Demonicon Review (PC)
Richard Kolosowski makes all the right choices in this dark RPG
Demonicon, or to give it its proper name The Dark Eye – Demonicon, published by Kalypso Media is an Action RPG based on the German pen and paper role playing game ‘The Dark Eye’. This game is a little bit different from what you will be used to with modern RPG’s like the most recent Fallouts or Skyrim. This is evident as the story is very dark and the game is all about the story and your choices. The entire region has been taken over by demons and the only sanctuary is on the precipice of being ravaged by plague.
You play as Cairon, a young man with an unexplained past and some talent for magic and combat. As you progress you will learn the story so I will not spoil it here for you as the story is what makes this game engaging. In fact, the story is so good I would happily give whoever wrote it an award. Cairon has a sister Calandra, who in the first scene of the game has gone missing in a cave, and as a good brother you go looking for her. This is where you get your first taste of combat – and the combat system is good. It is based around the building up of combos. This is done by keeping your pace of combat high giving you some special melee and magic moves that are switchable by hotkey, I will say that the system is better on a gamepad compared to using a keyboard. The keyboard setup that comes as default is a bit clunky but you are able to remap it.
As you cut your way through your enemies, you will gain experience known as AP (adventure points) and GP (gift points). AP is for most of your skills like strength and courage and your trade skills and GP is for your magic skills like ice lance and nova. Now, the leveling system is a bit different (and to be honest a bit confusing at the start) as the tutorial may as well have not existed. Don’t let this phase you as it will become apparent what everything does as you play. The trade skills to me felt underwhelming however the modifications to weapons and armour was quite good.
Back to the story, and again I must emphasise that it is both brilliant and dark. One reason for this, is the choices that you get to make are not always good or bad. They are often just choices. The system for talking to NPC’s is a chat wheel where you can select options for more information, or use certain skills to uncover more chat options. The choice system has consequences for each action that shape the world you play in. The system left me feeling i was in control of the story and that immersion is what makes a good game.
One thing that I had heard about this game was that the graphics were poor and I think I’ll add my views on this. The cutscenes have dated graphics, yes it is instantly obvious, but you can see that the designers have tried to synchronise the characters to their speech. However, aside from the cutscenes I found the graphics to be average. They did not detract from the story, and a few bits and pieces here and there looked very good. Also the music in game fits very well and has obviously been well thought out. I never once thought I needed to turn it off. In fact, I felt it added to the game. The voice acting was also good, it felt like the characters were talking rather than an actor reading from a script. Although, on occasion if felt a bit overdone. For example, Cairon shouting a threat during a cut scene early on, I felt that a softly spoken threat – in this situation – would have been more appropriate to bring the scene to a close. All in all the graphics are dated and for some people that will be enough to put them off, but the overall audio and visual experience was good and you really should give this game a chance.
The price of the game has got to be discussed. This is not a title that I can say I knew much about, prior to playing, and I would have been put off with the price tag. However, the content you are getting for your money is great and the game is quite long. There is lots of exploring and lore gathering that you are able to reveal alongside the main story. The story is great but when it comes down to getting the money out your pocket the graphics are going to put a lot of people off. Personally, I would pay the cash for this title but – like in game – the choice is up to you.
4 daemons out of 5