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Demonworld II- Dark Armies

Score: 30%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Xicat Interactive
Developer: Ikarion
Media: CD/2
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Demonworld II - Dark Armies is a game with little going for it. The graphics are a simple 2D affair, and although the resolution is 1024x768, this would only be impressive if the year were 1997. Animation is crude, and the sound and music are rudimentary. Overall, the visual and sonic presentation is horrible.

Gameplay:

This is a real-time strategy game based on the German fantasy-themed tabletop strategy miniatures game Demonworld. It is unlikely that the original game has the sort of problems Demonworld II - Dark Armies has, though.

Game play is pretty simple, yet executed very poorly. Descriptions of both individual missions and the entire campaign are very vague. While playing the game, you will find the AI lacking terribly, as both the enemy and your own troops make stupid decisions. Meeting mission objectives is not only difficult because of the bad descriptions, but also because even if you understand the objectives, once you've met them, you still might not win! The provided tutorials are welcome, but they aren't very helpful, and, like the rest of the game, they aren't any fun.

Although Demonworld II - Dark Armies offers both single player and multiplayer modes, since Xicat's own matchmaking server seems to always be offline, it looks like you would have to host your own TCP/IP games in order to player against human opponents.


Difficulty:

The game offers three difficulty levels, although if you can figure out how to win a particular mission, it is not usually too difficult. This means that the hardest aspect of Demonworld II - Dark Armies is actually discovering what the objectives are, and how to fulfill them.

Game Mechanics:

The user interface is a total mess. Most screens are completely indecipherable. They are filled with lots of icons, and little to no information on how to use them. Since there is no printed or electronic manual provided (you have to download the PDF version from Xicat's web site!), you won't find any help there either.

The PDF game manual seems complete, and provides a pretty thorough reference, although it does not detail any of the icons in the game. It is only text, so you are still on your own in figuring out how the game's interface works.

Overall, this is a terribly disappointing game. It promises a rich fantasy themed world, RPG-like real-time strategy gaming, and a robust multiplayer mode, but in the end it does not deliver on any of those fronts. This is a simple, ugly, and poorly presented and documented game, and should be avoided at all costs.


-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP, PII 233, 32MB RAM, Sound Card, 4X CD-ROM drive
 

Test System:



Windows 98SE, 400Mhz Celeron, 256MB RAM, GeForce with 32MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live! Value, 32x CD-ROM.

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated