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Dark Deity – Game Review

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Dark Deity is a turn-based strategy game in the likes of Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics.

After a short conversation at the start of the game, you immediately get into your first battle to test your skills. As there is no tutorial, it’s up to you to find out how everything works.

Battles

Battles are turn-based. You can move and attack, heal, use items, or use abilities such as disarm and a few more. Every character has their basic attack and one ability. When attacking enemies, an animation will pop up and you’ll see their attack actions.

At first, battles seem easy and simple but as you progress in the story, battles get harder and will require more strategy on the player’s part.

Heroes

Although heroes just have one ability, their basic attack changes with their equipped weapon. Every hero has four weapons and while they don’t differ in looks, the weapon stats are different enough to add more depth to battles.
At the end of a battle, heroes will gain EXP.

Leveling up will raise character attributes (HP, Strength, etc.). At levels 10, 20, and 30, you can choose between one of four classes. Your chosen class will give your hero new weapons, a new or improved ability, or attribute changes.

Bond

Much like in Fire Emblem, your heroes will strengthen their bond over time. In fact, their bond strengthens as they fight side by side. This unlocks new dialogue between them in the camp.

Camp

Speaking of the camp, every few chapters you’ll have the option to go to your camp. In camp, you can check your heroes, manage their inventories, buy items in the shop, upgrade their weapons, and engage in dialogue between heroes.

As a side note, you can use items to heal your characters while in battle or afterward, but there are also items that can upgrade character attributes. Also, upgrading your weapons can result in them doing more damage, increasing their accuracy, or giving you a higher chance of a critical hit.

The Good

• The story is detailed and pretty long with dozens of hours of content in total.

• Over 50 character classes, 400 unlockable dialogue options that add a lot of detail, and 30 characters.

• High replayability. Since the bond system is very detailed and you can choose between classes, playthroughs will be different enough to warrant a second or even third one. You can also skip every dialogue which is nice if you want to play one more time and are not interested in the story at all.

• The fight animations are really nice to look at and help give battles more impact overall.

• Different missions. Yeah, you’ll mostly just fight enemies but since many (indie) TBS games don’t have other objectives than to kill X or Y, this is a big plus. Just a few examples off the top of my head to give you an idea: “Kill as many enemies as possible in X turns, Free prisoners, Survive X turns, and so on…”

• Battles are very tactical and demanding, especially after the first few chapters. And of course, the complexity increases the more enemies and heroes there are.

The Bad

• It’s not very beginner-friendly because there’s basically no tutorial. A few text boxes will explain the game to you a little bit but that’s it. Most you’ll need to learn by yourself. You also can’t see the attack range of weapons before moving so you need to move, see if you can attack and if not, cancel and do it again. It’s annoying in the beginning when you don’t know the characters enough but will be no problem once you do.

• Often, the controller doesn’t work properly. Sometimes the problem will be fixed when you select a character first, other times it won’t until you restart the game.

• There are loading screens after every little scene.

• Battle animations can get boring after some time and you can’t speed them up. If you like fast-paced battles, it’ll destroy the flow a bit and if you disable animations, you don’t know what’s happening exactly when it’s the enemy’s turn. You will see them moving and know they attacked (because the EXP window will pop up), but because it doesn’t show you any numbers such as HP lost or damage done, you sometimes don’t even know who exactly got attacked.

Summary

Dark Deity offers something on PC that most Fire Emblem fans miss. While it doesn’t quite reach the quality a Triple-A game does, and some QoL features are missing, the turn-based battles are tactical and challenging enough to warrant giving this a try if you’re into TBS – even if you just want to skip all the dialogue.

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