DEMIGOD is a game which is based on the popular free mod DEFENSE OF THE ANCIENTS of WARCRAFT III. Now I am really not known with this mod so I never had any real experience with it, but let me first tell you how I even came across this game.
As some of you might know, I have been a true RPG fan since the early days. I think my first RPGs were BALDUR’S GATE, PLANESCAPE TORMENT and FALLOUT. Even with these great titles I also played pen & paper RPGs like AD&D en D&D 3rd. Some time later a great game called NEVERWINTER NIGHTS came and it got me hooked. With a big community and easy modifications, it was easy to get lost in this world.
One of the popular mods this game had, was BATTLE OF THE DRAGONS. A game in which there are two teams, each of them have a base with a big ass dragon, some elite guards, some normal guards and troops. The dragon and the guards were stationary NPCs which fired their magic or arrows at you if you got too close. The troops were spawned every so often and followed 3 paths towards the enemy base.
So the principle was simple, you level up, you kill enemy troops, normal guards, elite guards and finally you kill the enemy dragon and win the round. (O and not to forget, you could upgrade troops and buy stuff at shops to improve your awesomeness)
Now some people will yell out loud: “Hey that sounds a lot like DEFENSE OF THE ANCIENTS!” and I’ll say: “Really?”. Because fact was, I never heard of it until recently when I started playing DIABLO 2 again. Some blokes were talking about a free mod of WARCRAFT III which was fast leveling, action and great short fun. With my current living style, it sounded too good to be true. So I Googled up DOTA, installed WARCRAFT III and played a few rounds.
My conclusion? Well it’s actually quite addictive, but somehow it was missing something for me and then it hit me. I was missing out on some more character development and the “feel” of being really über.
During my Googling session for DOTA I stumbled upon DEMIGOD and since then I have been following this game. When I finally got a chance to play, I was like a little kid in the candy store.
I got the game, installed, booted with Fraps in the background and tweaked the settings to low, with only the resolution on par with my widescreen. I first started with some offline play, before getting my arse whipped online. First Demigod picked? The Rook of course! I was walking around and smashing stuff, leveling like mad and won the first round. I sighed and exited the game…
This is it, this is the game I have been looking for after BATTLE OF THE DRAGONS died a silent death when NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2 came! But there was only one problem. My system was not good enough to run it properly. As said above, my settings were all set on low, except the screen resolution. I was doing 20 FPS on average, so the game felt real slow when I was in combat.
Now I know that my system is not that good, but with the minimum specs Gas Powered Games mentioned, I assumed the game could at least run around 30-35 FPS with everything set to low. Alas, this was not for me. So I exited the game, shut down my laptop and went downstairs to play some RED FACTION: GUERILLA.
15 minutes later I came back up – no not because RED FACTION sucked – but, because I was convinced I could tweak my dying rig to play this game. After some tweaking I managed to squeeze 5 more FPS to make the game a little more playable.
Most of you are not interested in my bad laptop, but I’m trying to make a point here. With the bad system I had, I kept coming back to the game. I played with every Demigod and finished the “offline mode” of this game. This is how much I think this game has potential!
The game can be easily divided in two groups of characters you can play; an Assassin or a General. Assassins are basically one army people who can deal tons of damage, these characters play a lot like the heroes from DOTA in WARCRAFT III. The Generals are similar to the Assassins, only are a bit weaker, but can summon fairly strong units to aid him (or her). Do not underestimate those summons, because they can tear down buildings fairly easy. Note: You can play a General as if it was an Assassin, just focus your points in melee / ranged / health, instead of on your summons. Now with your Demigod you battle your way towards the enemy base and destroy it (or capture stuff, depending on the game mode you are playing), a simple concept with short and hectic games.
But I have to give everyone a fair warning before rushing out to the stores to get this game. This game indeed has potential, but it is lacking on some parts, which you have to accept if you want to enjoy this game properly.
The offline mode is pretty much bollocks. It is just a fancy version of Skirmish, so you get to know the game a bit better. Do not confuse this with a tutorial, because it’s not. Also there is no real tutorial in this game, but I believe an average gamer should understand the basics in a couple of games versus the AI on easy. The manual can help by the way and if you need to know more things the official forums are a good source of information.
I have not played multiplayer, so I am not going to give an opinion on this. What I read so far on several forums, is that the slowest player makes the entire match / round go slow. Since my laptop sucks, everyone would be slowed down to my speed, so at the moment I am not going to put anyone through this misery. (It is really annoying if you have a great rig and llamas like me are ruining your gaming experience.) This actually is something that needs fixing and the devs are aware of this. Also there are problems with the network coding and login systems, but again the devs are working on it.
Currently I am just hoping a patch will come, which will improve the performance slightly, so I can fully enjoy online play.
So worth the buy? I say yes!. I am aware that on the net the game has been circling prior to the official release date, but all those people downloading and playing it are missing a couple of things:
– The 0-day patch which contains lots of tweaks and other improvements
– Proper online fun (if they fix the network issues), with stats tracking
– Free content (they will be adding more Demigods with future patches)
The game itself can be bought fairly cheap, so do not order it from the official website. I have seen some online stores selling the game for less then 30 bucks, which is cheaper than the 40 dollars from the official site (and only is a digital copy of the game).
If you do buy this game, accept the problems it has now, knowing it will be fixed. And if you are completely new to this type of genre, fight some AI on easy to get a good sense of what you can do. If you are really in doubt, download the game to get a real good impression. The real fun of this game is multiplayer, so you’ll need to buy it for online play (and of course for the free extra Demigods you’ll get!).
Rig played on:
Intel Dual core 1.6 GHz
3.0 GB of RAM
ATi Mobility x1600 with 256 RAM (the bottleneck for this game)