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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Hazen: The Dark Whispers - Released on Steam

Default Hazen: The Dark Whispers - Released on Steam

May 1st, 2010, 08:18
Nope, I've never heard of this one, either. Browsing Steam I noticed a newly-released, episodic, hack'n'slasher titled Hazen: The Dark Whispers. The poorly-written summary doesn't inspire, but who knows?
Hazen is an episodic Action/RPG The first episode is named "The Dark Whispers" and will bring some freshness in the world of Hack'n Slash Games. Every single episode will be a "Stand alone" game with enough game-play and high re-play value. Stay tuned in next weeks for more information around "The Dark Whispers" and the news inside the world of Hazen.
Key features:

  • Discover the beauty of episodically Hack'Slash game, a world that grows more and more (adding more content and features on each chapter (episode).
  • Expand the game downloading patches (adding content for each episode).
  • Be part of one detailed Action game, with deep character development possibilities.
  • Advanced combat system will make the battles "a true delight" and totally unpredictable.
  • Thousand of different items will be at your disposal (common, magic, unique, set, ancients and specially designed crafted items).
  • A lso a lot of special moves (combos) will give you the opportunity to discover ancient scrolls and use them vs. your enemies.
Freedom to develop your character (you can pick whatever you consider most suitable for your playing style). Pure brutal Warrior, mighty Wizard or swift Archer, hmm… or maybe something more balanced - it depends on you.
More information.
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May 1st, 2010, 08:18
Like, diablo clone that is colourful and has good loots.


Hate, the way you can't set controls, really unacceptable lacking.

Hate, the controls, seriously diablo2 had it perfect and not having the ability to move following a held mouse button is painful.

Hate, numbers start too big, at lvl 1 you have about 1000hp and do 100damage, that's gonna scale poorly.

You are free to chose from the short skill lists (not trees, only prereq is char lvl…really short lists, like 6 melee, magic and ranged) but you have to be using a staff for magic, a sword for melee skills etc.. really makes using a variety of skills clumsy, if you're in combat just forget about it.

Having 1 AOE ability = god mode, monsters often come in mobs and loners are harmless.

Got town portal scroll?
monsters respawn behind you (not at increased lvl) and you run really slowly….town trips are boring.

Play areas are quite small, but it still takes a long time to get where you're going, lots of narrow, winding paths.

Overall, 5/10
Looks good enough, but needs more user friendly controls and i really think people will get bored of the lack of variety to explore new builds.
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May 1st, 2010, 13:59
Thanks for the heads up. I was recently replaying some Titan Quest and was looking for some more hack n' slash fun, but from your comments, it seems like this may be a pass. Is it really that bad? You have good reasons for the low scores, but does it have some gleaming assets as well?
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May 1st, 2010, 14:40
The search function of the forum seems not work right as it didn't found this thread, ha well I probably didn't search the right area.

Anyway I'm playing it now so more feedback to come, just two minor quotes, I love the graphics, very very nice and pleasant. The controls seems very simplified and not customizable, bad point but well that won't stop me try play it more.
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May 1st, 2010, 17:39
Originally Posted by SadExchange View Post
Thanks for the heads up. I was recently replaying some Titan Quest and was looking for some more hack n' slash fun, but from your comments, it seems like this may be a pass. Is it really that bad? You have good reasons for the low scores, but does it have some gleaming assets as well?
The only good asset of this game are the graphics, seems like if careful hand crafted graphics had come back. But it's a total waste.

Tenka summarize rather well the game, I could add I crash 6 times in 1-2 hours. That the weakest point of the game isn't the poor skills set choice but the very poor action design, up to be rather ridiculous.

It doesn't worth a single penny and graphic artists who work in this team should flee asap and worth get hired in a more talented team.

Now I have played it, the episodic concept is rather clear, a way to attempt sell a game very far to be finished from a design point of view. Well 2 idiots felt in the trap don't be the 3rd.
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May 1st, 2010, 21:42
Quests are so poorly written in the game that you think you can write better quests than these with a half days work. "We must lock the gate to stop undead invasion. But we lost the key. It's in the graveyard. Go and fetch it." It's in the possession of a skeleton mage. Pfffhh. What is that?!

