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Review RPG Codex Review: Hard West

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: CreativeForge Games; Hard West

    You may have been wondering what exactly we had planned for the prestigious Codex Christmas Review. Wonder no more! Read this (turn-based tactical RPG) Hard West review by esteemed community member Ludo Lense instead.

    People around these parts tend to cautiously flock around any title that has hints of being an RPG that isn't medieval fantasy-inspired, with bonus points awarded if it's not sci-fi either. In this case, we have an occult Western-themed tactical game with some RPG elements, that has received plenty of good will in the form of $100,000 of Kickstarter funding and endorsements from the likes of John Romero, Chris Avellone and Brian Fargo. But before Hard West, the Poland-based CreativeForge Games only had a subpar sci-fi strategy game to their name, even if their studio is made up of developers who worked on Call of Juarez and Dead Island. [...]

    Hard West takes place in a “Weird West” setting, and those who are familiar with the Deadlands pen-and-paper RPG will spot a lot of similarities. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the project was a Deadlands pitch in its nascent stage. Roaming gunslingers, decrepit frontier towns, devilish cultists and mad scientists all dot this grim but colorful wasteland.

    The game is made up of eight scenarios, each one about 2-3 hours long and with its own characters and its own specific goals, such as finding a legendary treasure or taking revenge on a band of murderers. Gameplay can be broken down into two main components - the tactical combat scenarios, which sometimes include a stealth preamble, and CYOA segments that are contextualized via a world map. The game alternates between these two modes, with each scenario containing around 4-6 combat maps.

    To be clear, Hard West isn’t X-Com or Jagged Alliance. Each scenario is a self-contained mini-campaign with its own specific characters that form a posse, and they don’t carry over after the last mission, so you start from scratch with every scenario. It also doesn’t have the replayability of those games, something which would be impossible given the structure of its content. The focus of the game is on tactical set pieces, with some random elements when it comes to customization.​

    Read the full review: RPG Codex Review: Hard West

    P.S. Before you ask: TCancer is dead.
     
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  2. Viata Arcane

    Viata
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    Was it cancer?
     
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  3. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yes, Terminal Cancer.
     
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  4. M0RBUS Augur

    M0RBUS
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    Good read.
    This game is probably the surprise of the year for me (because I didn't follow its development). The lack of RNG and how tight and concise the combat system is set it apart from XCOM (the new one) in a big way. It's not the be all end all of tactical combat, but it's a lot of fun to play it on Hard and that's what really matter for me. I would like another Jagged Alliance or Silent Storm, but I'll settle for the most fun part based game out this year :)
     
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  5. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10082

    Bubbles called it. :)
     
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  6. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    Just not true. I play on hard, very rarely using those abilities and items and win easily. It is why luck stat is such a great idea, it enables a choice if a player will use skills or not without compromising a power.

    Half true. Muskets are OP, but revolvers fanning ability due to the way shooting and luck work is OP too. Good revolvers with a high capacity are even better than riffles. Better chance to hit.

    Really do not know what people see is in this ability. It is totally useless for me. Regenerating in the shadow or being unseen in the shadow is so much better,if we consider single card only.
     
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  7. Cadmus Arcane

    Cadmus
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    What are those RPG elements you mentioned? Shops? (those are now "your usual RPG fare"??) Inventory? Active abilities other than shooting?
     
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  8. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Nice review.

    I disagree with this. The super powers fits the setting nicely, because your characters are legendary individuals against massive forces, including supernatural plots and the devil itself. Complaining about these powers is like playing BG2 and complaining about overpowered spells, because they’re half the fun. What I don’t like is the way these powers are handed to you. The cards system looks contrived and artificial. Instead, the players should have powers based on their actions. But the main flaw is that “every opponent feels the same”. In fact, most locations feels the same. The only way to solve this problem is to allow your enemies to have their own powers, backgrounds, etc.
     
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  9. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    There are some moments in you can make some critical choices. For instance,

    Show Spoiler
    In the purgatory, you can support either the undertaker or his son.

    I only played the game once, though. I don’t know if the game has alternative endings based on your choices and such.
     
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  10. Dragon Educated

    Dragon
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    I don't understand this, I played it 4 times through in a row with different builds and tactics, it was brilliant.
     
