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Hard to be a God - All News

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Thursday - June 19, 2008
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Box Art

Thursday - June 19, 2008

Hard to be a God - Adapting Russian Literature @ Gamasutra

by Dhruin, 22:55

Gamasutra has interviewed Akella's Stepan Vakhtin about the process of turning the Strugatsky brothers' Hard to be a God novel into a game.  Bit of an odd article and here's a snip:

Why did you decide not to follow the narrative of the book directly?

SK: Frankly speaking, that’s a bundle of reasons that drove us. Firstly, we felt it could be quite boring and trivial to follow the narrative of the book just word-for-word. Secondly, we at our dev team are true fans of the Strugatsky brothers’ written heritage. We were always so much enthusiastic about following up on what they created, you know, what could happen afterwards, may be some time after the events described in the novel.

So when we finally embarked on the challenge, it became totally clear – our time had come to feature our own variant of what might have happened later. Incidentally, we received a great support in composing the storyline and dialogs, making the overall setting from one of the authors of the table edition of the Hard to be a God game.

Monday - June 02, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ RealGamer

by Magerette, 17:03

RealGamer has a less than stellar review up for  Burut's sci-fi/alternate earth action rpg, Hard to Be a God,  primarily based it would seem on failures of implementation in its old school approach. They score it  5.4/10 overall (Poor) and give the following rationale:

The role-playing genre seems to be evolving at the moment, with games developers introducing new ideas and features into their games. However, some developers have chosen to stick with the classic formula that made the RPG’s so popular but do these games still have a place in the modern market?...

...However, enemies will often attack in groups and this usually results in your death and can be the cause of a lot of frustration, as the game features a stamina bar which once depleted removes your ability to defend yourself. So you may find it easy to dispose of one enemy but when there’s a group you will often find yourself at their mercy meaning you will need to reload your last save. This happens on a fairly regular basis and really does spoil the enjoyment of this title...

...On the whole Hard to be a God is a very classic style RPG and sadly this makes the gameplay feel very dated, especially when compared to some other role-playing games. Sadly this game will struggle to hold its own in the modern gaming world and maybe should have followed in the footsteps in some more recent games rather then those from the classic RPG era.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - April 30, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ GameIndustry.Com

by Magerette, 15:54

Industry news site Gamesindustry.com  has posted a review of Burut's sci-fi/alternate earth action rpg, Hard to be a God and gives it strong marks at 3.5/5. Their opinion is that the story makes the game:

 Those of you outside of Russia may not know that Hard to be a God is an RPG based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The Strugatsky brothers works may be better known in Russia, but they are no strangers to computer gaming with their 1972 book Roadside Picnic the basis for last year’s STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl shooter...

Looking at some of the newsgroups out there, there are two groups of people it seems: those that know the storyline and are familiar with the book and thus know what is about to happen, and those that are in the dark and end up not liking the game. Lots of people played the short demo released for the game and were disappointed, but really things don’t pick up until after about six hours of play, long after the demo is over.

...The true strength of the game is the storyline, which is pretty amazing. Perhaps it’s not as hard hitting as the book itself, but you will be drawn in by the story and will want to continue playing for hours on end to see what happens next. There are even several twists and turns that I don’t think you will see coming, and lots of moments when it will be difficult to figure out who you should trust given that the Earthmen are used to lying to keep their secrets, and everyone else seems to lie simply to advance their own agendas. You will even become a true medieval lord at one point, which means more responsibilities and problems as you defend your land and your peasants. 

 

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - April 21, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ GamesRadar

by Magerette, 16:55

GamesRadar has a brief review up for Akella's and Burut's RPG Hard to be a God,  giving it a score of 5/10:

 The game’s ambition deserves respect. The story, somewhat usurped by Assassin’s Creed, follows a spy in a traditional medieval fantasy fiction world who gains access to futuristic technology, thus becoming a bit like a god to the locals. With its reasonably fresh idea, and the pleasingly esoteric title, we really wanted to forgive HtbaG its amateurish presentation.

