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Default Hard to be a God - Press Release

February 29th, 2008, 05:10
One imagines the sole purpose of this press release sent over to us by Nobilis is to simply get a news bit - which means it worked, because here we go. Apparently this reveals the "unique roleplaying aspects":
Unique Role Playing Aspects Of Hard To Be A God Revealed
VARIED QUESTS, IN-DEPTH CHARACTERS AND MIXED GENRES CONTRIBUTE TO UNORTHODOX GAMING ADVENTURE

Hard To Be A God, the new action and adventure game from Ascaron to be released in April, uniquely combines the sci-fi and medieval fantasy genres with a mix of Hack & Slash and RPG gameplay. Exceptional attention to detail during game development results in an in-depth storyline, advanced character development and a diverse range of quests, set on a planet locked in medieval times.

Blurring genres
The original storyline distinguishes it from other role playing games. The crossover of medieval fantasy and sci-fi provides a unique opportunity to combine the archaic with the futuristic, mixing a medieval backdrop with technologically advanced items. The in-depth and intriguing story development immerses the player in the role of a secret agent sent from a futuristic Earth to the medieval, alien planet of Arkanar.

Character customisation

As the game progresses a unique individual, far removed from the secret agent at the start, will have evolved. Customisation of the character is made possible through combat skill or ability development, such as swordsmanship or negotiation. This fine-tunes the character to suit a particular type of gameplay. The different guises that the character is forced to take on, including bandit, don, aristocrat and monk, will affect the combat methods and style of gameplay.

Range of quests

A variety of quests needs to be completed, from defeating ruthless bandits to recovering a lost child. Different individuals will be met along the way, each with their own background storyline, adding to the depth of the game. Alternate ways to complete quests give the player choice in how best to progress; some quests require clever battle tactics or diplomacy, i.e. if outnumbered by a gang, kill the leader and the rest will cooperate, while others are dependent on nerve and strength.

Try your luck at survival by visiting www.hardtobeagod.com to download the demo.
More information.
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February 29th, 2008, 05:10
The press release sucks unlike the game itself and they can't even get things right. Your character is a resident of the Arkanar Kingdom on an unnamed planet and during the game you become an agent of earth.

I also wouldn't consider this a hack & slash game since for one you can avoid a majority of combat without any problems and also because you have to be careful about your stamina and later on you need to use your special attacksor you will probably die. (use them carefully and pay attention to their description)
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February 29th, 2008, 15:14
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
The press release sucks unlike the game itself and they can't even get things right. Your character is a resident of the Arkanar Kingdom on an unnamed planet and during the game you become an agent of earth.

I also wouldn't consider this a hack & slash game since for one you can avoid a majority of combat without any problems and also because you have to be careful about your stamina and later on you need to use your special attacksor you will probably die. (use them carefully and pay attention to their description)
Fully agree.
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February 29th, 2008, 15:22
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
The press release sucks unlike the game itself and they can't even get things right. Your character is a resident of the Arkanar Kingdom on an unnamed planet and during the game you become an agent of earth.
I think you are incorrect. Your character is an agent from the Empire.

You see, from what I could tell from the Noon books, the planet is called Arkanar. But on Arkanar is also Arkanar Kingdom with the capital city of Arkanar. But Arkanar Kingdom isn't the whole planet, and you're sent from the southern Mainland Empire to the north, to Arkanar.

Funny how the game doesn't explain at all. Wikipedia offers a good page on Arkanar, to explain

Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I also wouldn't consider this a hack & slash game since for one you can avoid a majority of combat without any problems and also because you have to be careful about your stamina and later on you need to use your special attacksor you will probably die. (use them carefully and pay attention to their description)
Man, combat is one-click easy and the special attacks are less complex than the range of talents in games like Diablo or Titan Quest, so that's a non-argument.

Yes, you can avoid combat. Does that make it "not a hack and slash"? I'm not convinced yet. The dialogue system is awful, to be honest.
Last edited by Brother None; February 29th, 2008 at 15:30.
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February 29th, 2008, 19:33
Remember the shock I had when I read the sticker-like printing saying "Action-RPG" on the box of … I don't remember the title, but I NEVER ever considered it an "Action-RPG" !

My regard is this: It is assumed somewhere (publishers, developers), that putting a game into the "Action-RPG" sub-genre just increases sales.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The reson behind is that action-RPGs HAVE generated huge sales, and I fear are even considered kind of an "industry standard" nowadays.

A game NOT stating it is hack & slay, is doomed from the beginning, because it has no label "Action-RPG" applied to it.

It is as if everything nowadays must contain that label !

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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February 29th, 2008, 19:38
Yeah you are an agent from the empire but it mentions during the game you were originally from Arkanar.

