Perish Review: A Potentially Fun FPS Marred By Its Lack of Polish

Marc Torzar
Marc Torzar
12 Min Read
6 Above Average
Review Overview

Perish is a hardcore first-person shooter that you can play solo or with friends. The video game industry is already saturated with cooperative first-person shooter games, and several titles have managed to capture the interest (and countless hours) of gamers. Will Perish be one of them? In this Perish review, we’ll talk about ITEM42’s first-person shooter and its attempt to make a name in the genre.

Gameplay Is Fun but Fails to Stand Out

One of the main selling points of cooperative first-person shooter games is being able to play with other players and work together. No one can deny just how much more fun it is to shoot and hack creatures alongside your friends.

Cinematic upon character spawning
Guess who’s back!

In terms of the “fun” factor that comes with Perish’s multiplayer feature, it does well due to the mere fact that this feature is present. The fundamental elements of cooperative first-shooter games, in themselves, offer players a certain level of fun and enjoyment.

Defeating monsters using various weapons and maneuvers gives off a unique kind of satisfaction, and that satisfaction is amplified when you’ve got other people to tag along with. Moreover, having teammates to work with adds another layer of challenge and difficulty alongside the additional bit of enjoyment.

A sample gif of Perish's gameplay
Playing Perish is much more fun with friends.

Difficulty also scales based on the number of players, so you don’t have to worry about making the game easier by having more teammates.

If you prefer playing solo, the game still has a lot to offer you. In fact, your progress actually carries over from multiplayer to solo play and vice versa.

Same Ol’ Gameplay Loop

Your main goal in Perish is simple (not really): leave the purgatory to reach the promised land of Elysium as a corporeal spirit stuck in an unending state of limbo and suffering.

Jump and dash animation
Jump + dash looks cool in first person.

But as they say, half the fun is in the journey—and that journey involves killing countless different monsters and acquiring stronger weapons, accessories, and consumables to be able to kill even more monsters, including stronger ones! You will gain access to new weapons and equipment as you progress through the game, and clearing areas will present you with the opportunity of obtaining various upgrades.

Three choices of upgrades after finishing a quest in Perish
Clearing an area or finishing objectives rewards you with an upgrade of your choice.

As a corporeal spirit stuck in purgatory, you have to travel through various areas and accomplish different objectives in order to move on to the next. As with any first-person shooter game, you spend 95% of the time hacking and shooting monsters to death—and the rest thinking about which upgrades to choose and weapons to use.

I do not find anything particularly noteworthy in Perish’s gameplay that will get players hooked on this game specifically.

Yes, Perish is definitely fun to play—and it’s infinitely more fun when you’re playing it with your friends. But you can say the same with all the great titles of the genre—and with almost all decent co-op fps games in existence.

A screenshot of Perish's gameplay
Uhm, no thanks…

Decent Level of Variety

Although generally underwhelming, one good thing about Perish’s gameplay is its decent level of variety. The game does feature plenty of areas to explore with various creatures, several bosses to defeat, and a wide range of equipment to choose from.

Even though the action sequences can be repetitive for the most part, the objectives presented by the game vary in each playthrough. Some areas in the game offer different quests and ask for different objectives, and the additional variety prevents these areas from feeling too repetitive and familiar, even when doing multiple playthroughs.

My only issue regarding this aspect is that many of the creatures I faced felt too generic and uninspired for my taste.

A gameplay screenshot of monsters in Perish
Random mythical zomboid no. 736

Perish also allows the player to choose among different levels of difficulty, providing a lot of freedom that caters to different types of gamers. The game offers three difficulty levels: Forgiving, Tough, and Punishing.

You can choose the easiest level if you’re in the mood to just hack and slash some monsters. Or you can go the “Punishing” route if you’re looking for a bit more challenge.

Menu showing the three levels of difficulty in Perish
You can choose among Forgiving, Tough, and Punishing levels of difficulty.

Great Visual Concept but Weak Execution

Perish’s graphics isn’t its strength, but its unique visual concept creates an immersive and exciting shooting (or hacking) experience for players. The game features various elements from Greek and Roman mythologies, and it manages to present dynamic and action-packed scenarios.

A messy and chaotic battle agains a horde of zomboid
Co-op FPS games can often get chaotic, but the bad visuals make Perish hard on the eyes.

