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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

UnEpic PC Review - 7.9/10

I know I've said it a thousand times before, but... Steam is awesome. For those of you who don't know me, I get bored with games real quick. Suffice it to say I'm bored most all the time whether its due to games not coming out as often as I'd like or more than likely I blew through my last paycheck. So something that's cheap and is mass produced is something more up my alley.
UnEpic is a game made by someone who just put it up on Steam. I don't really know much about it, other than its still a work in progress. The game is slated to add new stuff like multiplayer, but for now I'll just review what I've been given. UnEpic is a game about dungeons and dragons basically. Take in mind this is a work in progress so I won't be judging it too harshly.

The Good:
For those of you who don't know what dungeons and dragons is, its often referring the actual table top D&D which is played more as a board game or a certain genre that utilizes D&D style choices. If you've played Skyrim you haven't played a D&D style game. If you've played Morrowind... you're getting closer but still not there. The reason I bring this up is because the game is heavily based on this style, down to it's narrative as the 'protagonist' was playing the game before getting into the dungeon world. D&D is a style which forces you to think realistically. Life and death can be very skewed as picking up something may be more detrimental to your survival if you had just left it there. This is clearly laid out at the beginning of the game and is one of it's major strengths. It's like if you were dropped into Skyrim but your weren't the Dragonborn, you were just another adventurer. Everything has the opportunity to kill you and you are at the mercy of your own skill and wit. Playing a game where I am badass all the time gets to be a bit tiresome, so it's refreshing to see my actions and choices have an impact on how well I do. It's not on the level of Demon/Dark Souls, but it's up there.
I really do like how the game is laid out. It's from a 2D perspective with no focus on the player. Once you enter a room, it's usually dark until you like some torches should you so please. Its hard to explain but think of it like you see the entire level on the screen and your character is just at one point or another. This works well for this game, giving it a claustrophobic feeling and almost scary considering you have no idea what is around the corner.
Enemies can and will kill you... but they are predictable. A game like Dark Souls (for me) got this wrong. Enemies were almost completely unpredictable. The bosses were, however, you would be killed before you could even begin to see any kind of pattern they had. The bosses are tough in this one, but you usually get a warning as well as a few possible ways out before and during fighting them. If a boss is too tough, then you should buy a teleportation item before hand just in case. Keeping your armor in perfect condition, as well as buying the best armor suited for you as well as weapons, will work drastically in your favor. Being comfortable with your weapons is crucial, as well as timing and using potions as well as magic when it is best.
There's a fair bit of tongue and cheek moments here and there. Since the protagonist is a D&D player, he has his own reservations about what is going on as well as his own current world input on a medieval-esque place. My one major gripe is this is what you'll be seeing about 90% of the time. Want an example? There is a mission in which you kill a guy for a trophy then have sex with a bunch of troll women. I'm sure there was a better way to say that, but there wasn't any other brutally honest way either. In the same quest, our hero utters the words, "I guess you haven't heard the saying: A hole's a hole." It's times like this when I am embarrassed to say I play games.

The Bad:
Even at the lowest difficulty, the game is tough. I usually find this to be true with most games. There is a lower difficulty for a reason. I'm not saying make it too easy for me, but there are certain moments when I can truly say "I am playing on the easiest difficulty, don't make 1-hit enemies". The easy mode is passable, however, I like to enjoy my games rather than be punished by them.
As I've said before, there is a bit too much humor. It was funny at first, but after a while I just skipped over these moments. I get why there was these many moments, I just wish they weren't so many and one after another.

The Meh:
You know who there's mana or magicka in other games? You know, a magic bar which usually regenerates? This isn't the case here. You pick up magical essences from slain enemies, depending on the type of enemy (ie. Fire drops fire essences etc). These do a variety of things but namely to power spells. I get why this was done (to make sure your character isn't too strong, at least not without little effort) but it's a step back for most people including me. Instead of something I can rely on, I have to check and see whether or not I can fire off a spell or if I should. Again, good game design that makes sense but just isn't fun. The same can be said for you inventory. Equipping weapons takes time (makes sense) but certain things like potions that take time to drink and can be interrupted by the slightest tap make for annoying boss battles. Like literally the second boss I had to fight was a fire dragon. The guy kicked my ass needless to say so I tried to drink a potion to stop my burning and heal myself, only to have him sweep across the screen and kill me in one stroke and I was unable to move.

This game isn't great but it isn't terrible. for 8 bucks it's not bad. Pick up a copy if you hate how easy Skyrim is and want something a bit more challenging. The game keeps updating for me, so there is probably plans for further updates in the future and it has been said that the price will go up when certain things are added.

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