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  11. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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  12. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    Not much to understand.

    People bought Blackguards because it released just ahead of the big KickStarters when people were chomping at the bit to play them. By the time the sequel came around, everyone was busy with PoE, WL2, D:OS, and the Shadowrun series. Codex being the Codex, it became necessary to invent a pretense to reconcile why nobody was buying/playing Blackguards 2 with being a core cRPG player (because 'not wanting to' isn't a good enough motivation, games being the serious matter that they are). Thankfully Daedalic provided two suitable pretenses: (a) they made it too fast, with the same assets (b) they made minor simplifications to the PnP-based system.
     
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  13. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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  14. Ludo Lense Self-Ejected

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    Show Spoiler
    A shaky example. There are dozens of games that have binary endings in last 5 minutes and that doesn't make them RPGs.


    Cadmus Shops, inventory, optional combat zones, dialogue based maluses and bonuses. It is pretty much a generic mix of what one would expect in non-hack and slash RPGs only abstracted to the CYOA level.
     
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  15. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
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    Good job, Ludo Lense. I think that this review is a good and honest certificate, that CFG can hang up on their wall. A nice gift for CFG for this christmas.
     
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  16. Dragon Educated

    Dragon
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    Makes sense. Still, RPG/tactical games aficionados are missing out. I hope a Blackguard 3 will be made. Or something else with the same engine and gameplay. Maybe there will be a "overlooked gem" article in a few years and a kickstarter will be made, pfff.
     
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  17. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Really, beacuse all the Blackguards fanboys who played 2 seemed to have the impression that it was a complete disaster when it came to difficulty/encounter-design.

    It bombed hard, very likely not happening.
     
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  18. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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  19. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    Perhaps. The market share for AA RPGs has basically capped out though, a development reflected in the cautious behavior of its biggest winners.

    Stoic will never try to be more than an indie studio and will probably never try to replicate the sales numbers they got with Banner Saga with another game ever again. They've shared their tech, refused to expand, and take a leisurely pace on development.

    HBS is pursuing different genres from isometric RPGs.

    InXile is going to try to become an triple-III company making a New Vegas-a-be version of Wasteland, mark my words.

    It isn't clear to me what Obsidian plans for Pillars of Eternity, but they still seem to primarily be a AA-developer who will possibly be developing the next WoD game.

    Pretty much only Larian is going full steam ahead on isometric RPGs.
     
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  20. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    Might have been. I never played it so I don't know.

    Doesn't really matter though because as fans of the original their perspective was prejudiced. Fans usually like to see "more of the same" + "tasteful expansions of the concept", not "different directions." 40,000 or so fans were the only people who bought it during the first year, so the echo chamber resounded with their feelings on the subject. Every who might have been unbothered by the "refinements" didn't bother playing it and never wanted to, they were playing the other big KickStarter games.

    If people had actually been desperate to play Blackguards II, it would have sold much better than it did. Not at Blackguards levels, but more than 25,000 or so copies. They would have bought it in spite of the negative impressions. Nobody did, because nobody seriously wanted it to begin with.
     
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  21. Ludo Lense Self-Ejected

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  22. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
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    HBS lacks the finesse for good RPGs, and 1 from 3 is not a good hit rate.
    InXile will make a "The lone Desert Ranger", but i don't think that this will be FPS RPG, despite their change from Unity to Unreal 4 engine.
    Obsidian is lost.
    Larian is the only major player in the RPG department and they have proven that sales up to a million copies are plausible.
    A very good RPG can expect sales up to 100k - 200k, so this should be put into consideration as a constraint on the budget, while planning to make an isometric RPG.

    But back on track: We need to summon "Kacper Szymczak" for some dev input and opinion / view exchange.
     
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  23. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Christmas is over in the EU now, so it's appropriate to summon him. Kacper Szymczak
     
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  24. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Not a whole lot to say, though. Most of us haven't played Hard West.

    Also the same reason why the Icy thread got derailed. Most people haven't played Icy.
     
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  25. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    CryptRat
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    In line with my own experience :salute:: the game has several flaws but the experience is good.
    I thought the OST was OK.
     
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