Thursday, May 5, 2011

Divine Souls - Review

(Well I've been waiting for awhile to see if the review I did on Divine Souls would be up on OnRPG, but it sure doesn't seem like it so I'm just gonna post it here, because I really want to tell everyone how horribly bland this game is.)

Divine Souls is a free-to-play Action MMO developed by Game Prix and published by Outspark. The game has been promoted all over the web with such taglines as “Your game console will be jealous”, but after my time spent playing, I’d say your game console has nothing to worry about. Divine Souls manages to create a console-like experience, but also brings a generic and shallow experience as a game that belongs in a bargain bin at your local Best Buy.
For starters: The new character customization is painfully weak. There are only four hair and face types available for each class, so there’s no possible way you could make your character NOT look a typical everyman or everywoman. Speaking of classes, there’s only three of them to choose from (Fighter, Slasher and Mage, two of which play almost exactly the same), and they’re all gender locked. More character classes are being planned for future updates, but right now the pickings are way too slim.


Divine Souls’ game world is broken up into instanced areas like most other action MMOs before, and it does a pretty decent job of laying everything out so you know where to go, but everything about the game goes downhill from here.

The action in Divine Souls compared to other action MMOs that made their way to west such as Dragonica and Vindictus, feels slow, unpolished and will become boring after a few runs. You can only do static attacks here, meaning you can only perform pre-made combos and juggles. You cannot cancel your attacks or deviate from your combos lists whatsoever. Plus: there isn’t much difficulty toward pulling off these attacks, so anyone that has ever played an arcade beat ‘em up or fighting game should be able to see through this game's limited strategies and move lists relatively quickly.


Straight up button mashing is also pretty effective here. All the attacks at your disposal have such freakishly huge hitboxes, so it’s nearly impossible to miss unless you’re blind as a bat. Mix in those broken hitboxes in with some weak AI that won’t put up much of a fight and that’s Divine Souls’ PvE gameplay in a nutshell.

While the PvE experience proves to be flaky, PvP turns out to be more or less the same. In PvP, battles revolve around who can get the first hit in, then dialing in some combos that your opponent can’t escape from unless you completely screw up.
It basically goes like this:

“I got my hit in so now it’s time for me to pull off my huge combo!"
"I blocked his attack so now it’s time to pull off my huge combo!”

Personally speaking: Performing combos in just about any fighting, beat ‘em up or hack n’ slash should be difficult and challenging.
Well… at least difficult and challenging enough to make you go “Wow, how did that player manage to pull that off?!” and not “Oh geez, my opponent got that hit on me, time to go through the motions…” so Divine Souls completely fails in this regard.

At least the game offers ups some multiple control schemes to work with (Keyboard, Mouse + Keyboard, Gamepad), and each control scheme feels responsive.

Everything else about Divine Soul’s gameplay is straight forward. The quest system revolves around your typical MMO treadmills featuring “Kill this, bring me that” except with even more “kill this” than ever before. To make matters worse: Quests are the only way to maximize EXP gain, and many of the quests will have to re-visiting the same areas over and over again, so you may have to grab a friend or two if you wish to stomach the repetition. The only gameplay feature out of the ordinary was with the Rock Paper Scissors mini-game you play after complementing dungeon runs.


It’s kind of sad, though. The fact that I enjoyed this over every other feature in Divine Souls really bugs me... just a little bit.

And to top all this off: Divine Souls uses a fatigue system that limits how many dungeon runs you can go through a day. I mean… the game is pretty bland and generic as it is, so it’s not like anyone playing is hopelessly going to become addicted, so why bother having it?

At first glance, you can tell that not much focus was placed on Divine Souls’ visual presentation. All the characters have plastic faces and robotic animations. Environments do not fare much better, as they offer little interaction and tend to look flat-out hideous with copy pasted backgrounds and textures. The blurry textures you’ll have to look at for just about everything can be a real eye sore, and the optional HDR features don’t help much, either. In fact: The game actually looks WORSE with HDR turned on, since HDR for Divine Souls means adding unnecessary shine and bloom to mask the game’s ugliness.

"HD" visuals!

The sound effects and music used here are average at best, plus they tacked on some cheesy voice acting to go with some of the NPCs and cut-scenes.

Conclusion

Divine Souls overall is a generic experience that will only keep those with low expectations entertained. With generic combat, generic features, generic visuals and generic EVERYTHING, Divine Souls doesn’t seem to be striving for anything except pure mediocrity. With several other action MMOs already available that provide a more enjoyable experience, and several more on the way, there’s not much of a reason to give this one a try.

---

Pros:

Well… It’s free to play.

Cons:

Generic visuals
Generic gameplay
Generic PvE
Generic PvP
Generic music
Generic everything

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

u sux

Post a Comment