Dark Deity PC Review
If you're a fan of the Fire Emblem series, you'll want to get your hands on this game as soon as possible.
Dark Deity employs a mechanism known as "Grave Wounds." When a fighter is killed in battle, one of their stats is picked at random and reduced by 10%. So don't worry about the "Permadeath" mechanisms we're used to.
The game is turn-based, and units are commanded on maps that have a grid pattern similar to what we're used to seeing in these kinds of games. Units are individual characters with their own backstories and stats. By defeating enemy troops, gaining experience, and leveling up, you may improve these attributes.
I would have wanted to see a more detailed lesson on how to correctly utilize each weapon for each class, as well as all the icons and what they signify, however browsing through the characters' biographies and hovering over their icons provided me with the knowledge I needed. It may be rather perplexing.
I hadn't invested much in the plot or characters until Chapter 3, when things began to move forward outside of the first few tasks, with more discussion about the king and what everyone was planned. Within the first hour, I would have wanted to be a little more invested.
Dark Deity Character Balance
First and foremost, Dark Deity is a brilliant illustration of what may happen when a strong strategy game suffers from poor balance. In this game, there are two magic classes that restore HP by hitting and have a range of 1-2 meters. If you've played Fire Emblem Awakening (and if you're searching for games like this, you probably have), you'll instantly see how flawed this is, and don't worry, Dark Deity has learnt nothing from Awakening. Other OP classes include Strider, who can carry heavy weapons without penalty, deals extra damage on multiple attacks, and can evade virtually any attack.
So, if the OP classes are too powerful, simply ignore them, right? This is excellent advice, till you understand how much of a drag this game is otherwise. Maps are massive, yet you're only allowed 12+ letters to navigate them. However, most are built in such a way that you can easily win with just one or two OP troops. However, if you try to utilize a larger army, you'll likely discover that some of your characters are inflicting zero damage (in a game where opponents have 70+ health by the mid-game). You might accuse me of raising the troops incorrectly or of being unlucky with level-ups, but some of these were characters I'd only just received that map, or had only gotten that map once before.
As a result, the game is so well-balanced and constructed that steamrolling it, even on the highest setting, is just the most pleasant way to play. The only side goals you'll ever come across are things you may claim from certain tiles or opponents, but there's no rush to get them, and most of them aren't worth anything anyhow. There is practically no terrain, and what terrain effects there are simply serve to slow you down. Terrain impacts aren't noted in any manner, and enemy ranges continue to operate as if the terrain doesn't exist.
It's worth mentioning that issues like the previous one with enemy ranges will very certainly be patched out - to give credit where credit is due, the game's creators (perhaps a single dev) are sending out fixes quickly. However, many of these flaws are so fundamental that it's difficult not to get the impression that Dark Deity was rushed.
Dark Deity Story
So far, the plot isn't very innovative, but I don't want to be too critical because I haven't seen everything. I read all of the character conversation and was pleasantly surprised by the contrasts in personality. While it's true that the characters in some small businesses are clearly created by the same individuals, they did an excellent job (so far) of having them have their own aims and thoughts about things. Also, congratulations to the team thus far for using appropriate language; independent games may be notorious for this, and it drives me insane!
I'm given much too much information (in terms of mythology and world building) far too fast to care. I had to fight the desire to click ahead because I didn't recognize any of these names or had anything to connect them to. As the "training" task, I'm instantly put into a fake combat, but the game doesn't explain you how to play (despite the controls being quite simple, if a little odd). I immediately see that the map is large and that the adversary much outnumbers me. The task excites me.
I can certainly suggest this game after beating it on the hardest setting. I had a few preconceived assumptions about how fighting would operate as someone who has played a lot of Fire Emblem. While it was certainly beneficial, the game's unique take on classes, weapons, skills, and stuff makes me feel as if I'm continuously learning. I believe that virtually every class has a purpose, and the level of personalization available ensures that each character feels distinct. This is something I could see myself playing again and over again. In addition, the action in the game is moderately paced. I didn't feel slowed down in the early game, and I had enough of skills to deal with the longer maps as well. I probably would've loved those levels as well if it weren't for the pressure of having to beat the game in a certain amount of time. That's not to say there aren't any terrible maps in the game; in fact, I think I only found 1-2 that weren't entertaining (and didn't present a challenge).
The game becomes extremely difficult on the hardest difficulty setting, but the tools available, such as the aforementioned skills, weapons, and items, allow you to create some truly bizarre builds that make some characters feel like nostalgia made me feel about other crazy busted characters in an RPG. The lack of permadeath made the increased opponent strength less concerning, and while I did restart a few times, I was also content to leave someone behind if they died at the last second.
Each character also featured a wide range of abilities and strengths, making it simple to justify employing anybody, even on the most tough difficulty level. Because I didn't pay them enough attention, some troops naturally dropped off, but I've also seen some people transform the identical units I cast away into juggernauts. Filling my army with powerful and engaging individuals was never a problem for me. Even those who lacked fighting and healing skills had additional powers like Phase, Chain, Disarm, Haste, and Push, which remained useful throughout the game (Disarm a little less at first and much more later.)
The game's presentation is usually a matter of opinion, but I like it. The character pictures, animations, and sprites were all beautiful to look at. The character's vocal lines were also enjoyable, but I constantly found myself wishing for more. The game's voice acting is identical to that of Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates: There is no complete voice acting! It's a pity because the actors appeared to be excellent, and snippets can only carry you so far, but it's never obnoxious.
The game's ability to personalize your experience, from more exp/gold to varied growth rates or preset level ups, as well as a built-in randomizer, means it has a lot of replay value outside of the main game.
As of writing this review, there are still problems in the game, however the game was patched twice before I finished it (less than three days after release), and while there are still some, they have seldom interfered with my enjoyment of the game.
Outside of the problems, there were several flaws, such as the story's tempo being excessively front-loaded. It swiftly introduces you to individuals that find themselves in a variety of situations that might be unpleasant at times. Despite knowing how long the game was meant to be from the start, I wasted a significant portion of my gameplay wondering how long it was going to be.
The character exchanges are entertaining, but there are a lot of them. Characters will bond with each other in combat and have distinct discussions outside of fight outside of the plot. While this is pleasant, the characters will only ever interact in pairs as a result of their usage. Characters might have grown depending on various criteria, or the tale could have been supplemented spontaneously with groupings greater than two.
The most significant is how much the game throws at you all at once. Even once you've gotten acclimated to the controls, the tutorials and UI might feel clumsy. My own muscle memory deceived me several times, and the game became quite one-sided on some orders; while letting a unit wait is OK, finishing the round without a confirmation prompt is difficult. Certain talents, as well as item and unit interactions, might be challenging to grasp (for example, trade, which can be done from anywhere on the globe as long as the other unit hasn't moved yet). These aren't dealbreakers, though; the game aims to address many of these issues and has a very active development staff as well as a growing community to assist others. I believe in the game's potential, but I also appreciate it for what it is now.
agonygenesis June 28th, 2021