But try as we might, it’s just rubbish. The storytelling is a mess from the beginning. No hint of the larger story is given, no introduction, just the hoariest of RPG quests...When a game makes you alternate between screaming and laughing out loud at its faults, the rewards aren’t worth the struggle.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - April 10, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ Gamers32

by Dhruin, 00:15

I can't see an overall score but the gameplay section in this review of Hard to be a God comes in at 33%.  Calling the character development system "boring and retarded", there isn't much the author liked at all:

I quickly realized that this has nothing in common with most RPGs and it`s nowhere near an RPG revolution, more like a complete involution of the genre. First of all, the game can hardly be called an RPG. There are certain elements that define an RPG, and Hard to be a God certainly misses most of them. There is no character customization when starting the game, but I didn`t have a problem with this (remember Dungeon Siege?). I did however mind the fact that this customization is completely absent even during the game. You can`t choose a certain role for you character, such as priest, mage, warrior and so on, and neither can you customize him to fit your playing style. Also, there is no sense of character evolution, you`re as weak at level 15 as you were at level 1.

When leveling up you will receive 3 skill points to place anywhere you desire. It`s not like you have a lot of choices though... You have one skill point to assign to weapon categories (light, medium and heavy) and 2 others to assign to your misc. skills. You will discover that diplomacy is bunched here, together with health, stamina, ranged weapons (why isn`t this in the weapons category?) and medicine. Those are all the skill that you have, from start to end. You can assign a maximum of 10 points to each of the weapon categories, and you will unlock certain devastating hits as you progress. Before finishing the game you will receive about 20 skill points to assign to your weapon skills, so you can complete two weapon trees, probably medium and heavy. All fights in the game will then revolve around using your combos (depending on what weapon you are using, you might have access to one or two) and then blocking until their cool down is complete. This monotonous and retarded system will make you try and avoid combat as much as possible, as there is no fun in blocking 90% of the time.

Source: Bluesnews

Tuesday - March 25, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 23:05

The anticipated review by Brother None of Hard to be a God is now up at GameBanshee.  The article criticises the camera, translation and dialogue in particular but finds some minor positives for a score of 6.7/10.  Here's a bit on disguises, which is one of the more interesting ideas Burut included:

To deepen this out a bit, the game has a handful of disguises you can wear. There are five different roles you can assume on top of the standard role (which is mercenary) and they will influence you quite a bit (the guide says six roles, but as far as I could figure thief and robber are the same role). Robbers won't attack you if you're dressed up as one of them, but on the other hand baron's guards will. The Free Republic of Arkanar guards don't mind mercenaries or even robbers, but will attack you if you look like a noble don. It's a bit ridiculous that even people that know you will sometimes not recognize you if you're in the wrong get-up. But other than this it is pretty well-applied, and offers some alternatives in quests, such as walking up to robbers dressed as one of them and getting them to flee by warning them the guards are on the way. To assume a role, you have to wear 5 matching pieces on 6 possible slots (heavy armor, light armor, hat, cloak, pants, shoes). You can't switch roles if someone is watching you.

What's a bit weird is that nobody seems to care how you solve the problems you face. In fact, people don't care what you do much at all. A good example: at one point, you'll be stopped by a group of guards and told to see their leader. The first time, I just did what they suggested and talked to their boss. Then I tried the alternative, namely fighting them all off and then storming the city gates to escape. My escape was successful, but I then found that even knowing where to go I couldn't progress the main quest without talking to their boss. So I went back and talked to him. Did he mention that I killed two dozen of his men? Did any of the remaining guards care? Heck no. The reactivity of the world is pretty damned low.

Friday - March 21, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ HookedGamers

by Magerette, 18:20

HookedGamers has posted a lengthy review of Burut's and Akella's action-focused RPG Hard to be a God, rating it on the low end with a score of 4/10. They have no problems with the graphical package, but are less than impressed with the contents:

Hard to be a God has an impressive title and it raises your expectations about what the game has to offer. The expectations get even higher when you take a look at some of the hype that has been surrounding it. The only thing that the marketing materials seem to be confused about is the actual genre that this game represents. You see it marked down as Hack'n'Slash in one brochure and RPG in another, while other descriptions focus on the action adventure perspective with 'RPG features'. Despite the confusion, it is clear that the game tries to cater to RPG players – but does it really?...

If I had not played some excellent RPGs in the past, Hard to be a God would definitely be an entertaining game. But now, having been spoiled by many games, gamers have learned to expect more from new RPGs and there Hard to be a God simply doesn't deliver...

