Mento's May Madness: #7 - Greed: Black Border

01/05/12 - Amnesia: The Dark Descent12/05/12 - Nimbus24/05/12 - Chime
02/05/12 - Blocks That Matter13/05/12 - Puzzle Bots25/05/12 - Diamond Dan
03/05/12 - Capsized14/05/12 - Rhythm Zone27/05/12 - Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
04/05/12 - Delve Deeper15/05/12 - Starscape28/05/12 - The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom
05/05/12 - Eufloria17/05/12 - Tobe's Vertical Adventure30/05/12 - Gemini Rue
06/05/12 - Frozen Synapse18/05/12 - Uplink: Hacker Elite
07/05/12 - Greed: Black Border19/05/12 - Zen Bound 2
08/05/12 - Hammerfight20/05/12 - Max Payne 2
10/05/12 - Lume21/05/12 - A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda
11/05/12 - Machinarium23/05/12 - Avadon: The Black Fortress

07/05/12 - Game #7

The game: ClockStone Software's Greed: Black Border

The source: Xmas/New Year Sale 2010/2011

The pre-amble: Joining such paragons of the Action RPG field like Alien Syndrome for Wii and, uh, Space Siege comes this Diablo-clone but in space from small Austrian studio ClockStone Software. Choose between three classes and do the usual Diablo business of exploring dungeons spaceships, killing zombies space zombies and finding treasure treasure.

The playthrough: I don't recall why I bought this game. I mean, I played both those hyperlinked games above and let me tell you, I'm not sure I could've been more underwhelmed. Less underwhelmed? Turns out this game is very much following in their extremely generic, tedious footsteps.

The first warning, in retrospect, was that the three "classes" you were allowed to choose from are only separated by how suited they are to close-, mid- and long-range combat with apparently little else to distinguish them playstyle-wise. Since I always play ranged types in this kind of game, I went with the "long-range" class, which turned out to be some sort of lady scientist with a plasma rifle. Escorting Lady Plasmalade through the first floor of the spaceship, which took almost two hours incidentally, I met approximately three types of enemies, four types of item drop and at least one poorly devised timing-based trap that ended up killing me almost a dozen times. I can't say that I was particularly impressed thus far.

Honestly, there is so little else to say about this game. Besides "it's not good". I don't doubt savvier minds than mine would've seen it for what it was from the screenshots and trailers and walked away. Maybe I thought the sci-fi Diablo clone had some steam (or some sort of futuristic super-fuel equivalent) to it, despite having been disappointed twice before by such a premise. Guess I'm not one for pattern recognition. Going off on a tangent for a moment, I'm not even sure what the point is of emulating a popular game so closely without augmenting the model with any sort of innovation of your own to set your game apart. Like, what was the plan, here? "People seem to like Diablo, maybe they'd enjoy a lesser version of the exact same thing"? If they're borrowing a pre-existing format to base their game on, designers really ought to work extra hard to make sure their product evolves or improves on that format in some way, otherwise everyone will invariably choose the more popular, more established option. But hey, it's not like this was the first Diablo knock-off to try their luck with nothing up their sleeves. I guess I could be a little more lenient. I guess. I'd say it was on par with similar games with higher production values, so that's a plus at least. I always like to end on a plus.

The verdict: No way, Horsey.

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2 Comments
2 Comments
Posted by Mento
01/05/12 - Amnesia: The Dark Descent12/05/12 - Nimbus24/05/12 - Chime
02/05/12 - Blocks That Matter13/05/12 - Puzzle Bots25/05/12 - Diamond Dan
03/05/12 - Capsized14/05/12 - Rhythm Zone27/05/12 - Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
04/05/12 - Delve Deeper15/05/12 - Starscape28/05/12 - The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom
05/05/12 - Eufloria17/05/12 - Tobe's Vertical Adventure30/05/12 - Gemini Rue
06/05/12 - Frozen Synapse18/05/12 - Uplink: Hacker Elite
07/05/12 - Greed: Black Border19/05/12 - Zen Bound 2
08/05/12 - Hammerfight20/05/12 - Max Payne 2
10/05/12 - Lume21/05/12 - A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda
11/05/12 - Machinarium23/05/12 - Avadon: The Black Fortress

07/05/12 - Game #7

The game: ClockStone Software's Greed: Black Border

The source: Xmas/New Year Sale 2010/2011

The pre-amble: Joining such paragons of the Action RPG field like Alien Syndrome for Wii and, uh, Space Siege comes this Diablo-clone but in space from small Austrian studio ClockStone Software. Choose between three classes and do the usual Diablo business of exploring dungeons spaceships, killing zombies space zombies and finding treasure treasure.

The playthrough: I don't recall why I bought this game. I mean, I played both those hyperlinked games above and let me tell you, I'm not sure I could've been more underwhelmed. Less underwhelmed? Turns out this game is very much following in their extremely generic, tedious footsteps.

The first warning, in retrospect, was that the three "classes" you were allowed to choose from are only separated by how suited they are to close-, mid- and long-range combat with apparently little else to distinguish them playstyle-wise. Since I always play ranged types in this kind of game, I went with the "long-range" class, which turned out to be some sort of lady scientist with a plasma rifle. Escorting Lady Plasmalade through the first floor of the spaceship, which took almost two hours incidentally, I met approximately three types of enemies, four types of item drop and at least one poorly devised timing-based trap that ended up killing me almost a dozen times. I can't say that I was particularly impressed thus far.

Honestly, there is so little else to say about this game. Besides "it's not good". I don't doubt savvier minds than mine would've seen it for what it was from the screenshots and trailers and walked away. Maybe I thought the sci-fi Diablo clone had some steam (or some sort of futuristic super-fuel equivalent) to it, despite having been disappointed twice before by such a premise. Guess I'm not one for pattern recognition. Going off on a tangent for a moment, I'm not even sure what the point is of emulating a popular game so closely without augmenting the model with any sort of innovation of your own to set your game apart. Like, what was the plan, here? "People seem to like Diablo, maybe they'd enjoy a lesser version of the exact same thing"? If they're borrowing a pre-existing format to base their game on, designers really ought to work extra hard to make sure their product evolves or improves on that format in some way, otherwise everyone will invariably choose the more popular, more established option. But hey, it's not like this was the first Diablo knock-off to try their luck with nothing up their sleeves. I guess I could be a little more lenient. I guess. I'd say it was on par with similar games with higher production values, so that's a plus at least. I always like to end on a plus.

The verdict: No way, Horsey.

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........

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Moderator
Posted by ArbitraryWater

This is pretty much my view on most Diablo imitators. Even competent ones like Torchlight have this problem for me, where they really aren't doing anything better than Diablo II so why would I bother to play a lesser version of that? Yes, sure, the first act of D2 is a horrible, bland, grind of an experience, but that can be mitigated by playing with a bunch of people. Also at least it is vaguely challenging on the default difficulty, something that Torchlight isn't.

As for this game in particular... it just sounds bad.