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Demigod review

AT A GLANCE
  • Skill trees in place of base-building
  • Will appeal to Defense of the Ancients fans
  • Silly in its epicness, in a good way
  • Patchy net code
  • Large battles become confusing
  • Not enough information supplied

The other class of demigods makes up the Generals, who while still possessing considerable personal strength rely on summoned minions to aid them, making the game slightly more like a traditional RTS. Oak is your best entry point, possessing enough strength to withstand melee fights while also able to reap the souls of his enemy’s fallen minions. Once you’re comfortable commanding troops, you can move on to trying the Queen of Thorns, a buxom lady floating above a plant held aloft on the backs of beetles; Sedna, who rides atop a giant cat and summons yetis to her cause; and the vampiric, pointy-eared Lord Erebus, who can reap souls, but also turn into a painful mist.

Using the Generals, there are moments when swarming enemies with minions is hugely satisfying, and times when it simply becomes confusing as to whether our guys are still alive amongst the ruckus of laser blasts and area of effect spells. It’s all colourful and beautiful, but it’s not always informative.

The distinctive demigods, and the different tactics required in the four game types, make it interesting to see which character combinations prove most useful. Conquest and Fortress require direct assaults on defensive turrets, for example. Sadly, this can cause matches to quickly become attritional, the inevitable winner clear long before the finish, and fights against turrets fixed in place by a level designer are a lot less fun than fighting giant monsters.

Those turrets, though fixed, can be upgraded via the Citadel at the center of your other, more traditional base. Trekking back here from the frontlines is tedious, but there are big rewards to upgrading. None more obvious than the changes you can make to your minion reinforcements, who spawn from portals bracketing each map. These aren’t controllable by anyone, even Generals, but flow through the map on a fixed path to clash against the enemy’s minions. It’s by these creatures’ progress that you can tell the status of a battle. Upgrading at the citadel leads to new, larger creatures joining your side: first clerics, later the excellently named catapultasaurii, and lastly concrete-stick wielding giants bigger than some of the demigods.

You accrue in-game money as you go, and if you’re not interested in spending it to benefit your team, you can instead benefit yourself by purchasing artifacts and items. On our second night of play we found ourselves online, reading forums and advice on character builds. We thought the roleplaying elements would be a nice way of getting RPG fans to play an RTS. It never occurred to us that the opposite was also true.

we’ve played and loved roleplaying games before, but not like this. Not where we actually paid attention to the numbers operating beneath it all. Demigod is a Trojan horse filled with statistics. The Mage Slayer provides a 40% chance on hit to stun the target for 0.2 seconds? Man! We’re all over that. That will totally benefit our Rook against faster opponents.

Demigod has about a dozen small but obvious flaws right now – most easily fixable, some bewildering. These include some iffy pathfinding and the oddity of the game world being shrouded by grey sludge upon death. But the one that really matters is that its netcode is very patchy indeed. Joining a game via automatic matchmaking, the server browser, or even a friends list, is a perilous process where a single player with connection issues can prevent everyone else from playing the game. We expect this will be quickly fixed, which is why we didn’t mention it upfront, but at the time of writing, this multiplayer game, with its online matches and scoreboards, is frequently only playable against the computer. That’s a travesty.

Yet we’ve had nothing but fun while playing, both against the PC and when it’s worked online. Demigod’s blending of traditional strategy with RPG stats-based tactics leads to something that at least feels new, but it’s the unabashedly cartoony voices and over-the-top abilities that make the game fun.

Apr 23, 2009

More Info

Release date: Apr 14 2009 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Stardock
Developed by: Gas Powered Games
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Fantasy Violence, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
12+

10 comments

  • darksaint0523 - July 10, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    It doesn't feel as grand as its depicted, and the matches end so fast that you realy don't get to level up much. And the lack of a campain and persistant upgrades (level ups/ purchases/ etc) makes the game seem kind of mindless to me... What would have been cool is a campain (doesn't have to be all that long) for each demigod; a means to show how they proved to be worthy of this competition that they're in.
  • magicwalnuts0 - May 6, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    Net code is STILL not fixed.
  • everlia - April 28, 2009 4:55 p.m.

    Amazing game! Just downloaded full version from http://www.fullmovie.tv/?download=demigod.rar I think I am addicted lol :)
  • Simonskusek - April 25, 2009 10:53 p.m.

    i dont understand while all these RTS games are trying to move away from base building, resource managing and technological upgrades. i LOVED warcraft 3, i played it on bots for 2 years and if i could get online and play with other people, then damn i wouldn't be typing right now. It just makes me sad :(
  • Frexerik - April 24, 2009 9:03 a.m.

    Thanks for the review, this game is really fun!
  • mikeo1229 - April 24, 2009 3:08 a.m.

    This game is bloody amazing, love it. Regulus has an awesomely cheesy voice, and Oak is a great starting character, especially because his skills fit together perfectly. There is going to be a demo sometime in the future, and hopefully it will get people intrigued enough to buy it.
  • mEgAzD - April 24, 2009 1:54 a.m.

    Seeing as to how DOTA still exists.. I don't know how this will survive in the market.
  • Craza - May 25, 2009 11:42 a.m.

    Wow, I can't even tell what the hell is going on in those screenshots. I fail as a MMO'er. XD
  • solidslayerr - April 24, 2009 5:24 a.m.

    Meh, I tried it and was never a huge fan of the orgional dota, it felt like a weaker verson of it.
  • hun23 - April 23, 2009 11:36 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure that the Untamed Beast is actually the Unclean Beast. I hope that boo-boo did not make it to press. Anyhow, i've heard people playing it and i hope to pick it up in a few months

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

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