As it is, the game is based on a book that sounds like it might be worth a read, but the game itself is merely a nice little action adventure with RPG qualities that would probably have struck gold if it had been made a decade or so earlier. Now, it is just a mediocre game with some good qualities and many disappointments.

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - March 18, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ GameZone

by Magerette, 17:48

GameZone posts their review of Akella's and Burut's action rpg, Hard to Be A God, giving it a rating of 7.5/10:

...while Hard to be a God has many elements standard to RPGs, it does step away from the stock fare in some nice ways. For example, you can choose different ways to overcome the game’s various challenges, other than merely use brute force. You can use diplomacy (if the chat options allow for it) to create alliances, and you can even work enemies into favorable locations where friendly units will assist...

At first blush, Hard to be a God is an ordinary RPG, but the game starts to unfold as you delve into the depths of the story. There are twists and turns and you will be wondering just what is going on half the time and the other half will involve thinking you have it only to be unceremoniously returned to the land of the befuddled. It is the story that drives this game.

Hard to be a God could have benefited from a better graphics engine, and more sound work. The ideas are there but the game stumbles in the presentation.

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - March 17, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ Gas Bandit Gaming

by Dhruin, 21:11

A blog site called Gas Bandit Gaming has a review of Burut's Hard to be a God, which results in a grade of 'C-' to due a miscellany of small but annoying issues such as poor translation and problems with friendly fire:

One thing that is nice, though, is there is very little "dicerolling" in melee combat. The damage of your hits does have a slight variance from attack to attack even aside from armor considerations, but if your sword's polygons pass through the space occupied by some living thing, it registers a hit (unless they are blocking of course). That means that some of the moves which are wide, sweeping motions will hit several enemies at once, which is always nice. The down side of this comes from a fairly large oversight - your sword does not differentiate between friendly and hostile targets (unless said friendly is specifically following you due to plot concerns). This often got me into trouble when I was supposed to be helping, say, gate guards fend off an attack from the forces of the Prophet, and my sword nicked one of the guards so they all turned on me. I suppose this dynamic was left in place so that you could (for example) disguise yourself as a thief to infiltrate a bandit camp and then kill the leader before anyone realizes you are an enemy, but it caused me way more problems than opportunities to be duplicitous.

Source: Bluesnews

Wednesday - March 12, 2008

Hard to be a God - Review @ bit-tech.net

by Magerette, 15:11

Bit-tech.net has a 4 page review up for the action rpg from Ascaron and Akella/Burut, Hard to be a God, giving it a middle of the road score of 5/10. As this is a tech site, the review focuses quite a bit on the graphic aspect, but also goes over gameplay in general:

Hard to be a God is, no matter what RPG elements and non-linear gameplay are stuffed in there, a hack and slash game at heart. Or, to put it another way, there are two different sides to the gameplay: Hack, and Slash...

The quests themselves too run the usual gamut, though there are occasionally ethical choices and alternate paths to be had in the game...

One of the things that does serve to make the game quite interesting too is the use of disguises to obtain new quests. In the process of mowing down the various types of AI fodder that are ordered to fall on your sword you’ll find an array of different fashions, many of which are attached to different roles.

There are outfits for thieves, monks, soldiers, farmers and more...While it’s possible to get into a bandit camp and accept some new, evil missions with the thief outfit, you won’t get anywhere if you wear it around the farmers – especially since you need a bit of privacy to remove your clothes.

Conclusion:

Basically, because it’s a hack and slash game you go in knowing that the gameplay is going to be fairly dull, so the disappointment is less of a shock.

That said, with such rich source material behind the game and the various ways in which the game could have been developed to mesh with the ideals presented in that material, Hard to be a God does feel a little underwhelming...

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - March 06, 2008

Hard to be a God - Release Date Announced

by Magerette, 17:22

Ascaron/Nobilis announce a release date of April 11, 2008 for Akella's and Burut's action rpg Hard to be a God in this press release over at GameBanshee. While the last release revealed 'unique role-playing' aspects, this seems to focus on 'unique hack-n-slash.':

6th March 2008

UNIQUE HACK ‘N’ SLASH ASPECTS OF HARD TO BE A GOD REVEALED

TAKE ON GODS AND IMMORTAL BEINGS WITH LASERS AND SWORDS IN EXTRAORDINARY ACTION PACKED GAME

Hard To Be A God, the new action and adventure game from Ascaron to be released in April, has an enviable variety of weapons, enemies and gameplay. Over 200 different weapons are available to use on a variety of enemies, as a secret agent from a futuristic Earth explores the medieval and alien planet of Tsurinak.

