Die in Peace... no wait... Die in Pain, Rest In Peace has been out for a few days now, and after playing a handful of games it's hard not to be excited about the potential of this game, yet at the same time feel more than a little disappointed. The release is free of major game-breaking or crashing bugs which is a surprising change for a modification and one of this releases highlights.
It's an interesting mod, and reminds me a little of Carmageddon that I played when I was younger. Obviously time not playing that game will have made me forgive its short-comings, but it was a magnificent game for its time.
DIPRIP has a focus on weapons rather than driving ability and timing that perfect ram, and I constantly see comparisons with Twisted Metal and how it captures the feeling of that game. I've never played Twisted Metal, so I don't know about that. At the moment though it feels to me that the potential for fun is let down by a number of things. The weapons are my current #1 bad thing about the game, and may be the reason I stop playing. While many people probably bask in the awesome scores that missile spam brings, it's certainly not for me. Missiles missiles missiles. Beep beep beep. It's playable, but it's taking the time to sort-of aim someone up that leaves me feeling that each kill is a little on the pointless side. Sure, they can swerve and whatnot and just ditch the homing missiles, but I do that, and I know there's no sense of achievement brought by evading them, as you know that an opponent will just pick up more missiles as every possible route throughout the game that you could take is littered with pickups.
The counter-measures work alright, they distract a missile or two, but it takes a long time to reload, and again what is the point. It's just delaying your inevitable death to missiles. Heaven forbid there's more than one car firing them at you. I've been in situations where three or four cars are all nearby firing missiles. It's so noisy and annoying to drive in circles in the hope of avoiding every missile. It works a lot of the time, just driving in a circle. But what's the point? You're going to die to someone's missile eventually when you get bored and try to break off.
Which brings me to even attempting to get away from someone. The only people who have got away from me are people where I've just gone "Fine, screw it" and broken off to go attack someone else when I've become bored of shooting at someone. They never outrun me, they never take a great series of turns and ditch me. The only time they escape is through to me not having the patience to follow them anymore. That's not the way it should be, especially dirving one of the "slower" more "armoured" cars.
That radar is one of the biggest culprits in not letting you or your opponent escape. You know where everyone is at all times, and it removes the ability for the mouse to ever escape in those cat and mouse situations.
That I'm feeling that it's a chore to play the game is probably the biggest sign that I won't play this in future. I feel there's a lack of skill necessary, and it's more about just having the patience to continuously pursue people and fire rockets hoping your opponent will just accept their fate and make it easy for you. There's very little in the way of tactics or even much of a way to fight back. The moment you try to turn around is the moment the missiles all hit home.
The current demo version is the first public version, so I'm by no means writing this game off, I just feel it has to evolve somewhat if it's to keep my interest. I like tactics, I like feeling as if I won by doing something an opponent wasn't expecting, etc. Right now it's just blatantly missile and radar based and it leads to a lack of fun for me. While die-hards who might read this will feel i'm being overly critical and the game "is awesome" I think if they look closely enough they'll find I'm not attacking the game, just giving the reason why only those ten to twenty die-hard fans will continue to play the game after a month in its current state.
Small changes and additions could probably tweak this game into something a lot more people would enjoy. And although it's hard to identify team members on the official DIPRIP forum, it seems that they're at least willing to listen to criticism and suggestions that users have with their mod. Radar suggestions seem to have been at least taken on board as a way to enhance gameplay, so there is hope.
It's not perfect right now, far from it. I would probably give it a 7 in terms of fun and 9 in terms of stability and lack of issues with the game. It's a good start in terms of reliability, but - for me at least - the fun isn't quite there yet. It is kind of fun, don't get me wrong, but after a while the frustrations add up and I just have to quit.