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Review RPG Codex Review: Dead State

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Dead State; DoubleBear Productions

    Most of you should already be familiar with the story behind DoubleBear Productions' Dead State. Originally revealed all the way back in August 2009 and officially announced a year after that, the "zombie RPG" from Black Isle/Troika/Obsidian veteran Brian Mitsoda and his ex-Obsidianite wife Annie Mitsoda languished in vaporware status for years, until it was revived via Kickstarter in the heady days of 2012. Dead State was finally released in December 2014, now just one of many fish in the recovering oldschool RPG sea. Between that, its rather low fidelity 3D graphical presentation, some unfortunate Steam forum drama that led to a predictable backlash, and even some genuine post-release bugginess, Dead State seemed like it would quickly be left behind and forgotten.

    But the Codex doesn't forget so easy. Two months ago, we hired Zombra, a rather mild and mellow fellow with a very appropriate name, to take Dead State for a spin and give it a fair appraisal. What he found out may surprise some of you. We proudly present...

    [​IMG]

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Dead State
     
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  2. MasterSmithFandango Arcane

    MasterSmithFandango
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    This is such a shitty, overly apologetic review.
     
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  3. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Perfect first response to my first official Codex content! :hug:
     
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  4. Trash Pointing and laughing.

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    What? A balanced review? That's even quite positive? What the fuck is wrong with you, man? Seriously, though. Nice work. Looking forward to see your thoughts on balancing. Hope Doublebear will read as well. I want my zombie apocalypse to be nasty and filled with (moral and other) dilemma's. The lack of any real difficulty past the initial few days has been exactly the reason I stopped playing.

    Hope they keep updating this game for long enough to come up with a genuine balance patch.
     
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  5. Starwars Arcane

    Starwars
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    The game deserves a positive review, it's definitely one of my favs of 2014 though, as you say, it really needs a serious look at pacing and balance. I think the game would really benefit from being compressed slightly to give it a little more forward momentum at certain points. Not too much perhaps as I also found it enjoyable for a while that there was no real long-term goal. I thought that kinda added to the bleakness in a way. What do we do? No fucking idea, just keep on gathering shit and try to survive for as long as we can.
    But yeah, I think a quite a few days could be shaved off (the game features a certain number of days before the "end-game" comes) if DF can't pull out some magic tricks to fill those days up.
     
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  6. Cassidy Arcane

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    I wish a certain abortion of quest writing and design was better thought out to include alternate possibilities instead of being an obvious author tract forcing the PC to agree with the author politics in-game or suffer negative consequences, but that won't matter if by a miracle this game is yet fixed into truly grim survival with real scarcity and real dangers.
     
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  7. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Sorry to say, but any review which does not find the combat utterly broken is not a good honest review...
     
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  8. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    This review convinced me to get Dead State at $5.
     
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  9. Deuce Traveler Prestigious Gentleman 2012 Newfag Patron

    Deuce Traveler
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The review convinced me that I should give the game a look, despite my hating the zombie genre (an appropriately mindless genre that simply won't stay dead).
     
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  10. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Codex 2014
    It's also worth noting that there's a demo.
     
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  11. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Yeah, that wasn't the case when the article was written. Shoulda shoehorned it in there. Demo available on the Steam page.
     
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  12. MasterSmithFandango Arcane

    MasterSmithFandango
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    Huh? It seems like important, key mechanics are missing. By your own admission there's a lot of combat in the game, and it's not good. There's no urgency, and there's no threat. Codex has embraced the :decline:.

    Edit: Factor in the bitching about bad reviews/trying to get them removed and one of the devs putting her foot in her mouth constantly on social media, a purchase of this game is a purchase of :decline:.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    MasterSmithFandango You can just look at the tl;dr instead of quoting all of that:

    Wrap your head around that one! :smug:
     
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  14. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    I'm confused. What part doesn't add up? I said the mechanics are strong (which they are) but panned the difficulty (which sucks). Does that constitute an "embrace"? :?

    The antics of Steam reviewers trolling the devs and the devs getting pissed off have nothing to do with the quality of the game. It's OK if you don't like Annie, and it's OK if you're more interested in politics than gameplay, but these are simply not relevant subjects for a game review.
     
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  15. Kem0sabe Arcane

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    Combat is not well designed, that's the thing, it's a bad system I'll conceived from the ground up.