Choice of weapons

The arsenal includes scorchers, modifiers, mini-guns and sophisticated gadgets, contrasting with the swords, axes and bow and arrows wielded by the combatants of Arkanar. To be successful in the quests all types of weapons must be mastered; a sword will be less effective than a mini-gun when surrounded by a horde of bandits but easier to wield and more effective when duelling on horseback.

Variety of enemies

As the game progresses the character takes on different allegiances as a variety of roles are explored, fighting with bandits during one quest and then against them on the next. It is not just humans that are a concern either, as monsters, immortal beings and ‘the gods’ all feature in a game encompassing over 350 unique characters.

The range of adversaries to overcome has an impact on weapon choice; guards and bandits can be despatched with a sword, but a giant monster may be best tackled with a scorcher or laser cannon.

Valliant steeds

Horses are an important feature in Hard to be A God, distinguishing it from other games and bringing a new element of gameplay to the genre. Different types of horse, from armoured beast to peasant jade, can be used for travel or battle, providing extra speed when attempting to escape guards or get to different areas.

Horseback combat is a very significant part of the game and an important skill to develop. At times the character may be chasing a bandit with sword drawn, and then in another scenario blades will clash whilst on horseback as mounted guards do battle with the secret agent.

Try your luck at survival by visiting www.hardtobeagod.com to download the demo.

Fast facts:
Publisher: Ascaron Entertainment / Nobilis
Web: www.Ascaron.com / www.hardtobeagod.com
Developer: Akella/ Burut CT
Release date: 11thApril 2008
Price: £29.99
PEGI: 12+
Format: PC
Genre: RPG/Hack’n’Slash

Gamebanshee staff adds this disclaimer:

Having played the game, I should note the line "as a secret agent from a futuristic Earth explores the medieval and alien planet of Tsurinak" is incorrect, since you're a secret agent from the Empire sent to the Kingdom of Arkanar on the same planet... 

 

Thursday - February 28, 2008

Hard to be a God - Press Release

by Dhruin, 21:23

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.

Tuesday - February 26, 2008

Hard to be a God - Preview @ Jolt UK

by Magerette, 18:52

Jolt.co.uk is next to offer a preview of Akella's action rpg Hard to be A God, and overall seems positive about their experience with it:

In Hard to be a God, based on the book of the same name, two planets have taken divergent paths. One is essentially medieval in nature, while the other is much more recognisable as a modern Earth. As an agent from the second planet, you’re sent to investigate the other, and understand what makes it the way it is.

The very prospect of placing a contemporary-style character in a fantasy setting is pretty intriguing to us, but much more so than its brethren, HtbaG is an action RPG with consequences.

 

Thursday - February 21, 2008

Hard to be a God - Post Mortem Excerpts @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:18

GameBanshee has some translated excerpts of a Russian post-mortem from DTF on Burut's Hard to be a God.  The demo received positive mutterings on our forums but apparently the final result in Russia is less enthusiastic and Burut has let fly in this article at publisher Akella, describing some of their decisions as "foolish and unacceptable".

Monday - February 18, 2008

Hard to be a God - Preview @ 2404

by Dhruin, 20:56

2404.org has a preview of Burut's Hard to be a God.  Unfortunately, the short article spends a lot of time on graphics and sound, leaving little in terms of digging into the actual gameplay:

When you leave the walls of the first castle where the game begins, you soon realize that almost everything and everyone are out to get you in the forests and on the empty roads. When I first started out it seemed fairly difficult to maintain your health and survive the large amounts of thieves, bandits, wolves, etc. However, after gaining experience and leveling up things started to get much better. If you’re facing a challenging animal or thief just remember that you can run to the nearest imperial guard (or other ally) and they’ll take care of it. Having a horse really improves the situation because you can easily outrun opponents and then just swoop in on the attack.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - February 01, 2008

Hard to be a God - New Trailer @ THQ Germany

by Magerette, 19:08

THQ's German language site for Burut's Hard to be a God features a new trailer. Due to my language limitations, I can't seem to find a way to view it. Gamershell has a streaming trailer we haven't posted previously, and it can be seen here. This may be the same one; maybe one of our German members will know.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - January 25, 2008

