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Games like Puzzle Quest are Bejeweled with rpg elements thrown on top; this is Dr. Mario with rpg elements thrown on top. It's quite fun but could do with being a little more polished. Also you get better loot drop chance if you turn on twitter integration?! wtf? cheap ploy.
-review based on demo-
The gameplay is good. The enemy patterns and the patterns of bullets you have to dodge is good and the difficulty seems well-tuned. There don't seem to be any powerups or things you have to collect though, which would have spiced up the gameplay a little. Also I think when you take hits it should be a bit more obvious, more visceral.
The main let down for me is the graphics. I'm going to make an odd statement and then try to explain it: The resolution is too high.
What I mean by this is the graphics remind me of certain games that came out for the Atari ST/Amiga and even early days of PC, where the people doing the art for the game seemed to be not good enough at the new higher resolution they were working in, and weren't able to fully-utilize the higher resolution.
It's like, look at the text of the interface, it has these colour gradients on it, almost like, "we have all these colours and resolution available- we have to use it somehow!".
The ships look like clip art floating on a background, they don't blend in. Maybe (a lack of) lighting effects is to blame for this. Are all the ships 3d or are they pre-rendered and stored as sprites?
The various bullets and bolts and missiles that come at you look awful. There's glow effects that really just don't work and are jarring, big orange balls come off one boss but they aren't animated or lit or anything, it's like he's throwing clip-art of beachballs at you.
Then there's the briefing talking heads. They are amateur pre-rendered 3d models with no detail and speech animation like mouth open- mouth closed, and repeat... It really looks like something from the early 90s.
So in closing, the game is good but I really think it would have worked better if they reduced the resolution, replaced the mission talking heads with anime-style static pictures or maybe one picture per "emotion" style. Use low-res but high quality 2d ships and worked harder to understand lighting and glow effects.
Nice graphics but lacks a lot of polish in other areas, e.g. it takes ages to go from the menu screen to in the game with no indication that it's doing anything.
The difficulty in general I found way too hard. It's possible to lose all your life almost in an instant because there's no recovery time/invulnerable phase after losing a heart.
A setting for difficulty would have been very welcome. In fact, one thing that really affects how difficult you are going to find it is the weapon it gives you at the start, and that's random, so that's annoying.
edit: bumped the score up because it does get easy as you play it more and more and I found you can redefine the keys (it's on the start screen like a lot of unity games).
Only bad things left are the lack of a "loading" screen once you press play from the menu and the random weapon. The devs say they are going to give people set characters with set weapons to select from soon so I'll probably increase the score again.
P.S. The best part about the game is the engine. I'd love to see them do a Heretic/Hexen to this Doom.
It's very innovative and well-presented but the control scheme is a bit torturous. Your poor hand and forearm are going to be a monstrous claw after you play for a long time. Basically it's because you are doing lots of click and drag motions with the mouse under time pressure.
Also, I didn't mark it down for this, but the tutorial doesn't mention you can drag stuff about on the fate stream. You won't be able to even complete the tutorial if you don't.
Darkout is basically a game that wants to be Terraria but have what they consider to be nicer graphics. The game is fine and good and you'll notice I have given it 7 out of 10. I will just concentrate on the things I think need attention but that doesn't mean it's a "bad review".
It's true that the lighting effects in particular are very nice. It feels as if visibility and clarity is sacrificed though.
A general point is that there seems to be not enough feedback in the game. For example when you hover your spade over the ground, the squares that will be dug up are clearly highlighted. When you are going to chop down a tree though, it's not highlighted. This is the same as Terraria. At least in Terraria though, when you are chopping the tree you get visual indication of it through particles flying off. With this you get a sound but that's it- it's almost as if you are swinging the axe at the air.
Some things in the world like a door or a bed have ghost copies of themselves when you try to place them so you can easily see where they can and can't go. Other things like torches don't, and it's often hard and frustrating to place them.
It also seems that some things you place can be removed in the world and some, like torches, can't. This is annoying when you accidentally place torches you didn't want to place, which I suppose is something I will get used to with time.
Overall it's a good game though. If you like the idea of Terraria but hate pixel graphics you will be all over it. It does seem a bit too similar to Terraria at least to me at this early stage though.
I'm rating 7 rather than 10 because a lot of what made this great was Philip Glass's music, which I'm rather concerned is being distributed here in a copyright-infringing manner. I don't want desura to get into trouble.
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