    These are slow zombies, in the genre folklore they tend to kill by attrition and numbers, none of which is a factor in the game, you can face 20 zombies in the game and probably kill them all without loosing any health, infection is not an issue in the game, there is no morale system that brakes down your fighters.

    The combat is probably one of the most simplified tb systems I have seen, fit for mobile.
     
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  16. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Disagree.

    Agreed ... most of what you're saying reads like it was taken straight from my review :)

    Except for morale ... there actually is a morale system in the game. I honestly didn't even think to mention it, because combat is so easy that it never comes into play.

    I wouldn't go that far, but it is fairly simple, as I said. You're paraphrasing the review again :) If it were super complex, combat would take forever, and it shouldn't.
     
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  17. MasterSmithFandango Arcane

    MasterSmithFandango
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    I fail to see how it's well designed. The sound mechanic is fine, but beyond that all I see is the apologetic "it's not JA2, but OMG guys what is?"
     
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  18. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    The first time I played, one of my characters went into PANIC mode.... but that was because I was being an idiot (and playing it for the first time). :M
     
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  19. joelofdeath Educated Patron

    joelofdeath
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Excellent review, captured my experience perfectly. Of course, I gave up during the mid game slump, probably about 30-40 hours in. Just got so repetitive. Maybe I'll go back after the balance patch and work to the end.
     
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  20. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Shrug. Medium grain action point system, lots of different attack types, different armor bonuses vs. different attack types, different weapon ranges, the morale system, combat healing, there's a lot there but once you know how it works, gameplay is very smooth. Pretty standard TB-AP, again, like I said. Also the different map designs take the simple base and mix it up in different ways; combats play out differently based on the environment. I didn't find any obtuse flaws with the system except the crap difficulty. Frankly I fail to see how it isn't well designed.
     
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  21. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Banner Saga has a simple but well designed and balanced TB system, Shadowrun has a simple but fun system with many different approaches, Blackguards has a complex but obtuse system, D:OS has a complex but unbalanced system, ... these are just some of the TB competitors that came out last year that Dead state has to compete with, put against them Dead State's combat system fails miserably in all regards.

    What are we measuring Dead State's combat against... Epic Battle Fantasy 4?
     
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  22. Stainless Veteran Arcane

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    We-ell, I'm a baker of this. At first I (rather surprisingly) really liked the game, it had what I haven't seen in ages - environmental storytelling. I really liked to puzzle out what happened in various areas - abandoned churches, camping sites, apartment complexes and so on. Graphics, while simple, could show all this rather effectively. Combat, at first, was pretty fun, I usually cleared areas by stealthing through them, and it really played like a puzzle. A good one, even. And then I found combat armor. BLAM - almost instant God-mode. Combined with lack of infections, I rapidly lost interest in combat. "Oh well". - I thought, "at least it has interesting characters, and Brian probably must have written a good metaplot, with all those Data items suggesting some overlying conspiracy". And then somebody spoiled game's ending for me. Instantly lost all desire to complete it, and haven't touched it for a month now. It doesn't help that the game itself was way too long and gotten both rather tedious and not challenging in the late middle part. Also, rather then address balance issues, stability issues, borked personal quests and all other stuff - we got demo and Annie's twitter meltdown instead. Yay, priorities.

    If Steam to be believed, then I clocked almost 120 hrs on record, so the game is certainly addicting at first and has its share of good parts. But it's really, deeply flawed and frustrating, not to mention that it gets really boring during middle and late parts, and has a very anticlimactic ending.
     
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  23. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Huh, I wasn't aware it was a competition. My bad.

    What makes Banner Saga's better designed? I never played it because it seemed pretty dull. Blackguards' "complex and obtuse" doesn't sound better at all; nor does D:OS' "complex and unbalanced" sound better than DS' "simple and unbalanced". It sounds like you like complexity for the sake of complexity - in that case, when you read that my review says DS is less complex, you should be able to take away the information that you might not like it as well as something more complex. So ... thanks for reading.

    And really, you're going to tout Shadowrun's 2AP combat as a resounding triumph over DS? ... Okay.
     
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  24. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Variable AP systems are extremely ftl. Unlike Dead State, Dragonfall and even DMS don't have a reverse difficulty curve and have far more combat actions from which to choose.

    Though SR probably would ultimately be better if it either moved to a move-and-action or a static AP system. :M
     
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  25. Think big! Smoking Dicks

    Think big!
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    Good review.

    Have they said anything about a balance patch? Are there difficulty levels?
     
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