Hard to be a God - Preview @ AceGamz & April Release for U.K.

by Magerette, 17:52

 U.K. gamesite AceGamz has posted a preview of Burut's and Akella's sci-fi/fantasy rpg Hard to Be A God, based on the novel of the same name by the Strugatsky brothers:

 Good RPGs are hard to find and good RPGs with a solid, engrossing storyline are even harder to find. Oftentimes the promises made by such games to provide many hours of entertainment and a 'deep, absorbing narrative' fall along the wayside, leaving so many empty husks of potential. So it was with some cynicism that I approached Hard to be a God, a game that, on the surface, appears to be like any one of the hundreds of RPGs available at the moment. But, like the adage says, you should never judge a book by its cover, or a game, for that matter; pretty quickly I realised that Hard to be a God had much more in store than most of its ilk.

After discussing some of the game's graphic and other limitations, the previewer closes with enthusiastic praise:

What I've seen of this newcomer so far is all good; the narrative alone beats the heck out of any Hollywood blockbuster since - well, forever. Hard to be a God is perhaps the single most fun game I've ever played - I love it for the little touches of humour, the real feeling of progression, the sense of achievement, the way I had to keep playing just to discover more about the world and its inhabitants, the fact that I can disguise myself as a member of any faction - I love it for the combination of all these elements and more. It's been a long time since I've played a game that kept me awake for so long, and longer still since the reason it kept me up was curiosity.

Hard to be a God is a shining example of how to make a hack 'n' slash RPG - it's a magnificent tour de force that serves to show just how RPGs should be made. Veterans of the genre are guaranteed to find something that will, at the very least, make them change their views of what makes a good RPG and if you're not a fan then this might just sway your opinion. Either way, when Hard to be a God is released, the competition will have to work hard to match it.

 

In addition,  GamersHell has posted a press release from Ascaron for announcing the U.K. release date of the game. No details about release for other areas are mentioned:

  Ascaron Announces UK Release of 'Hard to Be a God'

Hard To Be A God, the new role play game from Ascaron to be released in April, uniquely combines the science fiction and medieval fantasy genres with a mix of ‘hack & slash’ and RPG gameplay. Be prepared for horseback jousting and sword fighting in an ancient time, as a secret agent from the distant future.

 For more details on the game here's the official homepage.

Thursday - January 10, 2008

Hard to be a God - Demo Impressions @ Filefront

by Dhruin, 09:42

Filefront has some impressions of the recently released Hard to be a God demo:

Once I left the safety of the walls surrounding my encampment, I came upon a peasant who was in need of help. You can choose to help him, or go about your merry way - I chose to help and when I got down off of my horse to fight some nearby bandits I was wishing I had just stayed the course and ignored the guy. The bandits themselves were not so hard to defeat, even with my character being a total weakling at this point, but wolves ganged up on me while I was fighting said bandits and killed me; thus ending my demo. So to be honest, I have no idea what the actual duration of the demo is, but I do know that if you die it is over. 

Monday - January 07, 2008

Hard to be a God - English Demo and Screens

by Magerette, 18:43

For those who have been patiently waiting for the English demo of this RPG from Akella and Burut based on the work of the Strugatsky Brothers, it's now available at Gamer's Hell and Computergames.ro  where there's also a game summary:

    The "Hard to be a God" game will be a thoroughbred role-playing game affirming all the best traditions of the genre. The storyline is non-linear presenting several story branches with 4 endings depending on the main character's in-game behavior.

    The game utilizes a 3D-engine with free rotating camera. Wounds, weapons, armor and different equipment are shown on the characters' models.

    One of the gameplay features is the interference of two epochs in the game universe – the medieval and the alternative future. This provides the peculiar variety of different weapons and armors – from swords and bows to miniguns, from full plates to force fields – and equipment like binoculars and night vision goggles at characters' disposal. The standard RPG equipment "doll" is amplified with slots for sword shoulder-belts and hidden weapon scabbards on wrists and arms.

    The combat system features many different combos and special attacks (stunning, disarming, etc.) provided by some abilities and special weapon types. During a battle the character can be wounded badly which will diminish his attributes and require long recover, and even lose a limb or be decapitated by a strong attack of the opponent.