My advice: avoid this game there are far more better Diablo clones than this one: Sacred 2, Torchlight, Legend, Silverfall…
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May 1st, 2010, 22:19
Thanks for the heads up again, gonna shy away. Have played quite a bit of Torchlight and love it. Sacred 2 a good amount on the xbox and now trying to play it on the pc, but windows 7 is not helping. Is Silverfall pretty decent? Loot wise? Are you speaking about Legend: Hand of God or something to that effect. I enjoyed that game quite a bit as well.
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May 2nd, 2010, 02:59
You have to try Din's Curse, it is a bit less a Diablo clone than other, if you catch its special gameplay (not all players succeed do it) then it can be excellent. It's the game of this genre to play with Torchlight.

I'm not a specialist of this sort of game so it's just my 2 cents but I found Sacred 2 demo boring, and surprisingly Titan Quest too despite all the good design points.
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May 2nd, 2010, 03:21
I highly recommend any ARPG fans keep an eye on Grim Dawn.

http://www.grimdawn.com

It's being made by several of the developers that created Titan Quest, but this time around it is being developed as an indie project. This is allowing them to do a lot of things they would have liked to do in Titan Quest but THQ kept them from doing in order to make it more casual friendly title.

The setting, style, and tone of the game will be much darker then Titan Quest. It will also be a more in-depth game then Torchlight is. They are still in the pre-alpha phase right now, but are accepting donations which will go directly to new features they implement into the game.

Unlike Hazen, which appears to have no forum or interaction with the developers at all, Crate Entertainment developers checks their forums daily and respond to customer feedback. Also, this game will have multiplayer capabilities.
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May 2nd, 2010, 08:37
Originally Posted by SadExchange View Post
Thanks for the heads up again, gonna shy away. Have played quite a bit of Torchlight and love it. Sacred 2 a good amount on the xbox and now trying to play it on the pc, but windows 7 is not helping. Is Silverfall pretty decent? Loot wise? Are you speaking about Legend: Hand of God or something to that effect. I enjoyed that game quite a bit as well.
Silverfall is a pretty decent game. Like Sacred 2 it presents to the player a vast world to explore (but also like Sacred 2 it's mostly empty ). I think there must be a review in this site. In Silverfall's world there is a constant conflict between technology and magic. And according to your quest choices your main camp develops more technological or magical. It uses the cell shade graphics technique (like Borderland), but offers some gorgeous visuals. You can watch some videos from gametrailers.com. Silverfall also has an expansion called Silverfall: The Earth Awakening.
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May 2nd, 2010, 08:40
Originally Posted by Kardiophylax View Post
I highly recommend any ARPG fans keep an eye on Grim Dawn.

http://www.grimdawn.com

It's being made by several of the developers that created Titan Quest, but this time around it is being developed as an indie project. This is allowing them to do a lot of things they would have liked to do in Titan Quest but THQ kept them from doing in order to make it more casual friendly title.

The setting, style, and tone of the game will be much darker then Titan Quest. It will also be a more in-depth game then Torchlight is. They are still in the pre-alpha phase right now, but are accepting donations which will go directly to new features they implement into the game.

Unlike Hazen, which appears to have no forum or interaction with the developers at all, Crate Entertainment developers checks their forums daily and respond to customer feedback. Also, this game will have multiplayer capabilities.
I didn't know this game. I will definitely check it, thanks for the advice. Titan Quest is one of my favourite Diablo clones and I always think it's engine is the perfect one for these kind of games.
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May 3rd, 2010, 20:51
Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
I didn't know this game. I will definitely check it, thanks for the advice. Titan Quest is one of my favourite Diablo clones and I always think it's engine is the perfect one for these kind of games.
I see why you are highlighting the engine and not the game itself.

