|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Demise Ascension - first impressions

Default Demise Ascension - first impressions

July 1st, 2012, 00:15
I recently got Demise: Ascension in the IndieFort Bundle 2 on GamersGate and wanted to share some initial thoughts on it for anyone interested in this title. As of this post there is still time to get the Bundle (1 day, 17 hours left) - and it's a real bargain to get Demise for the bundle price ($5.99). The usual price for Demise: Ascension is $32.50.

Demise has been around for a long time (since 1999) in its earlier form (Rise of the Ku'Tan) but it's new to me and has been a pleasant surprise so far. Ascension is a very extensive expansion / update which includes all of the original game content.

I played last night for a few hours straight into the wee hours of the morning, and totally lost track of time. I can see this game becoming very addictive and can understand why it has gained a cult following.

This is a grid-based dungeon crawl which combines elements of classic RPGs (like Wizardry, Might & Magic, etc) with a kind of roguelike feel in some ways. The dungeon is not randomized, but hand-crafted. Some elements within it are random though such as monsters and loot. It is party-based or solo - depending on your preference. You can also add numerous companions / hirelings, and charm denizens of the dungeon to aid you. Multiplayer is also possible but I haven't tried that.

The dungeon is massive, complex and intricate with a good variety to the layout and variations in height. There are plenty of tricks, traps, secret doors, monsters and treasure to keep things interesting. Also it's well-decorated with lots of little details which add to the atmosphere.

The combat system is a little odd but I adjusted to it fine after a while. It is real-time and basically you can choose to be hostile or at peace (if the monster isn't initially aggressive) - and if you're hostile you will enter melee with nearby creatures automatically. You can cast spells and activate magic items when you want, those aren't automatic. Supposedly you can also talk to monsters - though I haven't done much of that so far.

I'm uncertain if there is much tactical depth to the combat - it might be more about how you build up your character's stats and improve your items in the long run. The stat system is satisfyingly "crunchy" and it seems like you can build a pretty diverse party, through joining different guilds (classes) and choosing from a wide variety of races.

The town area has a lot of features you'd expect (shop, tavern, bank, quest-givers, etc.), and you'll return there often to recuperate from your dungeon excursions. The game is definitely brutal early on - you will die a lot, until you've gained a few levels. The death penalty is not very harsh in the early levels at least.

Overall the game exudes a certain old-school charm which I find very appealing. It captures the atmosphere of old-school D&D and old CRPGs - in a visual way and also with its focus on a deep dungeon-delving experience. The primitive 3D graphics may turn some off but I find them appealing in a nostalgic way. I really enjoy the music as well.

Anyway - I highly recommend getting in on the bundle price if you like old-school dungeon crawling. By the way, there is an introduction video recently posted by Decklin which shows off the features of the game pretty well.

I attached some screenshots I took which show the 3 different ways you can display the interface, and some of the dungeon scenery. I only have one character in these shots but of course you can have more in your party.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg demise1.jpg (193.4 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg demise2.jpg (187.0 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg demise3.jpg (113.3 KB, 96 views)
Myrkrel is offline

Myrkrel

Myrkrel's Avatar
Sentinel

#1

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 510

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 00:20
Doesn't look to bad the downside is I'm not interested in games like this. Some of my friends might be interested in it.

"Frankly Sir /Madam I don't give a damn about your opinion."- Couchpotato
Couchpotato is offline

Couchpotato

Couchpotato's Avatar
LazyGamer
RPGWatch Team

#2

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Potato Land
Posts: 9,163

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 00:28
looks interesting..are there any puzzles? (like in Dungeon Master)
rooroosta is offline

rooroosta

Watchdog

#3

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 128

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 00:45
Originally Posted by rooroosta View Post
looks interesting..are there any puzzles? (like in Dungeon Master)
That's a good question - I'm really not sure as I've only barely scratched the surface of the dungeon content. I haven't seen anything like the puzzles in Dungeon Master or Grimrock yet, but I've not gotten very far.

