Looking for something new and fresh? Here it is!
The Dwarves gives you control over a servant dwarf that has never been away from his underground home where he served his masters as a blacksmith handyman of sorts. You are tasked with heading out of the underground vault and delivering a message. A small task that turns into quite the random adventure. Where the story goes and how it unfolds is up to you. Make choices like taking on a regiment of orcs to save a village or walk by and let the town be destroyed. What kind of sweeping effects could that have? I guess you’ll find out.
Along your journey you will meet other characters and recruit them into your adventuring party! It’s almost like a different take on Lord of the Rings. There are 2 parts to the game, the Overland Map and Battle/Exploration phase. In the Overland map you move an icon along an open path. Choose to visit towns, explore ruins, or just camp out. Once you find a place of interest whether it be a battle or somewhere to explore, you will get a loading screen then dropped into a small explorable area where you can then walk around and interact with things. If it’s a battle, you’re in for some fun.
The battle system, once you figure out how it works and what’s going on, wow it’s awesome. It’s like the developers took the scene from Lor of the Rings where Gimli and Legolas fight their way down Helms Deeps front gate steps and made and entire battle system off of that one scene. It’s wild. Your characters will all fight by themselves, your input will come with moving them and saying when to do special moves like massive sweeping weapon strikes that will cut a swath through the Orcs sending them flying out of the way and more often then not, off the side of a cliff or bridge. It’s awesome to watch. There are times you get surrounded by the enemies with ranks stacking 4-5 deep on every side of you. Pause the battle with SQUARE and figure a way out of that mess. Use a charge run move to sprint out, see if a party member can leap over to aid you, or just try to power out of it like a true Dwarf.
The story that unfolds is nothing to get excited about, but it does its job at progressing through. There are a lot of fancy fantasy world like names that are hard to pronounce and keep track of, but it’s laid out well enough for you to follow.
Now to my 2 major gripes:
Loading. Wow. From overland map to cutscene or battle and back will leave you with a whopping load screen every time. Totally takes you out of this experience. At one particular part in the game there was a tough battle, at that point, I spent more time in a loading screen than actually playing the game. This needs to get optimized.
The camera feels like it was sacrificed for better looking set design. Unlike Diablo 3 or other recent isometric games the camera will move along the walls and warp in and out with pillars and big trees. Making controlling the camera and using it to actually see anything a bother. Your view will be obstructed quite often. In battle, that could mean life or death.
The Dwarves is a fresh new IP that is much needed in this world of sequels and recycled, overhyped nonsense. It’s unique, it’s fun, it has its flaws, but like we always do here on HDGaminLIVE, we find the good in a game and take it’s flaws as they are. It’s a great game if you want a strategic adventure mixed with fun combat. It can get a little too hard at times, even on it’s easiest difficulty, but figuring out a way to win if half the fun.