By Mento 0 Comments
08/05/12 - Game #8
The source: Humble Indie Bundle #3
The pre-amble: Russian momentum-based flying tank duelling combat. Sounds kind of neat, right? Build momentum by spinning your weapon around your ship with careful flying and whack your opponent with it as hard as possible. Do this a sufficient amount of times before the opponent does this to you and you'll win the match - and continue the story, in the single player mode, which apparently involves a bunch of Middle Eastern civilizations warring with each other with these ridiculous machines.
The playthrough: Holy Christballs, is this game a clusterfuck. It's almost a glorious fiasco of a control scheme concept, sort of like Die By The Sword. In fact, I could compare this game to Die By The Sword all day and how they share that massive discrepancy between how the controls are clearly supposed to work and how reality will often have other ideas for overambitious coding. I hesitate it to call it a good game, or even a fun game to play, but it's weirdly entertaining to watch. This insanity is exacerbated with the incomprehensible plot of a young "Gaiar" tribesman attempting to ingratiate himself in the world of floating hammer fighting machine riders and the local giant worm-hunting guild, before everything goes to shit with some swarthy motherfuckers that suddenly appear with flying machines with giant serrated knives and gatling guns.
Frankly, as odd as all this sounds, it's nothing compared to how this actually plays. Because your blunt weapon has some considerable weight to it (since it's supposed to hurt when you spin them around into enemies) there's a lot of compensating for that weight while you try to guide the craft's flight around with the mouse. Everything is controlled by the mouse, including some secondary mode activated by the mouse buttons that I was unable to fathom, so it's not like there was some overly elaborate control scheme I was unable to get to grips with. The flying's very much more Flight Control than A-10C Warthog in terms of flight simulation complexity. It just all felt very wrong. Well, not wrong exactly, because I can believe that a helicopter with a giant hammer attached to it would probably control precisely as badly as the game's interpretation. Awkward's probably the word I'm looking for. Wait, I have a good comparison: Carmageddon 2 after you pick up that ball and chain power-up - anyone who knows what I'm talking about here now has a vivid approximation of how this game controls all the time.
As an added bonus, the mouse sensitivity remained maxed out after quitting the game, which meant I had to head into my Control Panel and tinker with it - after a few tries to line up the cursor without overshooting the right button - so that was fun. It's always a good sign when games mess around with your system settings and don't change them back. Always.
The verdict: I want to say "no", or perhaps "hell no", but I can't imagine I'll stay away forever; it's like some grand cryptic mystery of a game that demands to be solved, even if that way madness lies.