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Default RPGWatch Feature: Legend - Hand of God Review

September 24th, 2008, 10:08
Michael 'txa1265' Anderson takes a look at Master Creating's Legend: Hand of God in our latest review:
Legend: Hand of God is a single-player game in the action-RPG genre created by developer Master Creating. Their prior entry was 2005's highly flawed but promising Restricted Area, an action-RPG in a post-apocalyptic setting. That game had many technical issues as well as an unremarkable overall feeling, and suffered from poor localization and terrible voice acting in the English translation. Legend: Hand of God features improved visuals, hand-crafted dungeons, a varied class system and skill tree. But the game is wrought with bugs and bad voice acting and a character that is annoying and won't ever be quiet. Whether you play for an hour, once through or with every class, you can rest assured that what you see is what you get: an average 'Diablo clone' that samples only the core features from the genre and adds nothing back.
Read it all here.
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September 24th, 2008, 10:08
I wouldn't have been so kind, although I only got about 5 hours in before giving it away. It's pretty but I thought the skill system was weak - there's not a lot of depth to each tree and some of the skills are nothing short of lame. The forced dual-classing helps but I couldn't find a combination I liked.

The fairy is an interesting idea gone bad. The fairy-cursor-lightsource works well in caves but overland it kills the framerate (probably because of the constant dynamic light source) but adds nothing in the daylight, and the voice acting is criminal.

Everything is utterly generic. 2/5, for me.

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September 24th, 2008, 11:47
This is the best review for Legend: Hand of God I've read so far. I agree wholeheartedly with it.

I feel some reviewers have been too negative about the game (makes me wonder if they even like action RPGs). But this game is much better than they've been painting it.

It's certainly not perfect, but if you're a fan of games like Sacred, Dungeon Siege and Titan Quest, then I think you'll like this game.

But if ever a game cried out for modding, it's this one. Just a few tweaks here and there and it could be turned into a real gem.

As it is though, it's a very good game and I enjoyed my time playing it.
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September 24th, 2008, 12:41
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Everything is utterly generic. 2/5, for me.
Darn the lack of half-stars

I was torn, but while Space Siege was a clear 2/5, this was also clearly better … but like you say, utterly generic. As I play Silverfall Earth Awakening I find some stuff better, some stuff worse, so I am not worried too much about the 2.5-3 star differential. But I think that the key points of why the appeal is directly tied to a love of the action-RPG genre are there.

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September 24th, 2008, 13:39
Oh, I don't have a problem with the score. I was disappointed - these guys can do better.

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September 24th, 2008, 16:05
Slightly offtopic here, but I was wondering: how does one go about writing a review for RPGWatch? I've noticed most reviews are written by txa.
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September 24th, 2008, 16:51
Congratulations on the best and most honest and through review I've read about the game.

I have it, play off and on when I have time and find it a lot of fun in short stints of mindless hack&slash

One thing I think is neat is how the fight animations change depending on the type/size of your opponent, pretty cool idea imo!

Again thx for the fair & balanced review

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September 24th, 2008, 17:08
Nice review, but thereīs one rather formal point I disagree with:

"No Multiplayer" is neither good nor bad, IMHO. Itīs just a market selection decision our readers need to be informed about. A SP game doesnīt get one bit weaker just because it comes without MP.
You can criticize a bad MP mode if a game comes with MP though.
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September 24th, 2008, 17:40
You should put the articles into the main tab on the top (and possibly rename them as as reviews or reviews / articles).

Currently if you want to check out these reviews you need to go to database=>articles. I doubt many find them from there.

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September 24th, 2008, 18:31
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Nice review, but thereīs one rather formal point I disagree with:

"No Multiplayer" is neither good nor bad, IMHO. Itīs just a market selection decision our readers need to be informed about. A SP game doesnīt get one bit weaker just because it comes without MP.
You can criticize a bad MP mode if a game comes with MP though.
I'm sorry, but I don't follow that logic at all.

For a lot of people, having a multiplayer mode is essential for our enjoyment of the game - as it is in my case and the case of several of my friends.

You might as well say that having no character customization isn't a bad thing, or that having no powers (ala Dungeon Siege) is just a design choice. It's not a bad thing if you don't find it adds much to the game, but if you do it's quite bad.

The whole thing is about expectations, which is why the only logic I would go along with, was if the genre standard was singleplayer only, in which case there's really no reason to expect it. However, action RPGs are pretty much associated with cooperative multiplayer - as it was introduced with Diablo (or arguably, Gauntlet) and having - at MINIMUM - the same feature set is something not unreasonable to expect of a modern Diablo clone.

In short, having no multiplayer in a modern action RPG is a negative.
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September 24th, 2008, 19:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't follow that logic at all.

For a lot of people, having a multiplayer mode is essential for our enjoyment of the game - as it is in my case and the case of several of my friends.

