a game by Gas Powered Games Corp.
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8.5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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Here Are Few games officially endorsed by a Swedish pop star, but eagle-eyed fans out there may know that Basshunter wrote an entire song about playing Demigod. Well not this Demigod, but its father, the map/mod for Warcraft III Defence of the Ancients. In much the same way as DOTA, Demigod has you take control of a central hero (in this case a demigod) to do battle with the other demigods to seize control of the pantheon and take the place of the Allfather, who just died.

Sadly, that sentence of storyline came solely from the website, and Demigod itself is almost totally bereft of story or lore. This is even more disappointing when you take a look at some of the cooler characters - like The Rook, a gigantic walking castle with a hammer - and wonder where they came from. I hate to set the tone for Demigod so negatively, but it lacks a satisfying core -what you see, is what you get.

The demigod that you choose is tied to a specific (and generic) path. They range from the aforementioned Rook - a heavily armoured and deadly, but understandably slow melee diety - and others, like the Oak who can protect allies and raise dead units as spirits.

Each game is centred around a map with several different flags that must be held by your forces. As you fight through them you gain gold and experience, the latter of which can be spent in a Diablo-style skill tree, levelling up skills over the course of the map. Experience is earned by completing objectives which involve either killing rival demigods and their minions, destroying buildings, or capturing flags.

Bad Balance

The crux is that you only control your demigod, and the Al-controlled minions spill forth from portals that are part of the map's objectives. Control these portals and you can effectively overwhelm the enemy, which is particularly good for winning fortress games. However, if you control a lot of gold mines, you can equip the demigods on your side with power artifacts that, by and large, give rather unfair advantages if used correctly. You can even control points that give large boons to your experience, which in part makes the game a great deal more exciting.

You see, one of the largest problems with Demigod is the pacing. The first five or so minutes of any match starting characters at level 1 are the dullest in gaming history. Until you reach level 10, your character isn't much more complex than Red Alerts Tanya. Past that, games become less about tactics and more about button-mashing abilities, a kind of low-fi version of World of Warcrafts PvP. While there's room for tactical play (for example, the Unclean Beast can blow up several minions at once, causing massive damage at later levels) too much of the game is either a giant bundle or trying to walk towards a giant bundle.

This counts for both online and the God-awful single-player campaign which is nothing but a selection of skirmish maps and a so-called tournament, which is just a series of skirmish maps in a row. Even once you become adept at the game, bad players on either side can make any match a bore. Too hard, and you'll find yourself steam-rolled in a maelstrom of clipped NPCs and spells, too easy and your game's over before you can pass level 8.

It's Not Tetley

This is where a core to the game would have helped. The big selling point has been The Pantheon - a "persistent online world" which boils down to playing the same maps again and again to gain favour points. These points carry over between games, and you can use them for somewhat dull and ineffectual rewards. The light or the darkness can win, and that's about it. There's no goal, no point, no story, no real thrust to keep going once you've exhausted all of the maps. They're not even big enough to have any real complexity, and by the time you round out your character through levelling, the game tends to be over.

This isn't to say Demigod is bad. It's a functional, relatively enjoyable RTS-RPG game, with a few hours of fun to squeeze out of it if you're willing to pass the growing pains. It's more akin to getting home to a lukewarm bath and the end of a pot of tea rather than an immensely satisfying conclusion. Those who enjoyed DOTA will like the graphical upgrades and some WOW PvPers may like that they have little or no control over the battle.

For the rest of us, there's at most a few hours of fun to be had before you get worn down by the endless monotony. Demigod needed more maps, an actual single-player campaign, and a greater degree of character persistence to even compete with any of the other online RTS games out there.

Demigod Selection

The differences between the Pantheon's avatars

While all the demigods are warriors they're split between Assassins, solo fighters who wade into the melee, and Generals who use troops or magic to attack while staying out of the fray. The Rook, an Assassin, summons groups of archers onto his mighty shoulders and has a big hammer, while the Queen of Thorns orders plant creatures to tear you apart. Meanwhile, Lord Erebus leaches life and causing damage from afar, and the Unclean Beast stuns, paralyzes and saps the life of any humanoid, up close, and has a primary attack that causes a staggering amount of damage. But without reliable people backing you, these intricacies are lost as you're run over by a rush of four other demigods.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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