Din's Curse: Demon War (PC) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 05.12.2011
What can Din's Curse offer that other dungeon crawlers don't? Find out inside.
Title: Din's Curse: Demon War
Publisher: Masque Publishing
Developer: Soldak Entertainment
Players: No limit
While the action-RPG market may be dominated by games like Diablo II and Torchlight, an indie company has a hidden gem that's enjoyable: Din's Curse.
The game has been available since 2010, but the developer, Soldak Entertainment, just recently released the Demon War expansion. So, we'll be doing this review over the expansion, but it will include quite a bit about the original game as well.
The plot of the game is a bit forgetful. So forgetful, in fact, that I forgot what it was until I started a new city. Your main character, whatever you name him, was a jerk in the first life. After dying a pathetic death, the god Din makes you come back to life and help a town out. As you help them, your reputation will increase, which will eventually let you lift the curse and die again.
Your reputation can increase by helping out citizens, which, of course, involves completing quests. However, it can decrease by failing quests or by having the citizens die.
That's right, citizens can die. And not just worthless ones, either. You can lose quest givers, shopkeepers and more. They can also die in various ways. I had a decent amount starve to death, although a few fell in random monster attacks on the town.
The citizens are actually pretty self-sufficient in towns. While they can starve, I also noticed that they can complete quests that you're tasked to do, as well as randomly leaving and entering the town. During the first dungeon I went to, I came back out to find one of my quests had failed because another villager got the tails instead.
The game now features seven different classes, with the Demon War expansion adding Demon Hunter. While you can just be one of the classes, the real fun lies in the hybrid classes. The main difference is main classes get three specialties, while hybrids only get two. The good thing, though is that the two specialties can come from any of the classes. So, you can have a warrior that can launch fireballs or heal. I decided to be a Demon Hunter with healing abilities. After all, I needed some way to stay alive from the enemies.
Like the towns in the game, the dungeons are also randomized. Some can be simple with only a few enemies in each location, while others can seem to go on forever with dozens of mobs. Enemies also respawn, even while you're in the dungeon. So, if you're running low on supplies and need to escape, be prepared to either fight or flee on your way out.
The expansion adds three new types of enemies (Rylor, Krall and Vortar) that you won't face until you're higher levels. There are a few varieties of each kind, and plenty of other monsters to face as well. Monsters don't get along, either, so when dungeons start mixing quite a few varieties together you can often find huge brawls already happening. Unless you feel like jumping into the fray, I often just sat back and reaped the rewards dropped.
Like most dungeon-crawlers, the loot is where the games depth is, and the loot can be hit or miss. In some games, I would find excellent loot early and often, letting me breeze through enemies, while other games would give me the bare minimum and take hours of grinding to find a decent weapon or piece of armor. This is by no way the fault of the game, it's just the random nature of loot.
Also in the game are quite a few ways to change the world via options. If you want to breeze through the game quickly, you can set it so that enemies are a breeze to kill and give a ton of XP. Likewise, if you want a challenge, you can have tons of enemies in the world that can quickly destroy you, meaning stealth plays a lot larger role. It's completely up to you, and just helps add to the random feel of the game.
The game does feature a multiplayer aspect, but doesn't cap how many people could be in it. In theory, you could have dozens running a dungeon, as long as someone is hosting the server. However, the game seems best when you just have a few friends helping you take dungeons on, as it means you see more action and battles with a bigger share of the loot.
The graphics in the game definitely won’t push any boundaries. They’re similar to what you see in Diablo II days. While this may annoy some people, it shouldn’t be a surprise, as they’re an indie studio. Plus, it allows more people with average computers to pick up and try the game.
The sound suffers the same problem. It’s very average at best. Sometimes, it can get a tad bit repetitive, but isn’t terrible. Often, though, I’d just play some music in the background to drown it out.
Town constantly changes with random events.
Hybrid classes allows for thousands of combinations.
Plenty of options to fine-tune how you want to play.
Graphics are definitely on the low-end of the scale.
Random nature of game can sometimes lead to difficult dungeons.
Can sometimes lose important people in town.
The 411: Overall, Din's Curse offers a fun action-RPG feel with a big reliance on random happenings. The random feel is what gives the game its charm, as one minute you can be helping feed your villagers, while the next monsters can swarm your town, killing your salesmen off. If you're a fan of Diablo and Torchlight, Din's Curse may entertain you while you wait for Diablo III.
The graphics look like something you would have seen in the mid-90s. While they aren't anything special, they at least get the job done.
What really sets the game apart from other action-RPGs is its random feature, which makes the game enjoyable.
The sound is alright, but nothing memorable. Honestly, after listening to it for a bit, I just flipped on iTunes instead.
With the amount of options and class choices in the game, along with the random nature, you'll never run out of new ways to play the game.
While the occasional death of a towns-person could get a bit annoying, the game was always enjoyable to play.