Unfortunately, I believe that Perish’s visual style still feels weak both in its technical and thematic execution. The incorporation of Greek and Roman mythological elements pushes the game into a cliched visual clutter.

Of course, Perish’s theme was entirely up to the developers’ creative decision, but choosing such common motifs (i.e., Greek and Roman elements) without any significantly unique and/or new representation results in lackluster visuals of an otherwise interesting conceptual fusion. I attribute this not to the creative choices of the developers but rather to the game’s overall lack of polish.

Movement and Actions Looks Unrefined

Another complaint that I have with Perish is that the movement and actions feel clunky in general. The game features the basic shoot-parry-melee mechanics found in most first-person shooters, but these actions do not look or feel as smooth compared to other titles in the genre.

Animation of dash
You call that a “dash”?

Cooperative first-person shooter games inevitably become chaotic at some point. But Perish’s subpar visuals make the fight scenes hard on the eyes. This may be more of a problem in the visuals department (due to the lack of polish in animations), but it also makes performing certain actions, especially in quick succession, feel “wrong” for some reason.

Another manifestation of Perish’s lack of polish is its messy user interface.

UI Has a Lot of Room for Improvements

Given its ordinary gameplay, Perish’s unintuitive and messy user interface only makes the lackluster gameplay experience feel worse than it should be. The game’s unpolished user interface doesn’t help provide a positive gaming experience to players.

A sample screenshot showcasing Perish's user interface
Perish’s user interface is far from optimized.

It feels like some parts of the UI needlessly take up much more space than they should. For example, the health bars feel a bit unintuitive in their design. They could be made simpler and clearer by designing them as compact bars instead with minimal space in between them. This is especially important since the game’s health system only utilizes an ordinal scale, so one health bar only represents enduring one hit.

Similarly, the cooldown for the dash is a long vertical line that shows how much time is left before you can use it again. But along with the objectives shown on the top left of the screen, these unpolished stylistic choices make the user interface seem too cluttered.

It’s also the same with the right side of the UI where the placement of certain information (and choice of which information to show) doesn’t feel optimal at all. Simply put, UI stuff takes up a lot of space on your screen without providing nearly as much information.

A screenshot showcasing the default crosshair in Perish
Having the option to change the crosshair would be nice.

Another thing that I think Perish lacks is the option to customize your crosshair or, at least, have more options than the default one. I eventually got used to it, but having the option to replace it would be great, especially since it doesn’t really look that good, in my opinion.

The Shining yellow Light Is Sometimes More Confusing Than Helpful

The game points out your objectives via a shining, yellow-colored ball of light. This is meant to help you find your way to the next set of areas and quests.

Shining yellow light that shows your next destination
This shining yellow light can sometimes be more confusing than helpful.

Unfortunately, the way the light is shown often makes finding your objectives more confusing. Instead of having an easier time approaching your objectives, the light can sometimes mislead you and make it much more difficult to navigate the areas.

Audio – By Far the Best Aspect of the Game

Although Perish falls short in terms of gameplay and visuals, its audio and soundtrack can make players feel hyped while playing the game. The game’s music is immersive, and the choice of genre helps intensify the action that happens on your screen.

Throughout my playthrough, I’ve experienced many times where I feel extra excited about hacking and slashing monsters due to the amazing music that plays along in the background. Unfortunately, the game’s visuals cannot live up to its music.


For the best gaming experience, a game’s visuals, audio, and gameplay have to be excellent and harmonious at the same time. It is this immersive potential that makes players spend countless hours in the game.

Death screen in Perish
Rest in peace. Again.

Perish is surely a fun cooperative first-person shooter—it has all the basic stuff that makes the genre fun and executes these gameplay elements decently. Unfortunately, I feel that this game does not go beyond that. It does not offer anything unique enough to make it stand out in the genre.

It is an enjoyable game for sure, but it’s difficult to find any reason to play it over other, more popular games.

What did you think of our Perish Review? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This review is based on the PC version of PERISH. The key was provided by Stride PR and HandyGames.

Review Overview
Above Average 6
Overall Score 6
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Philosophy scholar by day, avid gamer by night—Marc spends most of his free time playing strategy/tactics, FPS, and RPGs on his laptop and console (after he's done all requirements for his graduate studies, of course!).
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