The combat is fairly simple but that is because they focus on the quests and not combat. A hack & slash game almost entirely focuses on combat which this doesn't and most quests can be finished without combat. I also wasn't talking about running so much when it comes to avoiding combat but disguises and staying on the paths will let you avoid most combat. The non-focus on combat is what seperates it from hack & slash games.
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February 29th, 2008, 19:51
You *begin* as an agent but then your character takes twists and turns and his development evolves according to your style.

Having been lured by the demo i am definitely giving this game the green light
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March 1st, 2008, 07:04
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Remember the shock I had when I read the sticker-like printing saying "Action-RPG" on the box of … I don't remember the title, but I NEVER ever considered it an "Action-RPG" !
It was Arcanum, wasn't it?

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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March 1st, 2008, 18:48
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Yes, you can avoid combat. Does that make it "not a hack and slash"? I'm not convinced yet. The dialogue system is awful, to be honest.
Would you care to elaborate a bit more Brother None (I mean it in a nicest way ) ? I have terribly split feelings about if I should get this game…. On the one hand I liked Noon universe, on the other (from what I heard so far) the game sounds like more of a hack & slash than RPG and not terribly close to the book either….
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March 1st, 2008, 19:27
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Would you care to elaborate a bit more Brother None (I mean it in a nicest way ) ? I have terribly split feelings about if I should get this game…. On the one hand I liked Noon universe, on the other (from what I heard so far) the game sounds like more of a hack & slash than RPG and not terribly close to the book either….
It's not a translation of the book, the events in the game take place a short while after the events in the book. How faithful they are to the Noon universe is partially a mystery to me. I can't find any gaping flaws, but I don't posses detailed knowledge of the Noon universe.

The combat plays like a hack 'n slash. Let there be no doubt about that, it's simply fact. It's also awkward and pretty badly designed, but that's secondary.

But most XP comes from quests, not combat.

But most quests are "go here and do this", and about as intellectually challenging as normal hack 'n slash quests. They try to coat it by putting a lot of dialogue around it, but in something like 90% of the dialogue you don't have any dialogue options, you just click on the one option you have to further dialogue. Which is ridiculous. For most of the other 10%, the options are either "convince or kill" and "accept or decline quest". They try to hide this by putting a lot of words into dialogue, but if you look at it from a mechanical viewpoint, it's pretty much a failure.

De facto, almost all quests are "go to the place marked on your map by a quest marker and click on the person there, then hit enter a few times". Hey, great design.

But! I'm not done yet, by far, so don't see this as my finalized opinion. I'm still finishing my first playthrough, then I'll replay it again and try to see how many different choices I can make by playing a character who'll try to do the opposite of my current character every time. If that has a significant impact on the way the game plays, then my current impressions will be wrong for a significant part.
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March 1st, 2008, 19:41
Thanks BN I appreciate your comments so far and I look forward to your final opinion!
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March 1st, 2008, 20:04
From what I have read of the story the game does pretty welll at telling you of the events of the story.

Spoiler
One of the main parts of the early game is trying to find Don Rumata after the massacre when he disappeared. You here about what happened from his butler and Don Reba and you eventually get to talk to Don Rumata but in a very unconventional way.
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March 3rd, 2008, 11:54
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
It was Arcanum, wasn't it?
Thanks for the reminder. Wasn't sure.

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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Default Weird…

March 4th, 2008, 21:01
"The crossover of medieval fantasy and sci-fi provides a unique opportunity to combine the archaic with the futuristic, mixing a medieval backdrop with technologically advanced items."

It's weird, because I would have assumed that the rest of that sentence should have read: "… unless, of course, you've played virtually any Final Fantasy game ever made. Or, heck, the original Ultima back in 1980."

It's like claiming that the gameplay provides a unique opportunity to use both a keyboard and a mouse.
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March 4th, 2008, 22:30
The game got 78% in pelit magazine. The translation is poor, UI is stiff and combat on foot is frustratingly hard or too easy depending on situation. Mounted combat is fun though.

They say its almost a must to read the book before playing the game to understand whats going on it. They also reviewed the book giving it 2/5 saying its not recommended to anyone except strugatski collectors.
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March 4th, 2008, 22:32
2/5 for the book?

Harshin'

I'm finally almost finished with my first playthrough

Yes, you won't understand what's going on without having read HtbaG. That's a real shame, and partially the fault of bad translating. You should be able to understand enough as you go along, though, especially further on when more mysteries are cleared up and more plots against you resolved (man, people plot a lot)

No idea why people call pedestrian combat hard. It's somewhat frustrating, but there's a few tricks you gotta learn and then it's just rinse-and-repeat.
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