You might as well say that having no character customization isn't a bad thing, or that having no powers (ala Dungeon Siege) is just a design choice. It's not a bad thing if you don't find it adds much to the game, but if you do it's quite bad.

The whole thing is about expectations, which is why the only logic I would go along with, was if the genre standard was singleplayer only, in which case there's really no reason to expect it. However, action RPGs are pretty much associated with cooperative multiplayer - as it was introduced with Diablo (or arguably, Gauntlet) and having - at MINIMUM - the same feature set is something not unreasonable to expect of a modern Diablo clone.

In short, having no multiplayer in a modern action RPG is a negative.
Well my opinion differs from yours as well

I've played many ARPGs over the years and I hardly ever play them MP even if it's an offered feature.

If a game has MP then it's certainly not a draw back, but it's not a feature I look for or judge whether or not to purchase a game or not.

Many people, and the vast majority of those I discuss such things with, enjoy the freedom of playing ARPG/RPG in SP.

Look at The Witcher, solid, perfect RPG with only SP, Dragon Age coming out with only SP…

Even games like Titan Quest, I've only gone online once, Sacred, Dungeon Siege, Diablo 2, Loki, NWN/2…I play all 99.9% SP

Heck I even play Guild Wars with only Henchmen lol

So while you may prefer a game to have MP and look at the lack there of as a negative, that's not everyone's position

No offense intended, just different opinion and tastes

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September 24th, 2008, 19:28
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Well my opinion differs from yours as well

I've played many ARPGs over the years and I hardly ever play them MP even if it's an offered feature.

If a game has MP then it's certainly not a draw back, but it's not a feature I look for or judge whether or not to purchase a game or not.

Many people, and the vast majority of those I discuss such things with, enjoy the freedom of playing ARPG/RPG in SP.

Look at The Witcher, solid, perfect RPG with only SP, Dragon Age coming out with only SP…

Even games like Titan Quest, I've only gone online once, Sacred, Dungeon Siege, Diablo 2, Loki, NWN/2…I play all 99.9% SP

Heck I even play Guild Wars with only Henchmen lol

So while you may prefer a game to have MP and look at the lack there of as a negative, that's not everyone's position

No offense intended, just different opinion and tastes

Regards
It seems you missed my point entirely, though

Oh, and trust me, I don't take offense easily.

I'm not talking about my own subjective opinion, I'm talking about genre standards. Personally, I strongly lament the absence of multiplayer in Dragon Age - for instance - but I wouldn't name it as a negative in a review - or at least I wouldn't adjust the score because of it.

We're not talking about traditional CRPGs, we're talking about action RPGs - in other words, we're talking about Diablo clones. In that sense, multiplayer is a genre standard and as such it's going to be expected by a lot of people.

The fact that you don't enjoy it, and that I consider it vital isn't particularly relevant - it's that it's an expected feature.

Even if it wasn't, the individual reviewer will always have certain features that he considers more important than others. In modern reviews, for instance, you'll often find graphics being mentioned as subpar or similar - even when it's about traditionally visually unimpressive genres like turn-based strategy or whatever. Some of us might not care, but modern reviewers do in many cases and therefore we can expect a modern audience to feel the same. In the end, all reviews are based on personal perceptions - and no one can be 100% objective, nor should we expect it, imo.
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September 24th, 2008, 22:29
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
For a lot of people, having a multiplayer mode is essential for our enjoyment of the game - as it is in my case and the case of several of my friends.
Yeah, right.

Like Dungeoin Siege with such a carelessy programmed campaign - and the really great stuff ONLY appeard in MP !

The hubs, for example, are NEVER seen in the campaign !

The bias towards MP games has grown so far that SP games are becoming neglected.

At one point, I'm sure, someone will state in an review that an SP game is a negative. Like you did.

Which means, that SP players become more and more neglected, because MP consumes much, much more work, and SP is considered just an appendix, then.

Once, it was the other way round, when MP was still evolving.

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September 24th, 2008, 22:43
I personally would much prefer a solid well crafted SP game to a game where resources and budget was stretched to include a MP function.

Lan? Sure…but now a days if you can't provide costly "Closed" servers for MP then it's a waste of money and development time and effort imo
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September 24th, 2008, 23:06
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Yeah, right.

Like Dungeoin Siege with such a carelessy programmed campaign - and the really great stuff ONLY appeard in MP !

The hubs, for example, are NEVER seen in the campaign !

The bias towards MP games has grown so far that SP games are becoming neglected.

At one point, I'm sure, someone will state in an review that an SP game is a negative. Like you did.

Which means, that SP players become more and more neglected, because MP consumes much, much more work, and SP is considered just an appendix, then.

Once, it was the other way round, when MP was still evolving.
I'm not sure how to respond to this, as I fail to see how it relates to anything I said. You seem to imply that I have a problem with singleplayer games, where I'm talking about the lack of multiplayer mode in a genre that traditionally caters to that particular crowd.

