Some time has passed since I did my 2 Minute Review of Demigod, that I’d figured I’d revisit it again. I’ve caught myself passing over such games as a FREE trial of World of Warcraft and even my old standby Dawn of War II in order to play another quick (sometimes involved) round of this game.
While it is true that at almost a month into the game’s release Stardock and Gas Powered Games are still experiencing some multiplayer issues—something we mentioned in the review. It seems as if they are now re-working or even re-writing the net code to do something differently than what was planned originally.
It’s really surprising that this little fiasco has gotten this far. This is not typical of Stardock to have rushed something out the door broken. The piracy issues did not help initially either. However, what has been typical is their transparency and work to get it right.
As a result, most gamers have had to contend with the single-player-story-lacking-and-no-campaign game. It’s tournament after tournament that is almost reminiscent of the Unreal series. Even the “god-like” announcers sound the same. Has it become tedious and old playing the AI over and over?
Nope. It’s a blast. Why? It’s shallow, but complex.
What’s most interesting about the game is the versatility of each of the eight demigods. Even though there are some RPG elements, you start from a clean slate in each round. This helps you vary your play style for each type of map. It also feeds that wonderful addiction of grinding and leveling up. You do it every single round.
For instance, if you need to capture flags and hold them for a period of time and you are playing the rook (See the Hammer Time! image above.), you can tailor his skill set to match. Simply favor the skills for defense and building demolition. Later on, you may be in a map where the first team to ten demigod kills wins. For this, you would want to favor the damage skills and equip the rook with some armor and fast shoes (he’s dreadfully slow early on).
However, the depth of the character just in the “kill ten demigods” map can go deeper. You’re playing on a team. Some of the other demigods have better “vs. demigod” skills and damage. If so, then customize the rook to defend or lure. Actually, there are times I just create havoc on the map in a location where there’s no action. I leave it up to the AI-controlled demigods on my team to work on the objective. This works because there are instances where the enemy team will go after me thinking I’m easy prey and leave it wide open for us to win.
It’s a neat little trick that the developers did with the AI to make it seem like you’re playing with people. (Of course, the comparison is hard right now in light of the multiplayer issues.) As I play this, the possibilities for complex, strategic team play really excite me. Another thing I do first when a round starts is go to the item store and equip up. I was surprised when I caught the AI players on my team doing the same thing. And here I was thinking I was being smart.
With there being eight characters, I had initially thought it would have been hard for the developers to balance the game. I’ve not really found this to be the case. The exponential depth and the fact that you are on random teams each round make it even or at least appear to be. With that, it’s not wise to be locked into a particular style or setup with each demigod.
There are some achievement items that you can earn that carry with your profile for the entire game. However, you can only use one per round. These are uber-powerful items that can tip the scale even more for your demigod or the team. I’ve not really given them a chance yet. I’ve had too much fun playing each demigod and learning various builds of their skills.
Demigod has been a real surprise once I got past the learning curve. I mentioned in our review that the lack of tutorial would be a detriment. Now, I’m not so sure. Learning under pressure and by playing mostly single-player games has helped immensely.
Maybe the online connection issues are not so bad after all.