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Game Info:

Wave of Darkness
Developed by: Dreamatrix
Published by: Dreamatrix
Release Date: November 5. 2015
Available on: PC
Genre: RPG
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $29.99

Thank you Dreamatrix for sending us this game to review!

Wave of Darkness is the second in an action RPG trilogy made by Dreamatrix.  The first in the series is Legends of Dawn which was successfully Kickstarted in 2013 and was released the same year.  Sadly, the game didn’t fare to well and was eventually pulled off of Steam and relaunched with the word “Reborn” added to the title.  The negative reviews came back with a vengeance since not much was changed from the original release.  Despite Legends of Dawn’s failure, Wave of Darkness was successfully Kickstarted in April of 2015.  Since I haven’t played Legends of Dawn, I can’t compare the two, but I will say that if I backed this title I’d be disappointed.

The world of Narr is corrupted by many violent cults and calls for help have been increasing until they fell silent altogether.  It's your job as a human, elf, or Danian to solve this mystery and rid the land of the evil that plagues it.  There are four difficulties to choose from: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Legendary.  No matter what difficulty you choose, the enemies won’t go easy on you!

Though the game promises the ability to explore without limits or invisible walls to hold you back, it’s actually a false statement.  Instead of invisible walls, the world uses water that’s too deep and will kill your character in seconds if they try to cross it.  Even with the deep waters there’s plenty to do and explore in this open ended RPG.

Wave of Darkness
Highlights:

Strong Points: Open world RPG that lets you battle and explore wherever you please; good background music
Weak Points: Lackluster animations; not many NPCs to interact with; cumbersome inventory management
Moral Warnings: Bloody battles; swearing; magic use

The tutorial island will teach you the basics for collecting keys and runes to opening chests and foraging for herbs, ore, and other items for crafting weapons and armor.  It’s at this beginning island that you start to see some areas for improvement in this game.  The island only has a handful of NPCs to interact with and they don’t do anything but talk and stand still.  There are many NPCs in this game and many of them don’t even have dialogue.  When mining for ore or collecting wood, you simply have to right click on the target and the inventory box is brought up.  There is no animation or sound effect for mining or chopping wood.    

It won’t take long or much foraging to discover that you’re out of inventory spaces.  When in town be sure to buy and stock up on as many inventory bags as you can afford.  I was able to find a bag or two out in the wilderness, but they are not easy to come by.  In fact, if you want any decent items in game you’ll have to craft them yourself.  The biggest challenge in crafting is to have enough of the items required AND the space to store them all.  Spells can be crafted in a similar fashion.

Though the 3D graphics and feel of the game are similar to Diablo, the inventory and crafting mechanisms are much too cumbersome to my liking.   I like how other dungeon crawlers drop slightly better armor and weapons more frequently instead of relying on gathering and making room to store components to craft my own.  Since many of the reagents collected look the same, crafting is complicated even further.  Despite the lack of detail in the reagents, the enemies are nicely detailed and vary in their appearance and attack styles.  Like many dungeon crawler games, the view point is from a top down perspective.  

It’s up to the player to set the pace in the game.  You can take on storyline or side quests (with emotionless voice acting) or just explore and fight against carnivorous plants, insects, lizards, and sea monsters.  There are many rabid cult members that are blood thirsty as well.  The battles are gruesome with sprays of blood occurring with each strike of your weapon.  Some of the enemies are undead and others will hurl magic at you.  Many of your battles will be against cult members who are trying to make you their next sacrifice.  Their encampments often have piles of bodies that were former offerings to their gods.  Throughout the game some characters use swear words like d*mn and b*stard.

Wave of Darkness
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 62%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - -/5
Controls - -/5

Morality Score - 64%
Violence - 3.5/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Even though the voice acting didn’t impress me, I did enjoy the background music.  The visuals are a little dated, but they get the job done.  I was surprised to see this game lagging my powerful desktop system with only a handful of enemies on the screen.  Fortunately, it ran fine most of the time, but it still took me by surprise.  It’s unfortunate that there’s not many animations for the main character or the townspeople doing basic tasks.  The enemies, on the other hand, move fluidly when they’re attacking.  

When the main character is injured, they can drink a potion or eat some food to regenerate health at a faster pace.  Scattered throughout the maps are campfires which can be used in delayed intervals to recuperate fully.  In the event of a player’s death they are brought back to the last spawn point they set.  There’s a detailed map that will display icons for the save spots, teleportation stones, quest giving NPCs, and places of interest. 

Many of the classic RPG elements are here including stat and skill boosting to tweak your character to your liking.  You can specialize in particular weapons and make yourself immune to various elemental attacks.   With every new level you can get new skill points to allocate as you deem fit.

There are some promising aspects to Wave of Darkness, but in the end, I just couldn’t get immersed in this bland world.  If you like to kill and craft stuff, there is plenty to do.  In fact, there’s over one hundred and twenty-five Steam achievement for taking out hundreds of various enemy types.  As for me, I’ll stick with the dungeon crawlers that have better weapons and armor just around the corner.

 

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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