by Marcus Mulkins
previewed on PC
Combat, combat and more combat
During that phase of development, the combat system was being worked out, with the only promise being that it would be "gritty" and ultra-realistic. As the combat system grew, Firefly decided to change the objective to something more substantial, which is where the war with Death came in. In so doing, the game moved from being something akin to Diablo to being something more cinematic, more like playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's role in "Conan the Destroyer", from a third-person perspective.
Firefly is describing the game to be something like what I would call "RPG Lite". Like with Diablo, the longer you play, _frequently_ engaging in combat, you'll have the opportunity to also frequently level-up. All in all, you'll be able to do that about a hundred times during the course of the game. Each time you level-up, you'll be able to enhance your character by adding new moves to his repertoire of martial maneuvers - and that's about the total extent of the "roleplaying". Playing your character "properly" is not exactly a mental challenge: See monster. Attack monster. Kill monster. Level-up. Add new move. See bigger monster. Etc. Repeat often.
The measure of a Man...
I recall the early days of D & D. We would start with first-level characters, join with several other first-level characters, and then bravely sally forth into the local DM's dungeon. After bashing on small parties of Goblins, Orcs, Kobolds, Giant Beetles and what not, we would grow into the Big Kids on the Block (uh, Dungeon) and literally scoff when we were told we had run into a couple of Ogres. So the DM started to throw a half-dozen, ten, twenty or more nasties at us, until we actually started to buckle at the knees. No thought was given as to where all those nasties came from, where they lived, where they got enough groceries to feed so many mouths, what they did between incursions of surface-dwellers. Now, Firefly promises to answer all those questions by showing us the in-depth macrocosm of underworld life. However...
Like practically all other fantasy games with at least of few grams of RPG in their genes, in Dungeon Hero, you will start small and eventually (rapidly) grow into an UberHero, vanquishing swarms of foes with a single swipe of your Mighty Sword (or whatever weapon you use). And like practically every other fantasy game out there, your competition will start out small and grow right along with you. Expect a handful of Goblins at first. Then more Goblins. Then a Troll. Then more Trolls. In no time at all, you'll be like Conan, crawling out from under a literal hill of dead foes. Then it will get _real_ tough. Quantity will be replaced by Quality - and then later by Quality AND Quantity. You'll be sweating bullets so hard and so fast, you may likely overlook a really, really important question: If these Big Baddies exist, where were they when you were just a small fry, battling handfuls of just Goblins?
But then, it seems that ALL fantasy combat games forget to answer that particular question. Still have to wonder though: If the Bad Guys have such a powerful weapon at their disposal, why haven't they used it to wade through the Good Guys' defenses like they were wet tissue paper? Don't they want to win?