Legend Of Grimrock 2: Review - Games Weekly

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Legend Of Grimrock 2: Review

A bit over two years ago, Almost Human released Legend of Grimrock, a delightfully retro turn based 3D RPG that brought back many pleasant memories of Eye of the Beholder, Bard’s Tale, Ultima Underworld and more. It harkened back to a time when maps were things you meticulously drew on grid paper, taking care to note the location of any trap, switch or object that may be important later in the game. Legend of Grimrock 2 takes this basic premise and expands on it, taking players from a simple but well-designed dungeon to an equally well designed island full of mystery, traps, monsters, carefully structured maps and an enigmatic douchebag called the Island Master who seems to think putting a party of stranded shipwreck survivors (and prisoners) through a series of challenges is a logical and rational way to spend his time.

Starting with a group of four adventurers, either pre-generated for basic balance of player created, the party must make its way through the island, equipping themselves with whatever they can find - sticks, bones and rocks are the only weapons to begin with and developing themselves to the point that they can face the challenges of the Island Master. The first challenge, faced within an hour or so of starting are Viper Vines, two giant, cranky poison spewing plant monsters that pose a real threat. Although by this point players will have killed their fair share of turtles, skeletons and maybe some fish men, the Viper Vines are really the first example of the nuance of the combat and movement mechanics.
The first challenge, faced within an hour or so, are the Viper Vines, two giant, cranky poison spewing plant monsters that pose a real threat
 As with the original game, players move a space at a time and can make an attack with their equipped weapon by using the number pad or right clicking on the hand wielding the weapon. Standing directly in front of an enemy and bashing away is definitely a tactic that can be utilized, but only if you’re not too fond of your characters and want to see them die. Monsters move in the same turn by turn manner as players, so it’s possible to use strafe around monsters to attack them from the side and avoid their attacks. By carefully timing movement and attacks it’s possible to jink in and out of range, dealing damage without taking any, or at least too much, in return. The idea of circle strafing in a turn based game may sound a little strange, but it’s definitely one of the major keys to staying alive in Grimrock.

In keeping with the old-school appeal of the mechanics, Grimrock 2 gives players the option to play the game like an old fashioned game, by opting to play with no saves, or only limited saves at the glowing blue crystal save points. For those who enjoy the freedom of saving anywhere and not having to constantly restart there are also some standard difficulty levels as well, making old fashioned, traditionally punishing RPG fun accessible to a new generation of gamers.


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