Gamersmint Review : Din’s Curse
With almost no pre-release publicity, Dinâ€™s Curse, an ARPG game was unleashed upon unaware gamer folks. Developed by Soldak Entertainment, an independent gaming company, having little to no recognition previously for their RPGs like Depths of Peril and Kivi’s Underworld, Dinâ€™s Curse gave them a chance to breach the barrier of â€œlittle knownâ€ and take their work to the next level but does this game manage to create a ripple in the Hack n Slash RPG segment which is dominated mostly by the Diablo series or does it get lost among the hundreds of other Diablo clones to come before it? Time to find out!
The story of Dinâ€™s Curse is like a traditional fantasy RPG, but a lot more simplistic. A demi god Din has apparently placed you under a curse for being a bad ass in your life, so as a process of redemption and punishment alike, you are to save towns in the land of Aleria from the monsters that dwell within and gain reputation by solving quests of the townsfolk. So basically, you undertake quests, hack and slash your way through the dungeons, gather the loot, level up and lock heads with a final villain before moving on to the next town after solving all the main quests of the previous, hence one step further to fulfilling your redemption process.
But what basically separates this game from others is its frantic pace. Dinâ€™s Curse, unlike other RPGs, never gives you much respite in between quests. So forget Diablo, where you could just go on hunting lvl1 pig monsters, level up to zenith and then initiate an attack. The game world here plays out on its own via a unique Event System which gives you notices about important events like monster uprisings, plagues and attacks upon your town. So suppose, you get a notice that a particular uprising is taking place in the dungeons and you slack around and donâ€™t do anything about it. Then what will happen is these monsters will make it to your town (as each town has a direct entry gate to the dungeon), and start wreaking havoc there. Failure to stop these monsters will result in kidnapping of townsfolk (for which you have to rescue them) and even death of important members of the town. If all of the three important people who give you your main quests, Warmaster, Steward and Apothecary are killed (Din can not be killed), you will lose your town and you wonâ€™t have any choice but to generate a new town to play. So many a times while you are deep down in the dungeon, a notice will come off that your town is under attack by monsters or assassins or a plague has been unleashed by their big boss, and then you have to rush back to the town to save the townsfolk. This pacing is what makes this game unique, as you actually feel for the world rather than leisurely idling around.
Again, unlike traditional RPGs, the quests have a dynamic pacing to themselves. Some quests are automatically cancelled if you are late in taking them up. For example, a quest of saving a certain townsfolk is failed if you didnâ€™t heed to the quest within a given time. Certain other quests, like â€œGo Kill the Beast before itâ€™s too lateâ€, means you have to actually rush through the dungeons and kill the beast, because you never know when he manages to cause an uprising which results in the untimely failure of the quest. Again, some quests are automatically â€œsolvedâ€ without your knowing or undertaking them. For example, if you already killed that Champion Monster while rushing through a particular dungeon, approaching the right person (who can be in the dungeon or in the town) will automatically give you the required reputation and experience points for solving the quest. That being said, the Quests have variety and even some surprises to them but traditionally range from killing that monster, collecting those objects, activating the portals etc. Once all quests are completed and the main boss bites the dust, you will get loads of loot off a chest via Din and a victory screen to determine the relative difficulty of the next town to save. So completing quests, prioritizing quests (not all quests can be rushed and completed), taking heed to the event system (protecting the town, stopping the uprising etc.) and being alert and active is the priority here.Â Â Blindly taking quests and completing them leisurely like other Rpgs will get you nowhere but to a Game Over screen.
Speaking more on the â€œDynamicâ€ nature of this game, the entire world, the towns and the various levels of dungeons are randomly generated, so no two playing experiences or dungeons are same. Each Dungeon and Town has their own layout, monsters and people. The dungeons, in particular, have a life of its own. Enter a dungeon, and you will be surprised by the monsters bickering among themselves and dropping loot in the process. Other RPGs traditionally had them monsters amassing to horde against you. In Dinâ€™s Curse, unless you attack their group or faction, chances are they will not bother about you. These monster groups sometimes declare war on each other, and often they start an uprising.Â This doesnâ€™t mean they will not notice you at all. You have to fend off hordes of monsters and baddies alike whilst traversing through the treacherous levels. The dungeon always plays out for itself, with enemies actually gaining levels by killing other monsters and if undisturbed, will reach the champion status in no time. The levels have many traps and tricks aswell. You can flip that lever to let the dungeon roof fall upon on enemies, or trigger a poison trap in the dungeon to wellâ€¦poison the monsters. But you have to be careful not to let yourself fall in the trap.
Now letâ€™s talk about the actual skill and character development systems. Character development plays out like other traditional RPGs. As stated earlier, completing quests helps you gain reputation and experience points (XP). Reputation gives you access to precious items and gifts from townsfolk occasionally and XP gives enables you to gain levels and hence, gain skill points to invest in the various character attributes (Strength, Vitality, Dexterity, etc.) and also in the Skill Set in order to gain access to deadly skills. The Skill sets are deep and varied and unique for each class. Right when the game begins, you have to choose between classes. The main classes are Warrior, Rogue, Priest, Wizard, Ranger and Conjurer with an additional Hybrid Class. Usually, each class has three skill set trees, like Warrior class has Gladiator, Weapon Master and Defender skill trees. The Hybrid class however, offers combination of two classes, but only with two skill set trees rather than three present in other classes.