PS5 Review: Dead Man’s Diary

Is this game dead on arrival?

It’s a fictitious post-apocalyptic world, 15 years after the catastrophe, you have to leave your shelter and explore a world devoid of human life. On your own, you must find a way to survive.

Survival games have become quite big over the years, some have some great ideas but are poorly executed and some others play it safe but produce an enjoyable, playable experience. With Dead Man’s Diary, it falls somewhere between the two by playing it safe with its formula but also sadly messes this up in several ways.

After the brief tutorial that throws you into nowhere, you begin surviving as you would by collecting supplies to replenish yourself. But hunger, thirst, and irradiation rise incredibly fast and it seems that even water barely makes a dent in your thirst meter. It just seems ridiculously unbalanced from the start. Add that into poor navigation and combat that is mediocre, then you start to wonder what does this provide that I can’t get from another survival game?

The game does have puzzles that will rack your brains, but not in a good way. There is a decent crafting system and the feeling of exploring is nice when the game looks good like this. There are sadly, a good few performance issues here…such as struggling to maintain 30FPS with stuttering occurring and it becomes apparent that later stages are more of a rehash of assets. I also came across quite a few bugs that hindered me.

The biggest complaint I have about the game is that it just feels like an endless, repeatable loop that just isn’t all that much fun to play. Survival games are meant to be stressful, yes…but they are also meant to be enjoyable. I spent a good amount of time with the game and I honestly struggled to push on at multiple occasions. It’s not ideal when a game like this becomes repetitive so early on either.

The Verdict

Dead Man’s Diary looks decent but that’s really all it has going for it. Its poorly optimised and glitchy while providing a dull endless loop of gameplay. I hate slating games like this, but there are far better survival games out there than this.

Score: 5.5