by Chris Priestman
reviewed on PC
Paint It Red
Chances are you have never even heard of Soldak Entertainment and Dinís Curse before. The former is the development studio of Steven Peeler, and the latter is his latest action-RPG. Working in a genre that is dominated by huge titles such as Diablo, Torchlight and Dungeon Siege and their many iterations and copycats, has driven Soldak to produce something that stands out from the crowd. The best features of Dinís Curse lie in its hugely dynamic and interactive world, class customisation and addictive gameplay.
Adding to the Dinís Curse experience is the recently released Demon War expansion pack. As it has been developed with the feedback of its dedicated community in mind, the Demon War expansion pack aims to tailor the Dinís Curse experience to one that its players will appreciate even more.
Not For Tourists
Just so everyone can keep up; the premise of Dinís Curse is that you have been rather sinful throughout your previous life, and as a punishment the god Din has sentenced you to a second life under his command. The curse lasts until you wash away your sins and to do this you must grow a good reputation by saving the locals of various towns from demonic attacks, starvation and domestic violence to name just a few. Each town you travel to is randomly generated and you are given the chance to even customise each one a little with modifiers before entering it. The gameplay consists of accepting quests and venturing into the multi-layered dungeons to kill creatures, find loot and avoid the many traps awaiting you. It is not everyoneís cup of tea, but the depth in the gameplay cannot be argued with. What I particularly enjoy about Dinís Curse is the feeling of constant peril caused by traps in each dungeon and the constantly evolving world which can see any number of events randomly occurring at any time.
As anyone who has played Dinís Curse will be aware, the Demon War expansion does not come with a hugely compelling story; the main focus is the gameplay. All you really need to know is that there are some really pissed off demons out there that want you dead. So pick up your weapon and start fighting back. For those who do want to delve into the lore of the world it is provided, but not on a scale that any Ďblockbusterí RPG will sit at comfortably.
Dinís Curse falls short in its presentation in places. The graphics are only adequate and the environments tend to look a little bare and drab after a while. But the reality is that the people who are playing the game are very obliging for the story and presentation to be sacrificed a little as it means the gameplay is the centre of attention.
I am guessing that if you have made it this far you are interested in what a gameplay-driven title can offer, rather than being put off by its lack of presentation and story. If so, you will not be disappointed. Dinís Curse is unique due to its dynamism; this branches out to classes, modifiers, events and pretty much all other aspects of the gameplay. Its class customisation system is particularly deep due to it not only providing a number of different classes, but by also allowing players to mix things up with their own hybrid class. With Demon War players get even more choice with the addition of the Demon Hunter class. The number of unique class combinations now stands at 196 but my favourite addition with this new class is all the new spells that allow you to control demons, scare them away and even become one yourself! With more to play around with and try out, there is not much to complain about when it comes to extra class customisation in Demon War.
It goes without saying really; there are a number of added creatures and demons that vary up the battling in Demon War. Unfortunately, not a whole lot is added to the gameplay with these new demons but more variation is always better on the eyes at least. Some of them are pretty terrifying though, the large spiders especially. The game is still missing one element that would push it to even darker territories, and that is blood.
Hugely variable, challenging, full of surprises, satisfying gameplay, play as a demon!
Environments and sound design get to be a little repetitive and plain.