Starved of CRPGS I stumbled upon Dungeons of Chaos and since it received many good reviews at steam I bought it. It is a classical RPG. Perhaps too classical since the graphics is really simple even for being a CRPG. Not that it is that important but anyhow it is way worse that too expect.
The game allows you to create a party of 6 adventurers in the classical way by rolling characters WITHOUT any save inbetween. Which means I rolled my group in around 1 hours time to get as good attributes as possible for my group with a warrior, archer, barbarian, mage, rogue and cleric. So far so good. I immediately set out to play the game on the default difficulty setting.
I won´t even go inte the story other than saying that during an attack from the evil forces the kings remaining people in the castle had to escape through a magical portal to another island in the realm. From there you start out with no news of what have happened to the king or if he is even alive. The game spans a huge overland map with dungeons, caves, towns, ruins and tombs littered here and there. You move in a turn based manner one step at a time and as soon as you stumble into an enemy a tactical map opens up not totally unlike the old SSI games.
I played for around 10 hours and raised my group to around level 5. I really wanted to like the game but two things did stop me. First the manual is spread out in a number of different wiki pages with no coherent way of reading it from the beginning to the end. Also, only parts of the game are explained and not always very detailed. I like to have full control over the game mechanics if I am to manage my partys progression. The game mechanics are fairly advanced and are implemented partly in some unorthodox ways which is good and original. But I had trouble understanding if I should invest the few talent points on levelling on attributes or skill proficiency because it was not obvious what effect either had on my combat ability.
That is the first part that was a little let down.
The second part was the tactical combats.
While looking good initially it doesn´t take long to get to the conclusion that combats are very frequent and if you are to manually handle them it will take a lot of time and it quickly becomes tedious. The game would have benefited from fewer but more interesting or harder combats. The environment are alos not used to its potential. While there might be the occasional trees in the combat which you have to get around – and supporting flanking attacks makes this great – there are also no small doorways like in the SSI games. To summarise. I used autocombat for 99 % of my combats which of course takes away a very important core feature of an RPG but also was the only realistic option if I was to progress into the game.
While the map and dungeons could be huge they are also mostly empty of interesting things, items or texts. You do find interesting treasures here and there and selling and gathering loot is a core business in this game but in the end I felt the game lacked soul and wasn´t as rewarding as I had hoped for.
I give it 3 out of 5. I think the game is too expensive right now. If the price would be halved I could recommend the game because it is not bad. It is just not fun enough to spend a huge amount of your time unless you have absolutely nothing else to play.