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So here I find myself on a saturday morning, it's raining and I've got nothing to do. I've been messing around with Tabula Rasa (it's an "okay" game) and the beta ended last night so I need something else to mess around with. I check out ol' File Planet and decide to download the hellgate demo. (yeah I know this beta is closed as well) Here are some of the impressions it left me with in no particular order:
What I liked:
1) I really enjoyed the visuals. The feel of the streets as I walked down them, the detail of the weapon in my hand, the ads randomly posted on walls (real companies like Dark Horse comics, NVIDIA, etc etc)
2) I liked how you could shoot stuff in mid-air as it jumped at you. I know that sounds stupid but for some reason I got a kick out of it.
3) I go a big kick out of shooting a demon zombie in half and the legs kept running at me. In retrospect I should have let it keep coming at me to see if it would kick me or something for an attack.
4) I thought the weapon variety was ok. Machine pistols, rocket pistols, machine guns and such.
5) I had a love/hate with the loot method. I liked that you could hold "f" with loot somewhat close to you on the screen.
6) I thought the UI layout was well done. It had a nice feel to it and it was simple. This is pretty much a hack and slash game as I take it so you don't need a whole lot of clutter. The shops were pretty cool too.
What I disliked:
1) explosions. Cmon devs, if I am dumb enough to blow up a barrel full of gas or a bottle of propane (or whatever those were) right next to myself I should take some serious damage. At the start I was carefully blowing them up with some distance from myself but then when I realized it didn't matter I felt a little screwed over. It hurt demons but why not me? It seemed inconsistant with the realism I think they were going for.
2) In keeping with the damage thing, why on earth would I not take damage if I jump out of a 2-3 story window? Another inconsistancy and ruined my imersion into the world a little further.
3) ammo/reloads. Unlimited ammo is one thing but never even reloading? I think it means more when you're thinking "every shot must count" (see resident evil)
4) generic mobs/buildings. I think I came across the same building like 5 times. Walk in the door, there's a hole to the right and stairs to the left. Drop down the hole, open a chest. run up the stairs to the top open another chest. I also felt the mobs all looked exactly alike which is common in many many games but still doesn't make it ok. I wanna see adventurers like myself turned into zombies and then kill them. I wanna shoot little old lady zombies, priest zombies, grocery store clerk zombies, and a larger variety of demons.
5) I didn't like the "easter egg hunt" feel of random loot. Let me explain: You run around shooting every box, pallet, paint can, barrel and anything else you see for loot/coins. ie: "leave no stone unturned" It was ok at first but then it got to be a chore. Not that you had to do that but if you didn't it seemed like you might have missed something good if you didn't. Also who leaves all that gear and money in cardboard boxes all over the place. Want to make it real? Like I said earlier, let me shoot a zombie police guy and take his money, gun or any piece of useful gear he is wearing.
6) loot method. As stated above it's love/hate. I didn't like having to press a button to pick up drops, it was a bit of a pain. This point isn't actually too big of a deal but I figured I'd mention it.
7) I didn't like the look of the people I interacted with. They looked like store mannequins or something similar. They also had quirky body language. The voice acting was good, I'll give em that but everything else was lacking.
In closing, this was what I walked away with after having played the demo which may or may not be anything like the actual game. Those of you who did the beta please feel free to chime in on this thread on some of the points I've made. I have a few questions of my own. Was there an auction house? Did this have a MMO feel or was it really just a glorified shooter? Is it really gear dependant? Does a ranged character just kite and shoot without getting hit? (I think in the whole demo I only took minor damage once or twice and never really felt any risk of death) Is there class balance or is one overpowered?
As it stands now I think I'm going to pass on this one unless I read a lot of positive feedback. Tabula Rasa still has an edge over Hellgate in my eyes. Not that any of this really matter as many of us are all just waiting for WAR and AoC, lol.
Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best of luck.