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Default Anybody tried Gods: Lands of Infinity?

September 15th, 2008, 05:24
Just bought this game for $10 bucks. Gonna give it a whirl and post a review as soon as I find time. Anybody played this game yet? I'm not much for graphics, it's gameplay, story, music, and atmosphere that I look for.
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September 15th, 2008, 05:45
My review is here. There is good and bad on all fronts
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September 15th, 2008, 08:21
My review should be around somewhere as well. As Mike says, it's a mixed bag!!
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September 15th, 2008, 14:23
Corwin's review back at RPGDot:

http://www.rpgdot.com/index.php?hsaction=10053&ID=1231

Note that Google says RPGDot is now listed as a dangerous site, in case you want to be cautious.
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September 15th, 2008, 15:43
rpgdot.com is down : error 404 on index.php, maybe site is in maintenance
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September 15th, 2008, 19:56
Has been down for a week or so.
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September 15th, 2008, 22:52
Since September 1st, maybe ?
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September 16th, 2008, 01:02
Here's a quick review that I wrote on Gods: Lands of Infinity Special Edition. It is directed at the developers and may come across as overly positive at times, since I wanted to encourage them to make a sequel, but fundamentally it represents my impressions of the game. CRPGnut also posted a fairly detailed critique on the official Gods forums that was somewhat more negative than mine.
Sadly, there haven't been any announcements on the official site for over a year, so I fear that the planned sequel has been abandoned. It's a shame, because this game had good potential and was perhaps one of the best looking turn-based RPGs I've ever played.



I know the devs don't like comparisons, but I found GLOI SE to be more fun than either Gothic 3 or Oblivion. It's truly sad that turn-based rpgs have become such an endangered species, but nice to see that someone had the courage to develop such a game using a modern 3D engine. Here are a few of my impressions of the game:

Graphics:
This (along with the music) is definitely the strongest part of the game. It's clear that a lot of heart, hard work, and attention to detail went into creating the beautiful artwork. The stone wall textures are some of the best I've seen in any 3D game, the water reflections are very nice, and the skies are varied and often spectacular. The Cursed Forest was one of my favorite locations; the enchanting music combined with the graphics evoked a magical fairy tale like atmosphere. The Ice Palace was my other favorite - truly one of the coolest (no pun intended) structures I've seen in a game for quite some time.
That said, there are a few improvements that could be made for the sequel. Probably the most glaring blemish in the graphics department is the lack of variety in NPC faces. When, after walking around in Slavingrad for less than a minute, you see 4 women all with the same face, it instantly gives the impression that this is a low budget production.
Another thing that stands out is that many rocks and hills especially near the borders of the locations have very unnatural looking sharp angles. Lastly, an option to enable anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering would really help.


Story:
This, (except for the ending which was excellent) is probably the weakest element of the game and the one that could use the most improvement. The main problem with the story, imo, is that there just isn't enough of it in the game. There are too few dialogs and often they are very trite and simplistic. Too much of the story simply boils down to, "go and kill the bad guys". What I would like to see is much more character development and some complexity in the relationships between the characters. If saving the world is to have any meaning, the player needs to care about the people in the world. Try to give the main characters some psychological depth so that the player can feel some sort of emotional connection to them. Give the characters some feelings - fear, hate, guilt, jealousy, friendship etc. Add some interesting ethical dilemmas and philosophical insights and some literary devices - drama, irony, comedy, tragedy. Very few games have stories that come anywhere close to the quality of a good movie screenplay or short novel, but that's no reason not to try. Resist the temptation of resorting to obvious cliches, creating villains that have about as much depth to their personalities as cartoon cutouts and writing narrative that looks like it was intended for a 10 year old. For a very linear (non free-roaming) game like GLOI, the story is especially crucial. If, in GODS 2, as much attention is paid to the story as to the graphics, it will surely be an excellent game.
That said, I have to stress that I really LIKED the ending of GLOI. Seeing Vivien sink to her knees in despair when she realized that, in trying to save the world, she had unwittingly caused its destruction was a far more interesting ending than the predictable 'Bravo Vivien, you destroyed the crystal and saved the world'. For some reason, video games avoid tragic endings like the plague (even though tragedies mark some of the most powerful pieces of film and literature). It took courage to write such an ending; hopefully the finale in the sequel will be just as good.


Difficulty/Balancing
First off, let me say thank you for allowing the player to adjust the difficulty level in the middle of the game (way too many games force you to stick with the level you chose at the beginning). I found GLOI too easy on medium, but on hard it was a nice challenge. Overall, I thought the game was very well balanced. Money was not too plentiful, but it also didn't require too much grinding to obtain. The combat also had a nice mix of easy and very challenging fights. Great job.


Other Aspects:
One thing that's often lacking in GLOI is a sense of exploration. You mostly progress in a fairly linear manner through a series of fairly small locations with the new enemies roughly tailored to your ability. But, there is something enticing about journeying far from home to some deep dark part of the forest where great dangers, but also big rewards lie in wait. Larger areas with a greater variety of monsters would definitely help to bring a greater sense of exploration to the game. Also, adding some more locations which are perhaps not required for the main quest, but allow the player to fight some really tough creatures or find some interesting sidequests would make the game feel a bit less linear. More branches in the quests and storylines and allowing the player to make choices that have meaningful consequences (see Fallout or The Witcher) might also be something to strive for in a future game.


Conclusion:
The basic structure of the design is solid and makes for a very fun game. Mostly, it just needs a little polish and a few additional features. The one aspect which, in my view, needs more than just a bit of tweaking is the story. This needs to be much more prevalent throughout the game with far more depth and character development. Cypron studios might not be able to compete with the big companies when it comes to world size or cutting edge graphics, but if you tell a story that really engages the player intellectually and emotionally, then even the harshest critics will have to give the game its due.
One pitfall that many developers fall into when they make a sequel is that they go for too much (huge world, hundreds of weapons, spells etc.) Please don't go down that road. Concentrate on quality rather than quantity. And lastly, stick to your vision and don't listen to everything the critics say
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September 16th, 2008, 07:52
I agree mostly with what you said about the game. I would of added that having to run all the way back to the beginning of an area was hugely annoying. Couldn't they have put up some sign posts at the end of some areas. I also kept getting the feeling that this place was empty. Like they could of added something more. It wasn't as bad as Might and Magic IX but almost.

Other than that I thought the game was enjoyable. Not good enough to finish but still not too bad.

I don't know what games you have played in the past but I don't think it is the best looking turn based game. Off the top of my head I think Wiz 8 and even TOEE are better and they are a lot older. Plus the indie Eschalon seems less boxy than that one, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I would say it was a good first attempt and hope they make another sequel.
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