     

Worthplaying also has some new screens and a summary here

Saturday - December 22, 2007

Hard to be a God - Geman Demo

by Dhruin, 22:19

Gamer's Hell has a German demo for Burut's Hard to be a God, which might be a bit less intimidating than the Russian demo we reported some time back (406Mb). 

Thursday - November 15, 2007

Hard to be a God - Diary #3 @ RPGVault

by Magerette, 20:44

The Vault  has posted their next installment of developer diaries for Burut's and Akella's rpg, Hard to be a God, based on the The Noon series of alternative future sc-fi novels created by the Russian brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Here's a quick summary of the storyline:

Hard to be a God is Burut's RPG derived from and named after the fourth Noon Universe novel. Rather than attempting to re-tell the tale, it is an extension that takes place two years later. The main character, a graduate of a secret service academy, is given a mission that takes him to Arkanar, an independent, underdeveloped kingdom torn apart by anarchy. Trained in both combat and diplomacy, he is more than a match for anyone there. However, this does not mean his task will be easy or predictable. Indeed, he will find himself caught up in matters of far greater magnitude than he would ever have imagined.

Among other things Vladimir Kovner, Project Manager for the game, talks about horses and items:

Now, I'd like to talk a bit about horses. They play a special role in Hard to be a God. The hero may purchase one at any time and use it to travel across zones. It's also possible to fight while mounted, against both other riders and adversaries on foot. This is a great help in combat since horses are hardy, with much more health than the player character and also greater resistant to damage...

...Switching to another element of our game, items, I should note that in addition to regular ones like clothes, weapons and potions, there are also various documents and books, Earth (sci-fi) weapons and medical substances. Books aren't used in the play; rather, they aim to introduce the player to the world, including its organization, traditions, inhabitants and so on.

The equipment used by the earthlings include, among other things, super-light swords, and clothes that enhance your role-playing characteristics. As for medical substances, their purpose is to equip the main character with special abilities... regeneration, agility, great strength, and so on. As a rule, these benefits only last for certain lengths of time. Such items are rare in the game, so when you do find them, you'll need to use them very carefully.

For more information, you can check out the official site, here.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - November 12, 2007

Hard to be a God - Detailed Preview @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 16:06

Gamebanshee has posted Brother None's in-depth look at the book, demo and gameworld of Akella's 3rd person RPG set in an alternate universe, Hard to Be a God. I'll give a few snips, but this is a lengthy article and deserves a full read if you're at all interested in the game:

 Hard to be a God is more an allegorical tale and introspective journey than anything else. If you search for the crux of the book you bump into the second problem, expressed by the conversation in chapter 8 between Don Rumata – representing a “theoretical” diety – and the enlightened Budach, a medical man Rumata was able to rescue. They discuss the society of Arkanar, and Rumata asks Budach what he would do if he theoretically could advise a god how to solve all of the people’s problems. Budach proposes a number of solutions, but they are all flawed in some way. This short conversation serves to illustrate that – when the Marxian model fails or is “too slow” – there are no easy solutions to fix everything, even for the Gods...

...The RPG system is simple and straightforward. You have skills: light weapons (one-handed weapons or dual weapons), medium weapons (two-handed light weapons, like fighting staves), heavy weapons (two-handed heavy weapons, like a battle axe, or a one-handed weapon and shield (the best option for the short demo)), ranged weapons, dexterity, diplomacy, stamina, medicine. Upping the melee weapon skills will unlock a number of special attacks, which once activated can be used intermittently with a right click. Kind of action RPG-esque, if a lightweight version of it...

...In both normal and mounted combat, aiming can be the typical awkward fare. In general, this and a few other elements (like the way you do swing combos) can make combat a bit difficult to play out well, but once you get the hang of swinging and blocking, which shouldn’t take incredibly long, it is not a bad combat system. And you’ll notice that sometimes clever tactics or combinations of moves can give you the edge, making it a bit more than the standard point and click fare.

...The setting is quite good and knows pretty complex factionalism as well as a fascinating influence of the SU hi-tech world on Arkanar, even if that doesn’t show much in the demo. The atmosphere in the demo is nice and the music is pretty good, but it’s your basic late feudal fair, beating up wolves and robbers. The interesting stuff doesn’t come until later. The fact that earth technology replaces magic is really a unique selling point. 

