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Wave Of Darkness – First Impressions
Wave Of Darkness is a single player hack ‘n’ slash RPG currently in development by independent developer and publisher Dreamatrix. Following on from Legends of Dawn, Wave of Darkness is the second in a proposed trilogy of RPG titles, and – as is increasingly common in modern videogaming – is awaiting backers in a Kickstarter campaign.
A self-proclaimed “hack ‘n’ RPG,” Wave Of Darkness is set to feature all the elements typical of an RPG: non-linear storyline, large explorable world, crafting, looting, spells and hacking up dangerous enemies with large weapons. A standard fare for anyone who enjoys the likes of WoW, Dragon Age and The Elder Scrolls, then.
The gameplay trailer promises an ‘epic journey’ through the ‘vast and impressive game world’ of Narr, a ‘dark and gritty’ land caught in the midst of a crisis of ‘war and chaos.’ Again, this is standard fare for RPGs. However, there are some nice looking environments in the released screens and footage. The floating islands area looks fairly interesting, if a little bit bland, as it recalls a kind of Mario-style platformer map. The area with the Mumakil-looking skeleton looks decent too, but from the early information we have it doesn’t look like the map and world design will quite beat the likes of Dark Souls.
WOD looks like it will play like a mix between Dragon Age: Inquisition and a single player World Of Warcraft. If you squint, the user interface looks almost exactly like WOW, particularly the layout of the inventory. It appears as though combat is carried out by way of cueing up various attacks and spells.. Expect the Holy Trinity of melee, magic and ranged attacks, as well as more specialist type abilities like summoning. You can of course mix and match these abilities at your leisure. The game also promises an original spell generator, so that you can customize the various types of magic to create unique spells. Combined with the detailed, well designed spell effects, it seems like WOD might be a game for the Merlins and Gandalfs among us. The melee and ranged didn’t particularly look like anything to shout about.
There are a couple gameplay features that sound quite appealing. A system of sacrificing allows you to sacrifice items to one of three gods to receive divine favors, presumably in the form of buffs or other items. You can get empowered, blessed or cursed items, which have various benefits or penalties placed upon them. WOD features an impressive 35+ skills, although time will tell what having so many will play like. It also features streaming technology that allows you to play without loading screens, but we’ll have to see if this just means you’ll get loading lags every two minutes of gameplay.
With over 200 types of creatures and monsters, and environments ranging from crypts, mausoleums and catacombs (aren’t those all the same thing?), there should be enough to keep you reasonably entertained, if the gameplay holds up, that is. Dreamatrix are only about $8000 dollars into their $20000 goal on Kickstarter, so with a month left on the campaign they’ve got a while to go yet. They’re offering a choice of one of three games for a pledge of only a dollar, so you may as well give a donation for that price.
When it hits Early Access at the end of the Kickstarter campaign (the full game is estimated to be released in August), we’ll see if World Of Darkness has enough to stand out from the crowded RPG market, or if it will simply flounder among the many unfinished, over-promised Kickstarter Projects. It’s not gonna beat the Witcher 3 or Bloodborne, but it might have enough to keep you interested for the proposed 70+ hour storyline. Don’t get too excited, but it might be worth keeping an eye on it.