Play harder

Diablo III

Third episodes are somehow hard to release. Fans had to wait ten years for Fallout 3, and the case of Doom 3 was exactly the same. Diablo III beat them by an extra three years to sharpen the appetite. So we waited thirteen years, and at last the favorite clicking-monsterkiller game os a good many people arrived. Among the several reasons of lateness the most important is that the game was rewritten three times. No wonder, the development started in 2001, and there was a lot of advancement in the technology since then. Not to mention the open secret that the character development system of the second Diablo was worth not heap of crap. The multi-way development opportunities were actually almost one-way at each character, because only the most effective characters could walk through the whole game. Only in the recent years the system was altered such way that skills started to strengthen each other. In spite of this Diablo II was successful enough to make the bed for the third part. The enormousness of the fan base was perfectly indicated by the 6.3 million copies sold on the first week. A must add; it deserved. Because the game was made excellently. From the graphix to the skill system lots of things were rethought and rewritten. It is not boring to replay it on different difficulty levels, because the monsters and the spells can bring new challenges and things to explore. On Normal difficulty you can watch the environment, read the story, but on Nightmare and Hell difficulties you have to be more and more tactical with the skills and the equipment. Relatively to the previous episode, character development was entirely reformed. There is no chance to purchase ability points, which – by the reason mentioned above – had no use anyway, but in exchange we get a level-dependent skill system with a heap of modification runes, and that makes hundreds of combinations to use what you want in the given situation. You can overwrite your choice anytime, so you can adopt to the various situation and will never “botch” your character. Identify and Town Portal spells had vanished, as did the Horradric Cube,...

Darksiders II: Death Lives

Darksiders II: Death Lives

2014. Sze. 29.

If you liked Darksiders: Wrath of War, then you will love the second installment. Apart from the story that is simple like a pebble, everything is epic. The characters, the locations and generally the whole experience raise the series to such a level that I was just wondering about what can come in the third and the fourth part? Briefly for newbies: In the world of Darksiders the end came, so heaven and hell are battling and humanity is extinct. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse came, or in the first part rather just one, War, who tries to tidy up. But the Seventh Seal is not broken yet, and the Horseman was summoned by a great power to saddle the Apocalypse on him. It is typically the case of the chicken and the egg: no one can tell if the World’s End brings the Horsemen or the Horsemen bring the Apocalypse. Anyway, War does his homework with a gentlemanly cut (hmm… with some thousands of powerful cuts), and at the end he breaks the Seventh Seal. Because of this he goes to prison powerless, but his fellow companions hear the call and hurry down from the sky like falling stars. That is the point where the first part ends. The second one begins when his buddy, Death gets the general picture and looks after things to help War. It belongs to the story that the four Horsemen are members of the same race, the Nephilim, which they exterminated by themselves. They are like brothers, and this gives the motivation for Death’s quest. War mostly showed some deficiency in the area of anger management, but Death is another matter; he is not able to think little. He must pick on the biggest ones and gave no littler quest than to erase War’s sin to help the bro. If it was not enough to find it out: He wanna erase the Apocalypse and resurrect humanity. Here I must emphasize the bright twist; a Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, the one-man-executor-squadron is fighting for the resurrection of a powerless race whose only thing to do in the multiverse is to live, mate, become sinners and saints while...

Darksiders: Wrath of War

Darksiders: Wrath of War

2014. Sze. 29.

Do you know the old, ternary apportionment of the world: Heaven is up there, Hell is down somewhere, and between them there is a planet called Earth? At the end, judgement day comes when spheres above and below are clashing together. Where else, if not in the middle realm? In the setting of Darksiders there are some great changes in the topic of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. According to the Bible, they are the messengers of God, forerunners of judgement day and harbingers of doom at His command. However, in the world of the game they are the last remnants of a race created before the angels, and judged to extermination like flawed prototypes. The last four members of the race swore an oath: In exchange for their lives they keep the Law, in Heaven and Hell alike. Featuring God is always problematic, regardless of media, so the developers decided to insert the Charred Council, a lower power under Him. The Council is — strictly in my definition — less an executing but a judging authority. The relationship is between God and the Council is not entirely clear to me, but in fact, it is not so important, have no influence on the game experience. The point is: This way the game picks up some kind of gothic fantasy style, avoiding sanctimony and blasphemy alike. The beginning of the story can be guessed from the foregoing: Forces of Heaven and Hell are battling on Earth (in the present era), then the Horsemen come and the party is on. Or rather, only one Horseman comes, War, who roughly spanks everyone but the big one at the end of the intro. As a dedicated executioner, he is hated by everyone, practically, so no wonder if all the angels and demons want to kill him at sight. The real conflict starts when it turns out that War came alone, and the other Horsemen were not summoned. The Council charge him with descending on Earth by his own will, but he firmly claims that he was called. Finally he gets a simple task: Without his former power he must prove his truth or die trying. During...

