Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dealing with backlog: Viking Battle for Asgard & Eldritch

Viking: Battle for Asgard is a game I've had in my Steam library for years. I had no idea what kind of game it was, since I got it in a Total War bundle. Because of that I was expecting something similar to the Total War series. I was gravely mistaken. The only thing this game has in common with Total War is that they're all developed by Sega/Creative Assembly. Viking: Battle for Asgard is an Xbox 360 game ported for PC. It's a hack and slash game. The story was very straight-forward. I finished the first area in about 2-3 hours and when I arrived in the second area it was obvious this would play out almost exactly like the first one. The main problem for me was that I'm not very good at hack and slash. Keeping up combos is really hard for me. Doesn't matter if it's with a controller or keyboard and mouse. So when the game started I resigned myself to play this either to the end or until I got stuck. It turned out to be the latter. Mostly due to this game having a lot of stealth missions, and in my head that doesn't work. Hack and slash with stealth, when you have no stealth skills whatsoever (except for stabbing enemies in the back)? But also because of my inability to keep up combos or even remember what the combos for special attacks are, which means I just attack the enemies with the same attack over and over and over and hoping it works. That tactic works well with mobs, but with bosses it becomes really hard to not die. When I stopped playing I had spent over an hour trying to deal with two bosses and a large mob, trying to "sneak" into an enemy base to burn their barracks. There was nothing about this game that made me want to continue trying. Story, mechanics, graphics etc were all pretty meh for me, so it didn't feel like much of a loss when I decided to drop it.

Eldritch is a game I bought about two years ago when I was looking for Lovecraft inspired games. It looks like Minecraft, but it seemed promising. In the end I didn't play it much, mostly due to its Souls inspired gameplay. You start in a library, where you find a journal from someone who was trapped in there and slowly lost his mind. He's hinting that the weird glowing books is the way to escape from there. You get no weapons, no extra health, no money, nothing special in the library. When you use one of the books you're transported to an area. The area is a labyrinth which you need to find your way through and at the end you fight against a creature to get his soul. You need the souls to escape the library. So you still have no weapons when you enter, you need to pick these up along the way and you can only hold two weapons at a time. Your HP is three points. So in three hits you'll be dead. You can't store HP replenishing items in your inventory. Every gun you pick up only has three bullets. Small creatures require one to die, larger requires two. So you're always out of bullets. I relied on throwing rocks most of the time. If you die you start over at the library without retaining anything you've picked up. No weapons, no artifacts, nothing. I read that this game takes about two hours, so it's very short, and yet I spent 30 minutes not getting anywhere because I always died before I acquired the first soul and had to start over from nothing. That's what eventually made me shut it down and stop playing. If I had retained the equipment I picked up then maybe I would've kept trying, but having to start over from literally nothing every single time effectively killed my desire to keep playing.

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