But I don't think the engine is so perfect, they haven't understood few key elements of Diablo 2 gameplay and the result is the fights are quite lower quality despite many nice idea in the engine. and it's not only a matter of designing specific fights but it's more general.

Just play Torchlight and it will be obvious what failed Titan Quest engine that had succeed Diablo 2 and was improved in Torchlight, and that is major to make fights fun.

But I agree anyway that most elements of the game but outdoor graphics don't exploit well the engine and if there's an effort to setup a fair density of story the writing is rather dull and it ends to not bring much to its gameplay fun. Other than that it's weird that a such polished game end with so much pure fillers ending in making the game boring, overall and despite all the good and very good points.
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May 5th, 2010, 04:01
Back to Hazen… I played it for several hours last night (I'm a sucker for punishment). It's pretty terrible. 5/10 is exceedingly generous, I'd give it a 2/10, upgrade to 3 if they can patch it to at least stop crashing. There are fairly large dungeon areas where saving the game is disabled, and I crashed there last night after at least a half an hour of XP and treasure grabbing, which is a serious P.O. moment. This game is so poorly programmed that it won't even handle ALT-TABbing (32-bit Vista). There are a few threads on it at Steam, basically, people are crashing a lot & some want their money back.

The background graphics are easily the best thing about it, although the character animations are pretty cheap and jumpy. The major irritations include:

* an 99% useless overhead map, which shows only a tiny percentage of the level and can't be scrolled, so you have no real idea where you are. Fortunately the levels are relatively linear and you learn them eventually because you have to cover each area multiple times in order to do various the quests.

* everything constantly respawns every few minutes (and I'm not exaggerating), and there are only maybe a dozen types of creatures around the first couple of areas I played, so you're constantly killing the same low level crap from the exact same spawn spots as you "explore".

* "Loot" is 99% junk, I realize this is normal in Diablo clones, but here it's the worst I've ever seen, the non-grey drop rate is maybe 5%, and usually it's not something you can use.

* The first area is the worst case of "making a bad first impression" that I've ever seen - it's basically one long winding road with a town at the starting end, and you're given sequential quests to go back & forth down that same road about a half dozen times, killing the same bloody monsters over & over a dozen times (once on the way out, and again on the way in!). Ridiculous! The second area is much better designed, at least it's more open, and the quests are slightly less lame. If the second are was used first, it would leave a better opening impression.

* The end boss for the second area seems unkillable to me. It jumps on me from off screen, slows, poisons, and knocks me out, and has over 20,000 hit points (reg. critters have a few hundred here). I've tried blocking, I can't even see it making any difference. Despite having a constant really powerful self-heal spell, all I can manage to do is run around trying to stay alive for a while. If I try to fight back I get squashed. Maybe if I had a lot of armor I could take the hits, as a mage I'm wearing paper so far. I'll try to blow my saved attribute points on STR and get some armor and try to kill it via a massive stack of healing pots tonight. Otherwise, I noticed that the critter stats appear to be stored in user-editable .ini text files, so I think I can probably nerf the boss via a hack. You can't proceed until you can kill it, and it feels like I'm several levels short of being able to do that.

The only reason I played it for so long is that I chose to play pure mage which appears to be at least relatively fun in terms of combat dynamics. If you play this at all, I'd recommend the mage tree. The first 3 skills or all pretty useful - a heal, an auto-targeting (?!) slowing ranged attack, and a very effective AOE "nuke". I also got lucky and found a pretty high-damage staff very early.

Leveling is *painfully* slow in this - and I've played a few Korean grind MMOs, this is possibly worse for such low levels. You only get new skills every so many levels, so the respawn & repetition gets real old real fast…

The character development is classless, with 3 skill trees (warrior / mage / archer) all available, The amount of skill points you get encourage multi-classing (you can't spend them all in one tree so far), but swapping weapons in combat doesn't attract me much - there are only 10 hotkeys total for all your skills and items combined. I think the heal spell is mandatory for all builds, from what I saw natural HP recovery is really slow.

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