It’s been a while since my last post. I’m still alive, but summer often brings the lazy fuck inside me. I kept leaving stuff to do for the next day because “there’s plenty of time”, and almost before I noticed, months had gone by.
Anyway, what has this summer brought us? Not much, sadly. Most of the good things are yet to come, but I made a list of my chosen noteworthy games released in these months.
I had some hopes for this game. I wanted to believe the gameplay footage The Roleplaying Company had released a few months prior was just some sort of pre-alpha amalgam that wasn’t meant to take as an actual sample of the final product.
This was not the case.
Blade of Destiny was launched in the poorest of states. Let’s just say spells weren’t usable in the game when it was released. The following video illustrates some of the hilarious glitches that those who purchased the game had to face.
It’s worth noting that The Roleplaying Company has been patching the game at a steady pace. Hilarity can also be found on some of these updates. For example (emphasis is mine):
Patch 1.18 – August 17th, 2013 2:30am (GMT+2)
- Poisoned Weapons
- New Options
- (de)activate Run motion blur
- Optionally reactivate Killcam
- Optionally deactivate Move to current character
- Settings for Spells don’t close on Click anymore
- Ugdalf Poison Gas room fixed
- Guddasunden Update (Signpost)
- Temple Women dressed
- Thorwal new main road
- Fixed Thorwal Windmill
- Fixed Ugdalf door
- Fixed Mine of Prem dead end
- Disappearing Lamp post in Rovik fixed
- Fixed Battlearena Corners
- Stoerrebrandt fixed
- Time Usage on Staff ritual despite of error message removed
- Quicksave in Battle deactivated
- Loading on the road fixed
- Varnheim Hostel name fixed
- Confirmation when closing the Game (Window Mode)
- Prevented repositioning of Characters when selling (exploit)
- Questlog Texting and Translation fixed
- Fixed strange Loot screen behaviour (creation of Crossbows) after some battles
Sadly, even though I can see the game getting patched to a point it is playable, it hardly improves the original aside from the additions from later RoA games (shooting in diagonals, or the improved inventory management). So, even if it was “fixed”, it’s hard to recommend.
This one came out unexpected (unexpected by me, that is). A challenging and unforgiving action-platformer with permadeath and a procedurally generated castle. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Sadly, it has its share of issues, mostly due to its random nature. While there’s a sense of progression, the leveling system is somewhat strange (you have to die, and level up as the heir of the deceased character). Some rooms are just insane, particularly in New Game + and beyond, where I found myself running through them ignoring the monsters searching directly for the bosses, since those are somehow less affected by the monster scaling and thus feel easier. And by easier I mean “beatable”.
Still, the game is enjoyable enough, at least for a few long sessions. If you’re feeling masochist, searching for some simple fun it may be worth the purchase. It didn’t feel very fulfilling to me, though, and after the novelty wore off the remaining game is just… okay. A solid 6 out of 10.
It finally came out, with the first expansion featuring Berlin due in the next months. I breezed through the game, sadly, and while the main campaign is basically combat after combat, it fell a little short. Many of the weapons felt useless, character progression felt a little bland and not too rewarding, and the matrix was kind of poorly implemented, feeling more like a chore than anything else. Story-wise, the game doesn’t bring much to the table either, apart from using the refreshing Shadowrun setting. The game was bundled with a somewhat limited toolset that disappointed many who were expecting megamods and campaigns. The worst offender probably is the saving system and expected linearity of the maps.
Still, for the price, I think the game is not without merits, and hopefully Harebrained Schemes keeps improving it after the expansion.
While Shadowrun Returns might not be the most hardcore RPG around, it’s the first of the Kickstarter projects from these past two years that makes it out, and can quench your thirst for turn-based, squad-based experience for a few days.
Part two coming soon!