by Chris Priestman
reviewed on PC
Battle Hardened (cntd)
If slaying the demons was accompanied with a real bloody mess, the game would have delivered an even higher level of satisfaction. Apart from this, the only real problem I do have with the expansion is that the new creatures, quests and dungeon environments are essentially only extra skins. This is all very welcome but it does mean that fighting your way through dungeons is still going to get quite repetitive after a while. This is bound to happen of course, but I did feel as if more could have been done with the new enemies and dungeon hazards to mix up the gameplay, which is of course the main draw of Din’s Curse. Saying this I probably still haven’t seen half of what Din’s Curse can offer, as is the nature of the dynamically evolving mechanics.
Whilst the added variation to the already randomly generated dungeons and enemies is good but not excellent, the Demon War expansion really blossoms when you interact with the NPC’s in the towns, and even when you don’t. This time around NPC’s will act on their own accord constantly and you can never predict what will happen from one town to the next. Some may have been cursed, reside in a tornado hotspot, have a high crime rate, have no food or water, and on and on and on. Everything seems a lot more lively as the NPC’s will actually walk around town now, which often leads to fights breaking out, people getting married, getting divorced; all that stuff we deal with in our own lives everyday. Your player can now interact with townsfolk much more as well and this does give you a sense that your actions or inactions really can shape what is going on. For instance, one woman asked me for money because she was starving so I gave her some money, which obviously made her happy. She then gave me some clothes as gifts that I didn’t want because I was wearing better armour. I am not sure what happened with her after that, but the next thing I know she has brought an army of demons up from the dungeon to attack the town! I guess I should have accepted the clothes.
One of the aspects of Din’s Curse that really steps up the liveliness of the world until it resembles chaos, is that everything is time-based and not based on your progress. If an NPC is starving, they will die. If a powerful Rylor is gathering an army of skeleton warriors, they will attack the town at some point unless you intervene. If a new Warmaster is being attacked by Kralls on level 6, then they will perish sooner rather than later. The brilliance of the game is that it is practically impossible to do everything, so you do have to prioritise your actions. Gameplay wise, I do not know another game that is so dependent on your own decisions.
Stick It To The Man
It is really not easy to review a game that is as dynamic as Din’s Curse because everyone will have an entirely different experience. What can be said though is that the game is highly replayable and simply sucks the hours out of the days while you play it. Every time I had either saved of left a town to perish (it’s going to happen) I eagerly anticipated the surprises awaiting me in the next town and multi-layered dungeon. As each town you enter is randomly generated you can expect completely different townspeople, enemies, environments and world events. This is the main draw for Din’s Curse and the Demon War expansion does a brilliant job of adding even more to the mix. Like I said the most noticeable difference with the expansion is that the towns and the inhabitants feel more alive and will effect how you play a lot more. It does make quite a difference with the expansion so I would certainly recommend picking it up if you are interested in the game, and it is a definite must-buy if you are already playing the core game.
Ultimately the best thing to do is to try out the demo which also comes with the Demon War expansion built into it now. Considering this is the creation of only one man, I can guarantee that you will be surprised at how many different things can happen. I do wonder if the bigger titles can keep up, or will at least take a leaf out of Soldak’s book.
Hugely variable, challenging, full of surprises, satisfying gameplay, play as a demon!
Environments and sound design get to be a little repetitive and plain.