PC Games

Published on April 25th, 2024 | by Marc Rigg

No Rest for the Wicked Early Access Review

Announced at The Game Awards at the end of 2023, No Rest for the Wicked is the latest game from Moon Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Ori series of Metroidvania games.

No Rest for the Wicked is a little different, however. Primarily, it’s an action RPG in the vein of Diablo, viewed from a similar top-down, isometric camera angle. Where it differs from many games in the genre though is how it goes about its combat. You guessed it, it’s another game inspired by Dark Souls, with an emphasis on skillful, unforgiving combat.


There’s a heavy emphasis on stamina management, poise is used to determine stagger status, both for enemies and the player, and weight plays an important role in how the player gets around. Equipping gear that’s too heavy and you’re unable to dodge and sprint anywhere near as effectively as with a lighter load and as such your playstyle has to adapt to mitigate this. So far, so Dark Souls.

It differs from the ubiquitous FromSoftware titles that have inspired so many games in a few key areas, however. Resting at Whispers, Moon Studios’ interpretation of bonfires, doesn’t respawn any defeated enemies. Once a foe is gone, they stay gone. Furthermore, being defeated in battle doesn’t result in any kind of experience point loss. It does, however, reduce the overall durability of any equipped weapons and armour, eventually reducing their effectiveness.

I’m not a fan of weapon durability in games in general, but to the dev’s credit, it’s a slow decline over multiple deaths, repairing equipment is cheap and can be done on the fly with items rather than at an NPC. I’d prefer it not be there at all, but at least this isn’t too egregious.

Crafting and gathering play an important role in No Rest for the Wicked. There’s fish to be caught, trees to be felled and ores to be mined as well as a huge assortment of plants and miscellaneous objects of dubious importance to find and collect. All of these resources are used to create weapons and armour, potions, and food. The latter of which being the primary way of regaining health after sustaining damage, so it’s incredibly important to seek out materials, recipes and the campfires used to craft them.

What’s perhaps most notable about No Rest for the Wicked, is the stunning visual design and unique artistic style that Moon Studios has crafted. Almost everything has a hand-painted look to it, from the characters to the environment. Every blade of grass, ruined building, and even the water all move in a way that I’ve never seen in a game before. Still images really don’t do it justice and has to be seen in motion to be really appreciated. It’s certainly unique visual style and has to be a contender for one of the best-looking games of the year.

Being an early access title, it’s not without some issues, most notably the performance is a little unpredictable at the moment. It’s quite a heavy game to run, despite having relatively low system requirements. Options for customising the graphics and a little thin on the ground at the moment, with only 4 presets and changing between them doesn’t seem to do a great deal. Currently, there aren’t any DLSS or other upscaling options to alleviate the issues, however, these are planned for a later date.

The developers have been updating the game frequently, with sizeable patches almost daily to address the numerous bugs and balance issues. In the week since it launched into early access there has been a notable performance improvement compared to how it was initially, so with any luck it’ll be in a good state sooner rather than later.

With frequent updates, multiplayer to be released soon, superb art direction and interesting take on Souls-like combat, No Rest for the Wicked is shaping up to be another fantastic title from Moon Studios and it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

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