Abermore is a first-person stealth game developed by Four Circle Interactive in which you play as the newest Unhanged Man, a supernatural mantle passed down through generations to oppose the king of Abermore. You’re given 18 days to assemble a team to rescue the previous Unhanged Man and steal the king’s crown on the day of a large feast.
Each day, you talk to people in the black market who will direct you to rob procedurally generated buildings. Doing jobs for certain people will grow your relationship with them and get their assistance with the grand heist, but any place you rob will get you money and allow you to buy better tools that will help you pick locks, kill guards, put servants to sleep, deactivate technology, and more.
Once you enter a level, your goal is to steal a certain number of valuables and get out without getting seen. The manors and mansions are populated with servants, security cameras, robotic guards with huge swords, locked doors, and more. Unfortunately, it’s here you run into the game’s biggest flaw: The stealth isn’t very good.
None of the servants will ever hear you as long as you crouch while walking. Their peripheral vision is bad, especially in the dark. But worst of all, many servants are completely stationary, so you can walk around them without fear. They’ll also routinely do stuff that doesn’t make sense, like staring at a wall forever or standing on nothing. Overall, the servants just aren’t threatening unless there are a ton of them in one place, and they’re the only people around to spot you.
Your thieving abilities are impressively broad, but you won’t often need them. For example, you gradually receive supernatural abilities, including the ability to go invisible or to reach through glass without needing to break it. However, you can just walk behind enemies or hit them with a sleep dart, and the glass is regularly glitched and can be reached through anyway.
The random generation is unfinished at best. You can steal keys, but the doors and containers they unlock don’t always exist. You can disable security systems, but the randomly generated control boxes aren’t always possible to find. You can rob many different randomly generated houses with different objectives, but sometimes you’ll spawn in a dead end and have to escape with nothing.
There are also graphical glitches, like staircases frequently not having sides, missing roofs, and mesh intersecting objects. Plus, the right-stick sensitivity of my PS4 controller was unplayably high at the minimum setting. I had to lower the DPI of my mouse to make the game playable. The tutorials are also bad. You’re given unhelpful explanations of a few things, then left to figure out a bunch more alone.
Once you figure things out, there’s the core of a good game here. It can be tense when you’re trying to steal something just before a servant turns around and spots you. Some of the powers are fun and useful. There are a lot of wacky abilities to try out, plus clothing options, optional sidequests, and just a ton of stuff for such a small game.
But that core frays at the edges. Sure, you can try the wacky abilities, but if the alarm gets pulled, you’re put on a timer to leave the level, so you can’t risk experimenting too much. The stealth can be tense, but it’s just replicating the base mechanics of older games with more bugs, including a major one that makes the ending break after it finishes. The graphics are passable, but character models look weird. The music is pleasantly off-kilter, but not outstanding.
Abermore is over-ambitious. It has a lot of features and large scope, and it trips over itself trying to support it all. If you’re willing to give it a try, you’ll find wasted potential here, with a few moments that show what could have been a great game. Otherwise, buy Thief: Gold for a few dollars and download some mods, and you’ll find a much deeper, more polished game than this one.
Abermore is out now on PC for $15.99.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Abermore.