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Steam really needs to add an 'in between' button for recommending games....
I couldn't help but feeling like I should be playing Neverwinter nights 1 or 2 instead of this the whole time I was playing. It just feels like a lesser version of them.
The combat is just dreadfull. You can either control one character at a time in real time, or zoom out and try a more tactical approach. The thing is, it wont matter which you choose as combat lacks any meat. Your decisions on the battle field bearly matter. I think the bigger problem lies with the leveling system and the skills. They are so basic and boring and offer little choice as to how to build a character. Chances are one rogue will be 99% similar to any other rogue. In a game like Neverwinter (Not the dumbass free to play one on steam) there was meaningfull choice to be had when creating builds and leveling characters. I would spend hours just thinking about different builds.
The battles often feel like a 'staring at healthbars until one gets to low so I pause and give them a health potion' over and over again. As far as I have seen so far there are no healing spells or really much support spells. There isn't really any interconnection between players at all.
So that leaves 2 things that would keep you playing. The story, and the character building/dialogue.
So lets start with the story. I still have a good 25 hours left to play according to Howlongtobeat.com so I havn't seen all of the story. That being said..... I dont really care if I do. Its not a bad story but its been done before and there isnt much new to it. Basically a bunch of bad people are coming to kill everyone and you are the only one who can stop them. So you go from place to place amassing an army to fight them. Honestly it feels like Lord of the Rings. Its not a terrible story and I didn't really mind watching/listening to it, but there isn't anything there to make it different enough for me to WANT to hear the rest of it.
Then there is the characters. At this point in the game I have unlocked 4 people. Again, they arent terribly written and do actually have some amusing and interesting dialogue. Honestly its the only thing that kept me going for as long as I did. However, your choices dont really have any noticable impact (at least not to the point I got to). There is a influence system in the game where characters like or hate you depending on your actions but aside from them possibly leaving if they hate you enough... there doesnt seem to be anything to it. There is a romance option but its just ends after taking someone to bed and doesnt actually change anything.
One of the issues of this system is that it is very easy to abuse. You can only have 3 people in your party at a time which I think is fine for combat but when you are in cities it creates a huge problem. Let me give you an example.
One of the first villages you get to has a merchant who has raised his prices to the point of extortion. You have a few options here. You can be on his side for some coin and drive off the crowd, persuade or intemidate him to behave, or do nothing at all. If you drive of the crowd Party member A approves of your actions and you gain plus 3 influence with them but Party member B hates it and gets -8 influence. If you persuade the salesman to lower his profits and sell at a reasonable price Party member A Hates it -8 and Party member B likes it +3. However! All you need to do is take either part member A or party member B out of the party and replace them with a character that doesnt care about this situation to get the outcome you want.
That is kind of ♥♥♥♥ty. I think that it would have made the game MUCH more enjoyable if dialouge acted as though all party members were present. This would cause not only more interesting options, but it would mean your choices actually matter.
I would have also liked to have seen some situations where your influence with a character did something. Say for instance at one point in the game you and person A walk off from camp to talk alone at X point in the game. Then a bandit or something attacks you. Now depeding on your influence with party member A they would either push you out of the way to take the attack themselves (high influence), Fight the bandit after he has stabed you and run him off/kill him (medium influence), run back to camp to get help (Low influence) or even they planed the attack themselves and the steal some money from you and run off (Critical influence). Just an example.
I just cant see a reason to play this over something like Neverwinter Nights 2 which is an amazing game with great combat and what I mentioned above. Granted its not on Steam anymore for whatever reason which kind of sucks but you can still get it on GOG. I am actually curious to see what Dragon Age 2 did to ♥♥♥♥ people off so much but seeing as its not on steam I may not ever get around to it.
Which brings me to my last point. In your base camp a person appears with a quest above their head. "Neat" I said, "I wonder what he wants?" Only to find out its bloody DLC and it wants to to sign in to a EA account to pay for and download some dlc quest. Nothing breaks the fun faster than a paywall. Keep DLC on the ♥♥♥♥ing store and out of the game please.
I am not sure if I am going to finish the game to be honest. I may play a few more hours and if nothing changes I will just call it a day. Maybe I will trying finding a lets play with some ammusing comentary to see the rest. Who knows.