I admit it. I used a lot of sleazy tactics to weasel my way through Legend of Grimrock. It was utterly reprehensible. I’m ashamed of myself. For those of you who did likewise, this game is our just reward.

They’ve beefed up their anti-sleaze defenses quite a bit here in what I can only assume is a deliberate effort to stop scumbags like me. You can forget about pulling monsters back to a gate one by one and then opening and closing the gate to avoid damage when the doors slam shut and lock you in a small room.

They’re going to make me work for it??

Remember the good old run-around-a-2×2-square-so-they-can’t-hit-you routine? It still kind of works, but it’s a lot harder to pull off when you’re in the aforementioned small room with two or more monsters who can do things like spit acid on the floor and drop AOE attacks. Get a little lazy and before you know it they trap you in a corner and it’s over. F9.

While the punishment may be well-deserved, that doesn’t make it any less of a drag. There’s a general formula to this game which goes: enter room –> door closes –> fight monsters –> door opens. You can see it coming, and after a while it evokes only a sigh of resignation as each new ordeal, much the same as the last, draws near.

Fire, strafe, turn, fire, strafe…

There’s not much variety or progression to the enemies and they can absorb a ton of damage, which made the battles a real grind; and that was with a more dps-oriented character, too. Not to mention, I was playing a rifle spec because I had big plans that involved running away a lot, and it turns out that ammo can be pretty scarce until the very end. So much of the time I had to switch to some lousy melee weapon I barely knew how to use just to conserve bullets. No respec-ing, either.

Even the environments are kind of dreary and monotonous, although technically speaking it does look really good for an indie. Maybe that comes with the territory in these steampunk sort of worlds; but it doesn’t seem like they explored the potential of the environment very enthusiastically. I mean, it’s a big tower on the ocean, yet they never take advantage of this dramatic location. Once the doors slam shut, you could be anywhere. Would have been nice if they showed you a little more variety as you went along to liven things up.

The whole place pretty much looks like this

Don’t mean to come down too hard on this game. It’s not so bad; and to be fair Legend of Grimrock had some of the same issues. There’s a story, too, by the way. I put off mentioning it because (just between you and me) I wasn’t really paying attention to the logs you find until they actually started to seem important later in the game, and at that point I wasn’t going to go back and read them all to catch up. The part I did see near the end seemed ok, though.

More rusty tunnels

Maybe I’m just bitter because they shut down my slimeball combat tactics. Can’t they just unlock the doors and free me to be the man I was meant to be?

Come on, give me a little breathing room and four contiguous tiles and I’ll take on the world!

Developer: Fatbot Games

Publisher: Fatbot Games

Purchased on: Steam

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