Some time ago, I told you a story about Din’s Curse, the main idea being that the inspiration came from the Diablo series, but with some improvements that managed to make this game stand out from the other hack’n’slash clones. Earlier this year, the godly curse made a comeback with a standard add-on, where you can find all the stuff you would expect to have “new” written in front: quests, options, monsters, loot, plus one more class to join the already existing six.
Basically, there’s no major change: no story, just the idea that, after some evil doing in your life, you must redeem yourself by saving a whole bunch of cities from monster invasions. Now however we’ve got the undead, who are already fighting the known enemies (hence, the title). The problem is that everyone thinks it’s the humans fault that the war started in the first place, so everyone will jump on the “kill them all” bandwagon. It’s true they fight each other, but if you show up, they will join forces to skin you alive. This goes on until you get enough reputation so that Din (the God putting you to community work) considers you redeemed; usually, it takes at least 3-4 saved towns and as few failed missions as possible in order to reach salvation.
What made the original stand out from all the Diablo clones is also featured in Demon War, with even more options. Besides choosing your character, the world you play in is randomly generated and you can make it as hard or as easy as you like. You don’t want your city attacked? Uncheck the option. You want a hardcore mode where the hero, once dead, stays dead? Check that. You want to wear only cursed objects? Check that too. More experience, slow or fast moving and living NPCs, more powerful, but less monsters, easier monsters, but in huge crowds? Got that too, so that any kind of player can feel at ease with his or hers heroic deeds.
Demon War also sports one extra class (Demon Hunter, just coincidentally named after the one in Diablo III…), which takes the specializations up to 21 and the total number of mixes to 196. Once more, there’s a choice for anyone, and any experiment is possible thanks to the option to create a hybrid hero.
Probably the most obvious and important change is the NPCs behavior in town. In the first game, they were attacked by monsters or died from magic or diseases; now they play a much more consistent role and you really have to take care of them. They have different personalities, happiness levels and their own inventory, to give them useless items. They get married, divorce and even go mad if life treats them badly or switch over to the “dark side” if they believe themselves betrayed by humanity.
But most often, living in a constantly attacked world, they starve and die if you don’t give them some gold. Unfortunately, this happens too often and you just have to constantly go back to town to give away for free your hard earned money. Those NPCs that go haywire even become quest subjects, since you are tasked to go after them and put them out of their misery. Other times, they even decide to go adventuring on their own and go to the dungeons to solve your missions. Dude, you’re obviously no hero if you cannot solve six quests at a time!
At some point, since all these events just keep on going without your control, you might get overwhelmed. Fortunately, the options to slow down things come into play and, if you didn’t go through Din’s Curse, it’s better to use them in the beginning, just to understand the dynamics of the game.
The gameplay itself is typical for a hack’n’slash, since all you have to do is click like crazy to kill everything that looks at you funny. Loot is as rich and random as before; if you’re lucky, you can find rare or set items that are worth keeping and using until you find all of them. The monsters now come in greater numbers, along with zombies and skeletons coming out of the ground and you even get an option to have invading waves of enemies attacking the town every few minutes. Of course, not all players like this kind of warfare, but the most important word here is uncertainty. You never know what might happen next.