 

 

Thursday - November 01, 2007

Hard to be a God - Diary # 2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 09:40

RPG Vault's second Hard to be a God diary looks at weapons in this Russian project:

This time, we will tell you about weapons and armor in Hard to be a God, how we created them and what we did to improve their characteristics.

A present, there are around 100 weapons in the game. They are divided into two broad categories, super-advanced and medieval. The former includes various contemporary and futuristic types - grenade launchers, rifles, scorchers (blasters) and advanced swords.

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

Hard to be a God - Updated Demo

by Dhruin, 00:37

Quite a few forumites seemed to enjoy the recent Russian Hard to be a God demo, so this updated version at Worthplaying sounds worth a look (410Mb):

Hard to be a God is an RPG with adventure and espionage elements based on a storyline of the novel with the same name by Strugatsky brothers. This updated demo is smaller in size, but also improves collision, weather effects, sound effects, damage, and more ...

I assume the .ini change to get English text still works.

Monday - October 15, 2007

Hard to be a God - Demo Released

by Dhruin, 23:04

Actually, this is a Russian demo of Burut's Hard to be A God but before you stop reading, our forum posters tell us the language can be changed to English by editing an .ini file (although the voiceover remains Russian).

Grab the file from Gamer's Hell and read about it in this thread.

Thanks, curiously undead!

Friday - October 12, 2007

Hard to be a God - Diary #1@ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 12:53

Burut's Vladimir Kovner has penned a diary for RPG Vault on Hard to be a God:

The idea to develop a game with an unusual setting came to our minds quite a while ago. Above all, we can "blame" this on our love of science fiction. In particular, we were always deeply into the universe created in Hard to be a God by the Strugatsky brothers. It gives us a unique opportunity to combine some medieval ways of life with sci-fi technologies of a highly developed civilization. Just imagine... far, far away, in some remote galaxy, there's a planet that resembles the Earth in so many ways. Representatives of the human civilization arrive there. and are viewed as gods - with all their technologies and devices in hand. Exciting, huh?

Wednesday - October 10, 2007

Hard to be a God - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 01:18

Worthplaying has half a dozen new Hard to be a God screens

Sunday - August 19, 2007

Hard to be a God - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:57

Also at Worthplaying is half a dozen screens from the Russian project Hard to be a God.

Sunday - July 22, 2007

Hard to be a God - Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 01:42

Akella's Hard to be a God site has some apparently new concept art and screens, according to Blue's. 

Source: Bluesnews

Sunday - July 15, 2007

Hard to be a God - E3 Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Dhruin, 23:47

Hooked Gamers has a preview of Burut's Hard to be a God.  Here's a bit on different approaches:

The gameplay is more hack and slash than the traditional RPG, though advanced with an endurance bar, ranged moves and ‘perks’ or super moves. But RPG fans need not fear, an intuitive leveling system should appeal to both novices and experts, meaning anyone can jump in and play.

There will be different ways to accomplish your mission objectives. Killing anyone that tries to stop you is one way, but you may have much better results acting more diplomatically. Both ways have their advantages and the trick will be to find a good balance between the two. To aid you in these difficult undertakings, you will have the ability to play different ‘roles’. A fun example of this is using different disguises to assume a ‘spy role’ and sneak past guards to get deep into enemy strongholds.

Saturday - July 14, 2007

Hard to be a God - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 13:16

Jonric from RPG Vault discusses Hard to be a God with Burut's Lead Game Designer Stepan "GKill" Vakhtin in this new interview.  Here's an introductory question:

Jonric: To begin with a high-level summary, what kind of game is Hard to be a God, and what are its major distinguishing features or elements? Does it include multiplayer?

Stepan Vakhtin:
Hello. I am the lead game designer of the project, and I will try to provide you with detailed information about it. Hard to be a God is a third-person view game that combines the action genre with the RPG concept. It emphasizes the real-time combat - the hero can use a wide variety of moves, combos, super moves, etc. On the other hand, there is a diverse system of skills, both combat and non-combat, a system for character development, a large array of items, and a complex, deep storyline.

The game is quite different from the majority of seemingly comparable ones, both in its action and role-playing aspects. We have improved the traditional combat system by adding the opportunity to fight while mounted. Enemies can use mounts as well. As for the role-playing part, we have introduced a unique feature - a system of roles the hero can play throughout the game. The attitude of NPCs towards the player will depend greatly on the role the hero is currently playing.

