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Default Drakensang - Review @ Eurogamer

April 8th, 2009, 19:48
Kieron Gillian reviews Drakensang on Eurogamer. A review score of 7/10 means he likes it a lot apparently.
Drakensang is a fine RPG which looks better than it is, due to the relative dearth of similar games on the PC in recent times. As far as reasonable-budget party-based RPGs go, it's detailed enough to fill the months until we see whether Dragon Age is going to live up to BioWare's legacy. And if Dragon Age fails, RPG fans will have no shame in returning to Drakensang's rock-solid, dependable arms of holding. I like it a lot.
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April 8th, 2009, 19:48
It's a conversion of the German RPG system Das Swartze Auge (The Dark Eye)
Ooops.

In the pronounciation, it's right, in the correct terms, it's not.
Except that it should be Shwartz instead of "Swartz".

The correct term would be of course "Das Schwarze Auge".


Edit: Well, I read through it and I found it quite positive and neutral, as far as I can judge it. Quite good for me.
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April 8th, 2009, 21:19
I like it a lot.
And still he gave the game 7 / 10. If I say, I like the game a lot, I must give atleast 8 or 9 out of 10.

It seems that the "Low-Budget-German-RPG" stamp on the game prevents people from giving a decent score. I just can't understand why NWN2 is rated much better than Drakensang, because it has big budget?
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April 8th, 2009, 21:54
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
And still he gave the game 7 / 10. If I say, I like the game a lot, I must give atleast 8 or 9 out of 10.

It seems that the "Low-Budget-German-RPG" stamp on the game prevents people from giving a decent score. I just can't understand why NWN2 is rated much better than Drakensang, because it has big budget?
Yeah, what's the harm in saying: "It's a niche cRPG and I'm a member of the niche demographic targeted by this game. I like it. I'm giving it an 8/10." His review does not read as a 7/10 review, which would do a disservice to those PC gamers out there who could certainly benefit from a deep and enjoyable RPG like Drakensang.

Also, his review is full of shame and apologies… (much of which is tongue in cheek, I know, but some of which seems grounded in reality) like he dares to admit that he actually likes <gasp> a nerdy DSA RPG. Who cares? I like a lot of nerdy things… we all do. I mean, he's reviewing a computer role-playing game for chrissakes!!! Hence, the entire exercise is nerdy to begin with.
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April 8th, 2009, 22:16
It's a blog style review - nothing more.

Why on earth should a reviewer mention his girlfriend, maybe if he was solo he would have given it 8/10. Maybe if he was two-timing it would have got 6/10.
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April 8th, 2009, 22:51
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
I just can't understand why NWN2 is rated much better than Drakensang, because it has big budget?
No, I think just because it is so widely well-known, and almost anyone can dive into it, because almost everybody should know its rule-system by now due to the great dominance on the C-RPG market. And P&P, too.

I tend to believe what people makes hesitate from giving higher scores is just that TDE isn't so well known. They just have to invest some actual work, because they've NEVER played a game with the rule-set.

In contrast to ANY D&D game of the recent times. BG and BG2 are considered classics, IWD almost, too, and then there's NWN & NWN2, all of these games are very much dominating a huge part of the RPG market.

Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Why on earth should a reviewer mention his girlfriend,
Because she interrupted his playing with Drakensang.

Which is imho a very good praise of the game.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 9th, 2009, 01:03
You guys would give it 8 or 9? I wouldn't. 7/10 is about right. I'm enjoying it but I have a pretty long list of shortcomings.

Are you sure you guys aren't being a bit defensive because it's a (rare) party-based RPG? If BioWare made this, I reckon people would be queuing to talk about how linear it is and a bunch of other stuff.

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April 9th, 2009, 02:20
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You guys would give it 8 or 9? I wouldn't. 7/10 is about right. I'm enjoying it but I have a pretty long list of shortcomings.

Are you sure you guys aren't being a bit defensive because it's a (rare) party-based RPG? If BioWare made this, I reckon people would be queuing to talk about how linear it is and a bunch of other stuff.
Actually I was just making a point that his review sounded like a "better than 7/10" review and I disliked the general tone of the review. I'm not sure what I would rate the game personally… probably somewhere in the 7 to 8 range, basically where it's sitting now at Metacritic: 75%. The game is certainly flawed, but I'm also having a lot of fun with it. For me, that's a C+/B- kind of game and DEFINITELY worth the small amount of money I paid for it, which inches it closer to B-, because value is an important factor to me.
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April 9th, 2009, 03:49
I don't consider Drakensang "flawed". Not even close. "Flawed" implies that important elements don't work. That's not the case here.
It has a few - very few - weaknesses, most related to walking. And a lot of pretty good stuff which is not as good as it could have been with more focus on depth. I think both players and reviewers are being overly critical. Maybe because nowadays we're used to developers aiming for the top and either hitting or missing spectacularly, which is not something RL did. Drakensang looks like a pragmatic product, like the development on major features was stopped when they were found "good", without squeezing every last drop out.

Another reason for the lower review scores is the lack of a big name. This could be seen in Germany and it can be seen even more elsewhere.
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April 9th, 2009, 04:32
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
I don't consider Drakensang "flawed". Not even close. "Flawed" implies that important elements don't work. That's not the case here.
It has a few - very few - weaknesses, most related to walking. And a lot of pretty good stuff which is not as good as it could have been with more focus on depth. I think both players and reviewers are being overly critical. Maybe because nowadays we're used to developers aiming for the top and either hitting or missing spectacularly, which is not something RL did. Drakensang looks like a pragmatic product, like the development on major features was stopped when they were found "good", without squeezing every last drop out.

