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Reviews? Do you like this game? [Spoilers]


alhoon
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I just speeded up to end the game because I was curious about its ending(s). I had grown sure that whatever choices we make would reflect on the next game(s) and I'm pleased to see that I was right! :D Thank you! 

 

Now, I'm going to load an old save and play at a normal rate.

 

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Edited by ladyonthemoon
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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I posted two other posts about this game on here. I'm going to post a third now. I've re-built 6 of the seven fortresses. I still think the game should involve more freedom, especially in the beginning, but the plot contains some wonderful writing. I especially like the stuff in the Ukat areas. You do get more freedoms as the game goes on. Bloodletting of the Ukats is great for boss-fights, as it's cumulative. The Ariel have some phenomenal mind control abilities and mental defense resistance abilities. The Vol have some options that can let you be more evasive. I can imagine different strategies. You might have 3 Vol so that your group's evasion goes sky-high, or 3 Ukats so you can knock out bosses quickly and worry about their minions later...kind of like assassins. You could have 3 Ariel so that you can control minds and keep your foes fighting amongst themselves so you never get hit, or some combination of the 3.

 

I still don't think it's up to the standards of Geneforege 5, Avernum 5 and 6, but I think it's about the level of the Avernum remakes. I like it, and I'm glad I chose to keep playing. Don't be too turned off by the beginning. The world feels extremely real too...probably more real than other Spiderweb games I've played.

 

Edited by Clintone
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First, I should just admit I'm a total Spiderweb fangirl and you can apply grains of salt as you see fit. I've been playing their games since Avernum was Exile, and even my least favorite games I liked a lot.

 

I'm not even through my first play-through of this one and I already rank it one of my favorites.I've even gotten stuck twice and had to just thrash around revisiting people until I wiggled free (man, the map-click travel has my vote for best change) and I still like it.

 

The major changes in game-play from their (let's be honest—Jeff's) other games did take some getting used to. I finally just today was going through some sub-area and found myself thinking, "Well, thank goodness I don't have to scour around clicking every basket and looking for rats to kill!" And the limited inventory doesn't matter because even at the beginning I didn't have to scrounge every two-bit dagger just to survive. Having to kill a dungeon boss in one run wasn't fun at first, but I soon realized that it was making me much more aware of available resources and how to use them most effectively—which gives the storyline a little more authentic flavor. Sure, I'm a princess and used to just having stuff, but they could only send so much with me! The fact that I got my butt handed to me a few times early on and had to step back and figure a better way forward just makes it better for me.

 

Speaking of resources, the fort-building was really giving me headaches before that latest update, so I'm guessing they made a teeny tweak to it. If so, thank you!! It's still a challenge, but now it's one of my favorite things. "Oops! Can't buy them a brewery yet! Gotta find more mines!"

 

The storyline kind of reminds me of Nethergate, in that you've got immediate tasks that lead you to figure out the hidden agenda. That is, there were hidden agendas in many other Spiderweb games, but you usually knew the shape of what you were looking for.

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Hi. I'm perhaps not the best person to be writing a review, as I'm a vast bit more cynical and critical than most fans of any game, especially such a niche genre as Spiderweb Software games, but I'm hoping you'll find such an outsider's perspective useful. Because I really do think that what you're making has merit, even if not so much for myself specifically.

 

First off, I was really disappointed by the low amount of open-endedness. I was hoping that you'd have something like topic-based dialogue with many outcomes, individual characters liking or disliking you whether through banter, or favors, or trading with them, rebuilding forts and shops giving you strategic option for interacting with your soldiers, citizens, allies, enemies... at least the discovery of novel gear or skills(beyond the 3 unlockable cultures), or just, you know. The ability to manage things some more, make it about more than just whether you have cleared a location or not yet.

 

Secondly, the combat. I'll probably be told off, since I don't like the usual turnbased tactics action economy spiel, but I don't like it for a good reason: It covers up lack of natural tactical depth with the risk management naturally borne from outcome RNG. Also, it's basically the same as every other 9000 turnbased games out there: Crowd Control to limit enemy Actions Per Turn, and otherwise area damage to maximize your Damage Per Turn output. There was a little bit in the way of repositioning, and player agency but all in all not enough to make things fun for me. I played on iirc Hard and the game was still very easy for me, and not because I'm a veteran at this kind of games, but just because I can apply the usual powergaming strats that work for most games that don't do anything clever enough to make numbers secondary to human adaptability.

 

Thirdly, the storywriting: The mentioned lack of player agency and choices is I think what killed most of it for me. In itself the writing wasn't bad, although it felt too... I don't know, inorganic? Like lore that was there for the sake of being there rather than glimpses into an intricate world, if that makes sense.

 

Fourthly, the overall progression and management: Being too easy aside, I really quite disliked how big a chunk of your income upkeep ate up and for how little, meaning it was essentially(probably, I didn't try as I didn't need to) best to wait to get as much income as you can without buildings between clearing locations, and save up a vast sum that you then spend at once. It would have been amazing if in addition to Stone/Wood/Metal/Quicksilver, you also had goods production by shops, which you could then use to negotiate trade treaties, buy resources, etc. with limited storehouse capacity to incentivize keeping things moving. Or... I dunno.

 

Anyway, sorry for my resounding negativity, I'm well aware I'm overflowing of it, but I hope this feedback will be somewhat useful.

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Been playing Spiderweb games since the original Exile 1 with the single action point system. I think this may be my favorite new spidweb release since the original trilogy.

 

I really like the fort building aspect and not having to tediously slog around the world scavenging for used gear and junk to sell. Gave a sort of empire-building feel to the game.

 

Taking the micromanagement and finality out of character building and stat allotment by making them completely mutable was also a very welcome change. Allows me to freely experiment with different builds and just focus on role-playing and doing what I think is right instead of constantly being compelled into min-maxing (which may sound counter-intuitive to some, but I spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over every little stat detail when I know they are permanent and will carry with me for the rest of the game. So eliminating the permanence removes this pressure).

 

And I especially liked that what you said and did seemed to have big-picture consequences that reverberated beyond just metagaming for the immediate-best outcome.

 

While a lot of the new concepts and mechanics lack some complexity, this is understandable for a first release that does a major overhaul to everything people are used to. But I very much like the direction this new series is headed and I hope Jeff continues to expand on these new mechanics and explores new ways to incorporate more empire building into the mix. Strategy games and RPGs are my two favorite genres, so seeing even a glimmer of a nexus of the two in this series fills me with excitement.

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