I picked up and played this game without a lot of knowledge on what it was about. Even after playing it for a while and beating it, trying out several different characters and exploring a plethora of side quests itâ€™s hard to nail down exactly a specific genre or type of game this falls into. On one hand itâ€™s very much a dungeon crawling hack-and-slash game. You face towards an opponent and hit an attack button and your character will either run and slash them, fire something at them, or cast a spell. Then you just move forward a little bit further and mash the attack button again and keep moving through the hordes of enemies. However the game is also much more than that.
If you are just looking to â€œbeatâ€ the game, getting though the main quest line and so on you will be very disappointed with this game. You can in fact, without a lot of leveling or equipment run past a lot of the monsters and do just the quests for the main line and e though with the game very fast. However if you are playing the game for that purpose alone then, well, youâ€™re an idiot. The game has just a staggering amount of content. I spent a large portion of the game exploring every inch of the map I could in the area that was unlocked for me, doing every single quest available and when I was done I had less than 20 percent of the map completed and over 30 hours logged. The game world is HUGE and throughout most of the explorable area of the game there are quests for you to do which will have you running back and forth, collecting stuff, and killing certain bosses. But more on the quests later. The point being is that if you look at the game as something to explore and really chip away at all that is offered and to the â€œstorylineâ€ quest then it will take you days upon days to complete.
It can get overwhelming in content if you just play and play trying to get everything done. What I found is that this game is really great to just pick up and play whenever you feel like for a couple hours here and there. You can just chip away at different quests or explore some small dungeon whenever you feel like it. There are several higher difficulties above standard that you unlock though beating the game, which is really he only reason I see for doing the main quest as oppose to doing all the other things. With so many higher difficulties and thousands of quests just playing it every now and then really fits better for this game as opposed to a more action packed game that gives you a big thrill but little time. This is definitely a game that will last you a long time and you get more enjoyment out of it if you spread it out a little bit.
Along with the enormity of the game the other high point of this game has to be the customization and thought that has to go into character building. This isnâ€™t some simple case where when you get a level you pick a new ability or go through a boring skill tree. There are so many levels to this system that I honestly spent several hours before really getting into the game, after I knew of the system, planning out my characters. Abilities are called Combat Arts and itâ€™s easy to â€œunlockâ€ one, you just have to read a rune for it, an item randomly dropped. However each CA has its own level, the more runes you read the stronger it gets, sounds simple right? Well along with increasing its power you also increase the regen time it has. So if you read too many runes the CA will be useless as you may only be able to use it once every several minutes if you arenâ€™t careful. To counterbalance this whenever you level up you get skill points. These can go into things to make all CAâ€™s of a certain group more powerful, or it can make all CAâ€™s of a group have less regen time, but can also be put into things to give you more armor or better weapon damage. Itâ€™s this constant balance of using skill points to lower regen times while reading more runes to increase the power that you have to keep a very close eye on, because if you arenâ€™t careful you can make your character really broken and the only thing that will fix them is leveling up several more times, which will be hell if the character is broken. You really have to think about how you want your character to play, which CAâ€™s you want to use and keep in mind their regen, so you either read only a little or read a lot but put skill points into lower regen. This constant back and forth is very interesting to play with and makes the game much more than a hack and slash.
The game does utilize an enemy auto leveling system. Whenever you level up, the enemies do too. Enemies in further areas of the game will start higher, so you canâ€™t immediately rush to the end game, but once you hit their level they will not maintain the level difference. Now, this isn’t the same as other games with enemy leveling, like Oblivion. There are no new monsters in the areas you visit; just the same ones will be stronger. Now, while this didnâ€™t make the game horrible, I do have some slight problems with it. It would be unreasonable to say there should be no leveling in the game at all, because after spending over 30 hours in the first section of the game, if after a couple hours of leveling I was far above the enemies the rest would just be nothing in terms of a challenge. Considering how much freedom you have in where you want to go, I donâ€™t see how the game would work without it, however there still seemed something about it that wasnâ€™t quite the way it could have ultimately have been. I found myself effectively facing the same battles throughout the entire game. I dealt with the enemies in the beginning of the game in the same way I did at the end game.
While I understand the leveling had to be the way it is I think the game would have functioned a bit better if the types of enemies you find at the later parts in the game required different strategies, no matter what level you encountered them at. Things like having to use a better variety of weapons on them or use of your abilities, kiting them or grouping them, and so on. I handled all enemies the same and that really hurt the character development part of the game. I said one of the best parts of the game was how much you could build your characters however I never quite felt like I accomplished anything. After I got my character to have the abilities I wanted he used them the same way on everyone which made it feel like after I got things to how I wanted them, after I set up the initial abilities and got the regen to where I wanted, all the levels I gained wouldnâ€™t change anything, as I would just balance out he regen and the enemies would remain the same and I would use those abilities the same way on them.
Overall, the game was ok. It has an absolute tremendous amount of content in it and with so many different ways you can build a particular character class, combined with the multiple classes, higher difficulties, if you want to fully explore this game the content is simply staggering. However playing it over and over again can get repetitive as quests rarely amount to anything more then go kill “X” amount of these enemies, or go to talk to this guy a little ways over and come back and talk to me. However if you take the game at small does and play it over a long long period of time it can be something that is more enjoyable but definitely would have been improved by some tweaked quests and perhaps more enemy variety.
Although there was a lot to offer in this game, a lot of it was very repetitive and it felt like after I had done a few quests I wasnâ€™t missing much if I didnâ€™t do the others.
The graphics are stunning, but it is a top down camera that prevents you from seeing too much at one time, which is why they could spend the power on making what you see good.
There wasnâ€™t really anything special about the song. I didnâ€™t really even seem to notice any of the BGMâ€™s being memorable or interesting, but it wasnâ€™t bad on the other hand.
Gameplay: 6. 5
Setting up the characters was fun, but then it seemed all the enemies were the same and I dealt with them all the same way.
Lasting Appeal: 9.0
With six classes to choose from, a light or shadow path, and several different builds for each class there are plenty of different ways to tack the thousands of quests and enormous map.
Not an average.