Actually, it reads like an emotional response provoked by the general state of the gaming industry as if the two things were related - which I unfortunately can't recognize.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm afraid I don't see your point.
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September 24th, 2008, 23:10
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
I personally would much prefer a solid well crafted SP game to a game where resources and budget was stretched to include a MP function.

Lan? Sure…but now a days if you can't provide costly "Closed" servers for MP then it's a waste of money and development time and effort imo
Good for you, however it's not exactly relevant to this discussion. We're not talking about individual preference, but about genre standards.

Anyway, I tire of hearing that multiplayer modes are directly related to bad singleplayer aspects of any game. It's not a simple formula where adding multiplayer mode directly reduces the quality of singleplayer. It's all about what you do in the planning stages, and if you design a game to be multiplayer from the outset, there's nothing inherently destructive about that. I would agree, though, that games that are planned as singleplayer but end up with a tacked on multiplayer aren't better for it. I too prefer a carefully planned design, as opposed to a last-minute addition of whatever feature.
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September 24th, 2008, 23:53
Mike, I apologize for sounding a bit fanboyish, but I'm constantly struck by the quality and utility of your reviews. I don't know if it's because you do it so well or you just happen to write in a style that particularly appeals to me, but I strongly suspect it's the former because I never see anything but glowing "reviews" of your reviews. I even read your reviews of games on platforms that hold no interest to me.

Anyways, I wanted to add my applause and thanks to the bunch.
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September 25th, 2008, 00:35
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't follow that logic at all.

For a lot of people, having a multiplayer mode is essential for our enjoyment of the game - as it is in my case and the case of several of my friends.

You might as well say that having no character customization isn't a bad thing, or that having no powers (ala Dungeon Siege) is just a design choice. It's not a bad thing if you don't find it adds much to the game, but if you do it's quite bad.

The whole thing is about expectations, which is why the only logic I would go along with, was if the genre standard was singleplayer only, in which case there's really no reason to expect it. However, action RPGs are pretty much associated with cooperative multiplayer - as it was introduced with Diablo (or arguably, Gauntlet) and having - at MINIMUM - the same feature set is something not unreasonable to expect of a modern Diablo clone.

In short, having no multiplayer in a modern action RPG is a negative.
While you are trying to take half a step back compared to the other posters in this thread I think you are still too close.
The number of players is an objective and stable criterion, perfectly suited - and often used - for market segmentation. SP and MP are two different markets. Some games only go for one of them, others try to broaden their potential customer base by going for both. Whatever the developer & publisher choose, they will have their reasons.
The choice of a market segment cannot be good or bad from a reviewer`s or gamer`s perspective. If somebody refuses to play SP RPGs for prinicpal reasons he is no different from somebody who prefers FPSes or adventures, in this context: He is not part of the target audience.

"Graphics", for example, wouldnīt work in a similar way because itīs both unstable (-> innovation) and subjective.



A short comment reg. "expectation". If the box doesnīt mention MP at all, the dev always said "SP only" and the review says "no MP", the expectation reg. MP is zero. So you canīt be disappointed.
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September 25th, 2008, 00:52
Originally Posted by Guhndahb View Post
Mike, I apologize for sounding a bit fanboyish, but I'm constantly struck by the quality and utility of your reviews.
Thanks for the kind words - I can say that at AceGamez and GamerDad in particular were very helpful, even though I had done tons of earlier writing and submitted stuff to serious journals (Atlantic Journal) … and have been published many times in my scientific field. These guys helped me find my voice, and it has actually reflected back and helped with my technical writing and presentations. I'm glad it is interesting, I really put a lot of work into the stuff I write for RPGWatch … I'm sure you could find things at other sites I've written that are not for a genre / audience I care about so much that could easily be dismissed as 'meh' at best.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Nice review, but thereīs one rather formal point I disagree with:

"No Multiplayer" is neither good nor bad, IMHO. Itīs just a market selection decision our readers need to be informed about. A SP game doesnīt get one bit weaker just because it comes without MP.
You can criticize a bad MP mode if a game comes with MP though.
I challenge you to take a couple of trips through this game and say that it isn't the sort of game that simply *reeks* of something that would typically find a small and dedicated audience based on MP.

I think my preference is clear - I am a Single Player PC gamer who rarely touches multiplayer. Yet when looking at a genre such as this there is no denying that a large draw comes from multiplayer.

All that said, the inclusion / lack of multiplayer had no influence on the scoring of the game - it is simply an observation that I felt not having any sort of MP was a bad thing.

— Mike
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September 25th, 2008, 04:29
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It seems you missed my point entirely, though
Don't think I did

I realize that you are saying the you feel that ARPGs need to have MP support in order to satisfy those who enjoy the genre.

I simply stated that I do not fall into that category.

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