Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

Turn-based party RPG in the traditions of the old school, inspired by The Temple of Elemental Evil and Baldur’s Gate – it seemed that such a game in the current conditions, when the “old school”, as they say, is in trend, has every chance of at least local success among a sympathetic public . However, in the face of Demons Age, we got a rare example of a case where the authors still went too far with the “old school”.Demons Age game review

Even such giants do not cause any special problems.

No chance, no options

I already wrote a preview of an early version of Demons Age, but I didn’t say at the time that the game was made on the OGL 3.5 desktop system, which is well known and compatible with AD&D. However, all fans of such advanced role-playing mechanics will be rather disappointed.

Detailed character generation was not in the early version, nor is it in the full version. Only the ability to choose a race was added, having received starting bonuses and penalties: halflings, for example, get +2 to dexterity and -2 to strength, and dwarves – +2 to physique and -2 to charisma. There are also humans, elves and their dark relatives. There are only five classes – thief, ranger, cleric, warrior and mage.

No special creative experiments with “pumping” are provided – at each new level, the main characteristics increase automatically. Plus, we can lift them with equipment. In the preview, I hoped that we would at least be allowed to determine for ourselves which skill to learn at a new level, but in the end this was not given either – the characters themselves receive new abilities. And if magicians and clerics really gradually open up some interesting spells, then warriors and shooters are clearly cheated – in addition to the standard attack, they are allowed to use as much as a full one, with which two or three hits in a row occur at once. Generosity, you see, incredible …

Intolerant party

We start in splendid isolation, but then other characters can join the hero. Basically, we buy mercenaries in taverns, which can be reached on the global map. At the same time, do not expect some prescribed individuals with their skeletons in the closet, opinions for all occasions and personal quests.Demons Age game review

Periodically, you need to solve simple puzzles to open a door.

At most, you should take into account their personal preferences in terms of relations with other races. That is, someone, for example, does not like the dark elves or considers all halflings to be thieves, someone himself comes from goblins and is offended when they are killed, and someone is generally a pacifist and believes that every life is sacred. And in the very first fight, when you kill a goblin, he can betray you and go over to the side of the enemy. All this must be taken into account, the party must be selected so that no one sticks a knife in the back. This is perhaps the only really interesting and in its own way unique feature of Demons Age.

Demons and criminals

Approximately the same level of diversity awaits us in the plot. The story is classic for the desktop – perhaps even too classic. As usual, demons try to break down the barriers that keep them from entering the world of humans, elves, and dwarves. And we must stop all this and save everyone.

An interesting detail here could be the fact that we play for a criminal (or a criminal) who was taken on a ship to prison. Then, as usual, a storm began, and our hero was almost the only survivor. Each of the sixteen possible characters that you can create at the start has its own list of crimes and its own punishment. But in the future, this is not played up in any way – they say, complete the first two orders, and we will forgive you everything and forget everything.

And off we go – kill the goblin king, then the orc king, then some other lord who betrayed the king and allowed the demons to cloud his mind. Side quests that can be taken from the notice board in taverns are also not very diverse – find three necklaces/five pumpkins/two rare ingredients, collect five secret letters, and so on.

Walking in full 3D on the global map in Demons Age is also quite boring – there are random skirmishes, especially frequent when the party is automatically settled for the night at sunset. But that’s all – there are no more interesting meetings, for example, with merchants or quest characters. There is no need to take care of resources, food for party members during an overnight stay, or to protect the camp either.

Demons Age game review

Dialogue lines cannot be selected.

Magic is the strongest!

In fact, all of the above is not so scary when it comes to adapting a classic desktop module according to the rules of an advanced role-playing system. Yes, linearly, yes, without much frills and moral dilemmas, the plot is centered around battles. Even automatic “pumping” can be forgiven – if it’s really interesting to play and fight. Moreover, no one canceled the competent selection of the party and equipment here.

However, the problem is that fighting is interesting and difficult in Demons Age only at first. Turn-based combat itself is not too whimsical from a tactical point of view. On your turn, you can move, use a skill or a spell. Features of the landscape, the difference in heights, traps, some special conditions when you need to hold out for so many moves or protect an important character – none of this is here.

But the imbalance is finishing the situation. Take two magicians to the party, and life will immediately get better. All the way they will use two or three spells that decide the outcome of almost all battles – poison with poison, launch fireballs that cause huge damage over the area, and increase the stamina of the “tanks” in time. And that’s it – nothing else is needed, all fights turn into a routine.

I will not dissemble – I passed on the normal level of difficulty. On “Suicide”, perhaps, in this regard, everything is more interesting. But, you see, a game in which all the battles turn into a routine on the “normal” is no longer good.

Demons Age game review

The graphics in the game look, to put it mildly, outdated.

***

Demons Age could become a real outlet for connoisseurs of classic turn-based RPGs, tailored according to the patterns of “old school” board games – without the ubiquitous moral choice and spectacular cutscenes, but with complex tactical battles and interesting “pumping” of characters. However, there are no interesting, variable role-playing and combat systems here – everything is too primitive and monotonous.

Pros: classic turn-based party RPG mechanics; many items of equipment; partners can betray at the most inopportune moment.

Cons: boring plot; primitive quests; the role-playing system does not imply variability and choice; imbalance in classes and battles; outdated graphics.

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