Champions Online: Free for All ― Lonely Heroes Club

Champions Online: Free for All ― Lonely Heroes Club

2014. Sze. 29.

  Once upon a time, after the release of the game I tried the paying version out in a free weekend, and I wrote my first impressions about Champions Online, but that is not actual anymore. Cryptic Studios (they gave us the Star Trek MMO too) restarted the whole heroismo in a partly free version with microtransactions. What you basically must know about the game can be summarized in short: The game system and the setting is based on Champions PnP (Pen and Paper) superhero role-playing game, and the microtransaction model doesn’t decrease the enjoyment level. Of course, if you pay for the game, you get more possibilities, but that doesn’t mean that you can be stronger with the bought options. For example, you can entirely customize the powers and appearance of your hero, while free players can improve their characters only in given directions. However, because only the style and the side effects (stunning, freeze, poison, etc.) make differences between the powers, paying players get no better or stronger things, but they have significantly more options. Mentioning style… How can a superhero video game grab players who doesn’t know the original PnP role-playing game? With style, of course. There are no Marvel or DC comics characters known by millions to make the setting unique. The gameplay is the same as offered by other MMOs and superhero games: You beat the bad guys and take the reward. Graphics is prime, but this is a requirement nowadays. What do remain, if not the style? And the game is stylish, that’s a fact, or I can write that it’s rioting in cool elements. So that somewhere I can’t even interpret the abundance offered by the developers. It’s because I have a character, it’s appearance was made unique during character creation, and I don’t wanna change it. Well, a few days ago I gave her a cape, but I don’t get used to the sight and I’m not sure I will keep it. In words, I have a unique toon and I wouldn’t buy 99 percent of the costumes in C-Store even if I could. Maybe the devices and some other things, but I don’t feel the...

Bloodline Champions — Being Lame in Beta

Bloodline Champions — Being Lame in Beta

2014. Sze. 29.

I can’t stop ranting about MMOs, and there was a time with another beta test session. It ended long ago, but since then I didn’t have any mood to start the game and play again. At the end of this article I will tell you why, but first I want to glorify the game. Maybe it sounds like I have a split mind, but this is my opinion: The game is all right, but I don’t like it. It’s not MY game and that’s all. It all started with a newsletter from Funcom (i.e.: Anarchy Online [AO]) – I was playing AO for a time, so I have a registration there – calling me to try this new flick out. I did. It was worth the time. In the newsletter mentioned above I found such sounding phrases like “Easy to learn, challenging to master” and “Bloodline Champions is set to become one of the most important games within its genre.” Not to mention the two gaming rigs I could win. I never win but what if I do after all…? I beg to inform you that Funcom delivered the goods. Indeed they created the next milestone in the category of arena-based multiplayer games. Well, it’s square that the big score is not in the requirements of the genre, because there are a number of arena games and it’s unnecessary to throw just another subgenre to the players. Possibly Funcom thought the same, because it is like this: Register, search a match, choose a character and you can grind the enemy as you can. Implicitly, the game has its own world (there are some short texts for the mood, and they plan to publish a world map, but it’s still in the lap of the gods). But what is the big novum? The keyword is: Balance. With a capital B and emphasized several times. Because there is no character development in the game, and the main ability scores are similar – regarding Hit Points there are only 10-20 points of difference among most of the characters (they have 160-180 HPs). Only the tanks have more (around 220), but they are weak in other areas. Besides,...