There is no multiplayer in the game in favor of the deeper storyline and the non-linearity of the quests.

Wednesday - July 11, 2007

Hard to be a God - Storyline PR

by Dhruin, 23:59

Hard to be a God Euro publisher Nobilis sent out the following press release on the story:

Nobilis unveils the storyline of HARD TO BE A GOD

Hard To Be A God is due for Q4 2007 on PC

It's easy to be a hero.

It's hard to be a God.

In Hard To Be A God, you will discover the universe of the Strougatsky brothers' eponymous novel, a reference in the world of science-fiction.

Storyline

Earth and Arkanar are two planets that once appeared as very similar. Indeed, for centuries their people shared a mutual history and friendship.

Although after a terrible war between both planets, the two societies completely split apart and lived secluded from each other. While planet Earth followed the path of modernity, the society of Arkanar strangely stagnated.

On the one hand, due to mysterious reasons and omnipresent violence, the Arkanar Kingdom barely evolved, remaining in a medieval society.

On the other hand, the Earth Empire considerably evolved mastering incredible technologies. Intrigued by the stagnation of their former patriots the Earth Empire decides to send a special secret agent.

This hero is secretly sent to Arkanar in order to investigate on the reasons why evolution on the two planets diverged. In order to achieve his mission, our hero will have to restrain the use of his modern equipment. Indeed, an excessive exposure would draw too much attention, and who knows what could happen if people started thinking that he's a god?

Features

· A medieval universe and non-linear scenario based on the science-fiction novel, Hard to be a God, published in 1964, by the Soviet writers Arcady and Boris Strougatsky.

· A role playing game cleverly combining, adventure, espionage and science-fiction.

· A real and living world thanks to an advanced NPC system.

· Encounters of great depth: the attitude toward the hero changes considering the clothes he is wearing and his appearance, opening up a wider range of dialogues and leading to different possible results.

· A climatic change system featuring day/night alternation.

· More than 200 types of weapons and 200 types of armours. Access to futurist technology replaces the magic system.

· Journey throughout the Empire on horse back and fight.

Friday - June 29, 2007

Hard to be a God - English Website Launched

by Dhruin, 12:20

Akella has launched a new website for Burut CT's Hard to be a God.  It's a blasted Flash-y site, so no quotes, but it does include an English version.

Tuesday - April 17, 2007

Hard to be a God - Coming to Europe

by Dhruin, 14:37

French publisher Nobilis has announced they have signed Burut CT and Akella's Hard to be a God for Europe - there are no specifics on the countries covered but here's the press release:

NOBILIS announces: The signature of the European rights for "Hard to Be a God" on PC, an ambitious role-playing game

"We’ve been working with Nobilis for a long time and has presented a number of games from Nobilis in Russia and CIS. We’re very pleased to expand our co-operation and trust with Nobilis as a long term partner. Hard to be a God is an important and ambitious project for Akella as it is based on favorite sci-fi story of millions of readers, and we want to present the fabulous world of the Strugatsky brothers’ novel to European gamers " says Dmitry Arkhipov, VP Development, Akella.

Arnaud Blacher, Nobilis Managing Director: “We are proud to extend our partnership with Akella, one of the Russia’s most talented development and publishing companies. ‘Hard to Be a God’ is clearly a unique game in its genre. It is sure to capture the attention of the gaming community via its many qualities and huge potential.”

Published for PC, “Hard to Be a God” will be available in Q4 2007.

Wednesday - February 21, 2007

Hard to be a God - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:23

Four new screens from the Russian project Hard to be a God are available at CRPG.ru.

Thursday - November 16, 2006

Hard to be a God - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 12:09

CRPG.ru dropped us a line to let us know they have two new screens from Burut's Hard to be a God.

Sunday - October 22, 2006

Hard to be a God - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 12:52

CRPG.ru let us know they have two new exclusive screens from Akella's Hard to be a God.

Monday - October 02, 2006

Hard to be a God: Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:41
CRPG.ru dropped us a line about new 'Hard to be a God' screens.

Sunday - August 06, 2006

Hard to be a God: Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:39
Two brand new screens from Burut's 'Hard to be a God' are up at CRPG.ru.

Information about

Hard to be a God

Developer: Burut CT

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Combat: Unknown
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
Unknown
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2007-10-19
· Publisher: Akella