Maybe someone with more Demise experience could answer that.
Myrkrel is offline

Myrkrel

Myrkrel's Avatar
Sentinel

#4

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 510

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 02:28
Must…resist…

….backlog…too…large…arrg….
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,710

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 09:37
I own the original game and while it is enjoyable, it doesn't have any save game option. The game saves continually and your status is therefore saved when you exit. If you die, you have to have your body recovered to get it raised which is expensive. I eventually got frustrated and gave up.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#6

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,405
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 09:40
Oh, bummer. That's a deal killer for me.
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#7

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,972

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 11:14
Yeah the single, continuous save aspect is part of what reminds me of roguelikes and makes it a bit more hardcore. I don't mind it so much and haven't found the death costs problematic so far. There is also the option to have other members of your party (or a new party) retrieve the body and possibly raise it with their own magic items or spells - which would cut down costs a lot. The thing I like about this is that it's pretty much how it would go in a tabletop RPG game.

They do have a backup / restore feature which functionally can be used to make an extra save slot, but they mention it's not really designed for that. I suppose one could use it for that if they really wanted to.
Myrkrel is offline

Myrkrel

Myrkrel's Avatar
Sentinel

#8

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 510

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 19:58
I suppose you could just exit every so often and backup your save.
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#9

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,972

Default 

July 1st, 2012, 21:05
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I suppose you could just exit every so often and backup your save.
Well that is what the in-game backup / restore feature does - it basically makes a backup copy of the entire game state (dungeon, characters, etc). They have this so you can copy it off somewhere in case your hard drive fails or something. But it could be used as a backup save game as well. The only downside is it does make you exit the game each time you do this - so it's not quite as quick to use as a traditional in-game save slot would be.
Myrkrel is offline

Myrkrel

Myrkrel's Avatar
Sentinel

#10

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 510

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 00:28
That's what I ended up doing, but it got painfully tedious as you got to the lower, more challenging levels.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#11

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,405
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 01:08
If it saves when you exit, can't you "simply" exit to save, or do you lose progress??
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#12

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 9,972

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 01:41
You can do that, but then you have to manually make a backup copy of your 1 save game; the other choice does that for you.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#13

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,405
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 05:02
I played a lot of the original, it can get challenging. It's fun.

If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is offline

rune_74

SasqWatch

#14

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,918

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 11:44
I played the original a fair bit (levelled up my party to the 130's or so reaching level 22 of the 32(?) in the dungeon), but never finished the game. It's a grinder to be sure.

IIRC there were some tactical options in combat preparation (monster resistances and whatnot). I also believe you could script spell usage.

Originally Posted by rooroosta View Post
looks interesting..are there any puzzles? (like in Dungeon Master)
Not puzzles per se. IIRC you need to do some crative exploration to find certain interesting locations, but that's about it.
Last edited by Zaleukos; July 2nd, 2012 at 11:55.
Zaleukos is offline

Zaleukos

Zaleukos's Avatar
Bum

#15

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,868

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 11:53
Well, the whole idea is that there is a single, huge dungeon, to be mapped by generations of adventurers. You will need a few parties (including a specialized 'rescue' party) to achieve anything here.

…my problem was that after, I don't know, 50 hours or more, I have only explored 5 levels, and not wholly! It's a huge game and it can get a bit boring. But I heard multiplayer was good. And well, 50 hours of fun for $6 is not bad!
Elwro is offline

Elwro

Elwro's Avatar
Filthy Codex Spy

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 482

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 17:48
I've been playing this game for over 10 years now. It's an excellent game and the expansion makes it even better. I play single player only and have a 4 character/multi-classed party all of whom are in the 500+ level range. The bottom depths of the dungeon is still extremely challenging.
Dagar is offline

Dagar

Watcher

#17

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 56

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 19:01
The lack of a 'save anywhere' feature is unacceptable and flat-out dumb. I'll never play PC game lacking this feature.
Sir Markus is offline

Sir Markus

Sir Markus's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#18

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Columbus, OH USA
Posts: 811

Default 

July 2nd, 2012, 20:08
Originally Posted by Sir Markus View Post
The lack of a 'save anywhere' feature is unacceptable and flat-out dumb. I'll never play PC game lacking this feature.
Its not that you can't save anywhere, its that you can't not save everywhere

I very much like the concept, but a lot of the monsters are so eye-bleedingly terrible looking that its too much. The environments and most objects are completely serviceable. I think maybe some prerendered 2d sprites would have been the way to go.
CrazyIrish is offline

CrazyIrish

Keeper of the Watch

#19

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 604
RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Demise Ascension - first impressions
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:57.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch