be improved
  • Some glitches are inevitable

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