When Daemonsgate was finally released after several delays in 1993, I was prepared to dislike it on principle alone -- afterall, like so many RPG fans at the time, I was desperate for a consuming, compelling and fun CRPG -- how could the designers keep us waiting like this? But, to my delight, the wait was most definitely worth it! Despite the interface being moderately weak and annoying, Daemonsgate's other qualities lived up to and surpassed the hype surrounding its release. In a fairly straightforward story, your character, Captain Gustavus of the Imperial Tormishan Guard simply has to free his besieged city, Tormis, from the evil demonic horde apparently intent on total destruction. It's through the trials and tribulations of your on screen alter ego that the fun plays out in this absorbing, well designed romp through the land of Nestor, whether it's trying to convince up to seven others to join as party companions or sifting through meaningful quests to get the job done.
Daemonsgate is a "smart" game. It features literally hundreds of non-player characters to encounter, most with the endearing quality of being able to comment on various topics you query them about. In fact, this system is the major tool for learning about the environment and what's happening in the kingdom. The knowledge base builds as the game progresses and the game very neatly and automatically keeps track of your growing pool of important topics, people and locations by way of a pull down menu. The perspective is at most times a top-down, bird's eye view and although dated by today's standards (c.1998), the VGA graphics are still quite adequate. The major complaint deals with the somewhat awkward interface that could have used more keyboard hotkeys and better integrated screen functionality. All too often you have to switch between important screens instead of being able to view related data in one view (such as character attributes and inventory) and some of the object usage and manipulation is unnecessarily cumbersome. But, given the other strengths of the game, this shortcoming can be dealt with and forgiven.
Both the magic and combat systems used in Daemonsgate are intuitive, varied and enjoyable to manage. Combat gives you multiple options of control and although battles are conducted in real time you are given the opportunity to stop the action at any time to issue orders or take control from the computer if you opted to let the computer fight the battle (a nice feature). Magic is made up of components in three main areas: elemental, herbs and demonology and you must learn, practice and master these sources to be successful. All in all, a great balance between magic and combat. Sound effects, though not extensive are effective and the music adds a nice backdrop to the adventuring. Compared to other CRPG's at the time of release, Daemonsgate shouldered it's way to the head of the stack in many ways. While not perfect, it provides quality entertainment and still stands as a "thinking" RPG rather than a reactionary dungeon crawl.
Graphics: Dated by late '90's standards, graphics still capture the feel and mood of a roleplaying romp through a far off distant and mysterious land. Combat graphics are a little on the bland side but overall the package is pleasing enough.
Sound: Sound effects are good but there just aren't enough of them. Music is tastefully done and adds a quiet moody enhancement to the background.
Enjoyment: Once you get over the shortcomings of the interface (or get used to it), all else comes out smelling like roses. Wonderful integration of your characters with the environment and a superb methodology for developing the story as your adventures progress.
Replay Value: Impressively good replay value for a roleplaying adventure where normally, once the story is known and the deeds accomplished, not much is left. In this case, the sheer number of possibilities and changes inherent in such a varied group of characters that are available to join your party, makes subsequent trips palatable.
A fantasy adventure in which you control a party searching the land of Hestor for a wise wizard possessing knowledge necessary to stop an invading demon army. The game uses three-quarters overhead perspective and boasts a conversation system with over 70000 words.
Daemonsgate is a top-down RPG made by Imagitec Design. You play the role of a young hero who is the only hope left of saving the besieged city Tormis. It is surrounded by demonic hordes so it's no easy task!
You start off all by yourself at the "Pigge and Ballbearing" inn located within the city. However, new recruits for your party are not far off, so finding them should pose no problem. The game is fairly easy to get going and you'll be immersed in the gameplay before you know it.
The graphics are functional and I found the artwork fitting for a game of this type and age.) You can have conversations with many non player characters although most of them are generic and just walk around the map. The innkeepers tend to be more knowledgeable so they can be a valuable source of information. There are a few minor subplots and distractions from the main task as your journey progresses but the game is event driven so there is no passing task X before completing task Y first.
I did have fun finishing this game but it was hampered by bad designs in a few places. This is particularly true of the last level. Deamonsgate is a game of moderate difficulty but its fairly easy to discover actions required to advance the plot, so you probably won't find yourself being stuck and not knowing what to do next. All in all, it is a solid adventure RPG that will keep you busy travelling around temples and taverns in order to complete the quest at hand. If killing demons and saving cities does it for you, I guess you'll be right at home.
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Companions of Xanth, Conan The Cimmerian, Crusaders of Might and Magic, Chosen, The: Well of Souls, Clans, Crystals Of Arborea, Dark Heart of Uukrul, Dark Ages
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