A fellow friend of mine suggested that he could retort my Legend of Grimrock review with one of his own. I found the idea fun enough, so here you have his viewpoint on Almost Human’s latest game.
I’m Verion, from the Black Sword Brotherhood. I’m honored to speak to Mighty Volsung’s audience in this only time in which I’ll talk about the brilliant game known as “The Legend of Grimrock”.
I’ll speak shortly assuming you’ve read his very wise conclusions, and thus focus only on the points I´ve found to be notable failures.
1. Combat: As Volsung said, you can’t stay on the front of your enemies and battle them strategically, thinking on the effects of your actions as you would with a good combat system, so the combat relies on moving around the enemy and attacking them fast, before they attack you. Well, this is not only very poor design for a role playing system, but also a very poor design for an action system, because it’s both easy and dumb. I know, that’s something you could do in Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master and similar games of yesteryear, but, hell, that was bad even back then. And, even though you could move around your enemy avoiding all damage, in most combats you had the option to beat them with the proper mechanics of an actual combat system.
2. Character System: The combat inherits some problems from the character system, because there is no such thing as a solid character development mechanic. Your characters can learn different skills to choose from different skillsets for each class, but, what sense does that make if you’re forced you to maximize one, forgetting about the rest? You can have a sword oriented warrior and a mace oriented warrior, but at the end they are quite the same thing: close damage dealers. The same can be said about the spell casters. Disgracefully, the character system is very bad. Proof of it is that the game would be more or less the same if you had no character system at all.
3. Linearity: I could understand that this game’s designers had no deep knowledge about good role playing games, but, why did they made this lamentably linear dungeon? In old school dungeon crawlers you could lose your day going down and up in very different ways. Here there is one only way save for a few specific levels. I thought they would give us a very interesting dungeon, not this dumb, straightforward thing.
4. Magic system: You have very few spells that do not relate with any puzzle (well, there’s one exception, yet you get an item that circumvents this in the room next to the puzzle). This inherits from the weak character system, but it’s still a demerit on his own.
I’m quite surprised: how can a so polished game in other terms (immersion, graphics, lighting effects, sound effects, absence of bugs) make such a lamentable twist of the original concept? How can you take a well designed model and make it worse?
Still better than shit , I will give it 5/10. In the Brotherhood we are hard people.
So, there you have. If any of you would ever like to write any kind of article for the blog, not necessarily a counter-review, I’ll gladly post it. Thanks, Verion!