Another reason for the lower review scores is the lack of a big name. This could be seen in Germany and it can be seen even more elsewhere.
Ahhh… I guess it depends on your definition of flawed. For me, having to wade through hordes of the exact same monster type over and over and over again (to essentially fill time) is a major flaw, and has almost made me quit the game a few times. Another flaw is a complete lack of ingame documentation about how to level up your character and generally "use" the DSA system. Then, there's the issues with the pseudo turn-based combat. If you pause the game and issue orders, with the desire to "hold" formation (a standard BG pause-n-play tactic of mine that enables fighters in the front and mages in the back), when you unpause the formations of enemies and characters goes all willy-nilly with enemies instantly shifting to the back. It looks very much like watching fantasy characters play musical chairs. There are others……. and I'm not nitpicking either.

I really like this game, but there are plenty of problems with it. Many of these problems have been identified in reviews and hence the "above average" scores it has received.
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April 9th, 2009, 04:44
Originally Posted by Cabel Blacke View Post
Ahhh… I guess it depends on your definition of flawed. For me, having to wade through hordes of the exact same monster type over and over and over again (to essentially fill time) is a major flaw, and has almost made me quit the game a few times.
Unfortunately that's genre standard. Name an RPG and I'll tell you one which throws too much filler on you.

Another flaw is a complete lack of ingame documentation about how to level up your character and generally "use" the DSA system.
That's in the manual. Again as in almost every other RPG. Cutting stuff out of the English manual was a bad idea though.

Then, there's the issues with the pseudo turn-based combat. If you pause the game and issue orders, with the desire to "hold" formation (a standard BG pause-n-play tactic of mine that enables fighters in the front and mages in the back), when you unpause the formations of enemies and characters goes all willy-nilly with enemies instantly shifting to the back. It looks very much like watching fantasy characters play musical chairs. There are others……. and I'm not nitpicking either.
I have to look into this again. The slowest combat setting didn't have these problems.

I really like this game, but there are plenty of problems with it. Many of these problems have been identified in reviews and hence the "above average" scores it has received.
I had only a few problems and a lot of fun - and this although I'm usually very sensitive towards idle time in games. But of course YMMV.
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April 9th, 2009, 12:57
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Unfortunately that's genre standard.
I even dare to say it's kind of an "industry standard" nowadays.

Combat has always been a heavy factor in RPGs, but with the rising (and selling) of the Action-RPGs, this factor has been imho quite increased.

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April 9th, 2009, 13:43
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
I had only a few problems and a lot of fun - and this although I'm usually very sensitive towards idle time in games. But of course YMMV.
I am liking the game too, much more than Fallout 3 or Mass Effect. My desire is just to call out a few things that could be tweaked for the sequel/prequel. And I agree that hordes is a genre staple; however, that rat dungeon bordered on the excessive, no matter how you slice it. Had they simply mixed in a few different monsters for variety, it would've been much more palatable. As it is now, it is a brutal slog. Compare that to the Dark Forest (which I found highly entertaining) and which contains a lot of combat, but with varied opponents and some minor questing.

Anyway, we all seem to like the game, so just varying degrees of like-a-tude. I was (and still am) a HUGE fan of the Northlands Trilogy, so am very happy to be back in this world again.
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April 9th, 2009, 14:26
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
And still he gave the game 7 / 10. If I say, I like the game a lot, I must give atleast 8 or 9 out of 10.

It seems that the "Low-Budget-German-RPG" stamp on the game prevents people from giving a decent score. I just can't understand why NWN2 is rated much better than Drakensang, because it has big budget?
I fully agree. NWN2 wasnt such a killer game. I like it a lot, but for some odd reason I rate it only 7… hello, logic?
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April 9th, 2009, 14:44
As I started playing Drakensang I started with a personal 90 score, but after the last stage of the game was just fight after fight, I lowered it to an 85 score. It is what I want a cRPG game to be, a good mix of out-of-combat and in-combat experiences, good quests, great character customization (in terms of stats/skills/spells), good use of non-combat abilities, etc. It does lack some things that would make it stellar:
- Replayability: The game is pretty much the same with a couple of exceptions if you decide to play again with another character.
- Too much combat in last 25% of the game
- Slow traveling speed
- Some bugs here and there
- Lacks PC-companions and companion-companion interactions (friendship, hatred, romance, etc)
- Lacks companion quests (If each companion had a subquest like the amazon, it would have been awesome)
Other than that, it's a stellar game. Much better (to me) than any game I've seen scored at 90+ in the last 5 or so years (except probably Civ 4)
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April 9th, 2009, 15:06
I think the review is quite good, at least he did not complain, about "too complicated" and "too many stats"
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April 10th, 2009, 06:03
Originally Posted by Cabel Blacke View Post
however, that rat dungeon bordered on the excessive, no matter how you slice it. Had they simply mixed in a few different monsters for variety, it would've been much more palatable. As it is now, it is a brutal slog. Compare that to the Dark Forest (which I found highly entertaining) and which contains a lot of combat, but with varied opponents and some minor questing.
Well I "slice it" a lot different than you do because I like rat dungeons. Those giant rats only get to be in the beginning of most RPG. Don't take that away from the poor ratties

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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April 10th, 2009, 15:29
My favorite take on the "rat dungeon" was in Oblivion. There was an old woman who loved rats and wanted you to save them from other vicious monsters. Hilarious It was a short quest and it was well written.

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