Tuesday, 20 March 2012

7drl reviews: Dead Night Forest 2: The Lost Caravan

Dead Night Forest 2: The Lost Caravan by Edwin DeNicholas

Well um, wow. This roguelike has full 3d model graphics, blood splatters on the screen, fps combat with swinging sword, lovely starry sky, campfires that blaze merrily, trees and so on. Also full sound effects.

But is it really a roguelike? There's no ASCII graphics, the combat isn't turn-based. I think the levels are procedurally-generated but that's about the only box ticked.

Maybe not helped by spending the last week or so playing turn-based games, I failed hard at the real-time combat and kept dying hard and fast.(And this is on the easier mode of the game, without hunger!) It is well done though, with the ability to hold the mouse button to power attacks, and the type of attack being determined by the last direction the mouse was moved (like in Mount and Blade).  Attacking upwards flips your opponent satisfyingly into the air. 

I'm sorry that I don't have more to write about it. It's certainly very impressive and shows what can be done with Unity in just a week. It's just that instead of feeling like I'm playing a roguelike, I felt like I was playing a cheap version of a different sort of game. It really brings home one of the features of ASCII roguelikes: they are created by people who don't have to worry about the graphics. Usually the creators are programmers and not artists. By having ASCII graphics everyone is "equal" and it's the gameplay not the graphics that is important. Games like this cross the line and aspire to greater things, graphically speaking. Although they have much, much better graphics than the ASCII games though, suddenly you're comparing the graphics to Mount and Blade or Skyrim and they are falling short and looking like the hobbyist creation that they are.

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