When the game in the process of creation is on the verge of a complete "absence" several times, this usually does not inspire hope in itself. Change of developers - too. And let the composition of Noumena Studios ispartly formed from Silver Style Studios , which was originally commissioned to create the project, all the same the basic concept of The Dark Eye: Demonicon could not fail to pass through a series of consecutive changes from the moment of announcement until the release date.
In the final version of The Dark Eye: Demonicon, the accent is clearly shifted from RPG buns to combat elements and the dynamics of the plot's development. This game can be considered an attempt to repeat the success of Gothic , but certainly not an epic canvas in the spirit of the TES series , which we could hope for after the announcement.
Everything begins with a gloomy prologue: the bloody sacrifice of an infant carved from the body of a living mother leaves no doubt that children and pregnant women should be removed from the screens. And then things are not going any further. Our hero is a brutal peasant named Kairon, a representative of the human race with the potential for any multiclassism that we want - he loves his sister Kalandru, a young lady with a very noticeable neckline in the classic "armored brace". He loves, but strangely, not brotherly, with some kind of love. Their common father for some reason strictly forbade children to mix their blood - no, not in the sense in which you thought, but in the literal. When the young maiden immediately before the wedding with the unloved bridegroom suddenly escapes into a suspicious cave, Kairon goes in search of her, heated by her father's suspicions: that the beauty decided to get rid of virginity on the eve of marriage, so that her future husband himself refused the "spoiled goods". In general, the theme of Kalandrina's innocence in the game is given somehow too much attention: what are your problems with this, gentlemen ofNoumena ?
In general, the brother finds his sister, finds that she is slightly injured in the battle with giant lizards, tries to make a dressing, and since he and the lizard himself had scratched, their blood is mixed - and Kayron discovers that he owns a weak and flabby, but all the same magic. After a while we already find out that these two completely lost their heads from each other and did not care about any prejudices like incest, though, now in a different, figurative sense of the word.
Scenario DemoniconIt is full of weirdness and unexpected "family" discoveries in the spirit of Indian cinema. At the same time, we do not particularly notice all this while we are playing: all the events are linked to each other in such a way that it creates the feeling that we are constantly at the epicenter of what is happening thanks to pure chance. They stole from Kalandra an engagement ring, Kayron went back to him, beat a dozen bandits - fell into the field of view of two opposing factions. And now his next goal - a local brothel, whose owner refuses to choose a "roof" from among the people respected in the city. And there and before participating in the uprising not far, and then have to decide whether to execute defeated enemies or release them. In general, while we are moving dark paths up the social ladder, we do not particularly think of asking ourselves, why it is our Cyrus that is constantly trusted by very difficult decisions that require responsibility and authority in the city. Although he has no authority at first.
By the way, about the decisions. It is quite natural that with this approach to the narration the script could not turn out to be non-linear. There is no question of any freedom for the player. To somehow "cover up the shame" and create the appearance of the RPG, the developers at the end of each chapter implemented Complex Moral Choice. So, we can kill a cannibal - and then the innocent victims cooked for them for the next feeding will die. Or save the unfortunate, but then the cannibalist will leave and continue to commit his atrocities elsewhere. The decisions we make have little impact on the development of the plot, but allow us to somehow amuse our thirst for nonlinearity. At least that's what the creators of Demonicon believe .
If the freedom of action - a thing as a whole is optional, then balanced and colorful battles are not a luxury, but a vehicle for action-RPG. And here we are almost waiting for the most serious disappointment. First, during the battle, the game begins to move into an incredibly slogan-moe mode, or simply "mercilessly" braked. Expand the hero in the right direction - a problem, make him hit the right enemy - a problem; more often it turns out "for someone I got - and it's okay." Meanwhile, the opponents are attacked in large batches. Even in the battles with the "bosses" we have to endure a crowd of small monsters. Local magic - the so-called "gift" of the hero - does not work on a standard mana, but on a special essence that Kyron draws from defeated rivals. Therefore, he has to beat the retinue of the main villain for a long time.
At the same time the system of skills and characteristics looks rather branched and curious. We have "adventure points" - an analog of experience, which is spent both on "pumping" combat capabilities, and on the purchase of special talents, and on the development of auxiliary skills. A hero can do many different things in peacetime: collect grass, break open chests, neutralize traps, heal, bargain - in general, a full gentleman's set. We have to reluctantly tear off the accumulated experience from military abilities to learn herbalism or medicine - and this could be a good reason for an interesting, unique "pumping" of the character, but ... All this magnificence simply has nowhere to put and nothing to apply. It is enough to have one fighting talent and one magic skill to go through a significant part of the game, because there is no serious battle tactics here.
Linearity of locations annoys about the same as combat monotony. There is nowhere to fold, chests and grass scattered here and there among decorative NPCs and no less sham buildings are not being rescued. In some places, though not smoothly textured, the landscapes seem to be dull and poor because of this, and the world as a whole leaves the sensation of a gigantic Potemkin village where most of the people are robots stupidly repeating the same phrases every time we pass them by . Quests eventually boil down to "go and kill".
In a word, we have a passing RPG in front of us, which can be run from boredom, from enthusiasm for gloomy trash fantasy, from great love for setting, finally. However, whatever motivation motivates you to perform this feat, it is unlikely that in the end The Dark Eye: Demonicon will be able to cause any reaction other than yawning.