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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Der Geisterturm

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Der Geisterturm; Graverobber Foundation

    Back in September 2018, jovial Codexer zwanzig_zwoelf released his very first game, the cyberpunk dungeon crawler Das Geisterschiff. Sixteen months later, he's come out with a quick followup called Der Geisterturm while he works on a proper sequel. What sort of game could he have conjured up in the four short months since he announced it on our forums? Luckily for us, zwanzig once again managed to persuade Darth Roxor to review it and answer that question. His conclusion? Der Geisterturm offers expanded combat mechanics but has far less compelling level design and atmosphere than its predecessor. Here's an excerpt from the review:

    Most, if not all, of the new things in Der Geisterturm are related to combat mechanics. The game expands the combat system pretty well when it comes to the tactics available to the player. Back in Geisterschiff, you were more or less limited to just picking the right weapon for the job, and that was it. Geisterturm builds on this by introducing damage types, fire modes and pilot stances.

    Your arsenal remains the same – a submachine gun, an assault rifle, a laser gun and a bazooka. However, it is effectively expanded thanks to the fact that the laser gun is now an actual weapon and not just a glorified mine defusing tool. Still, all the weapons retain their original quirks and applications, but there are some new functionalities and mechanics that make it a bit less obvious which gun is the best to pick for a specific encounter. First of all, they differ in damage types (kinetic, energy, explosive), and certain enemies may exhibit resistances to these, so it’s no longer a no-brainer to blast a strong enemy with the bazooka, since he might have a high resistance to explosive damage.

    Next up are fire modes. You can now specify the rate of fire for your guns, which influences accuracy, damage done and ammo consumption in obvious ways, but you can also select special fire modes like a charged shot for the laser gun or a critical crack shot for the assault rifle. Often, it’s also wise to combine a specific fire mode with the right combat stance. You can now choose between aiming (accuracy bonus, dodge penalty), normal (balanced) and evasive (dodge bonus, accuracy penalty) stances. For example, a glass cannon enemy is best dispatched with a critical rifle shot on aiming stance, while another foe that sprays you with minigun fire could call for an evasive approach.

    All this lets you fiddle a lot with your approach to individual combat encounters, especially since some of the fire modes also require you to remain stationary, so you can’t combine shooting with movement. And staying on the move in combat is very important in Geisterturm, because unlike its predecessor, you can now face more than just one enemy at a time. Typically it’s going to be two enemies, sometimes even three, and certain “boss showdowns” will downright swarm you with baddies. And considering that the fights often take place in narrow corridors, where it’s easy to get surrounded, cut off and backstabbed for terrible damage, remaining stationary can be a death sentence. Still, if you’re feeling very brave, you can actively seek to be surrounded and pray for good dodge rolls, so the enemies miss you and instead shoot each other as their bullets fly wild. But I wouldn’t call it a particularly reliable strategy.

    [...] There is also one aspect where Geisterturm is a very significant step back compared to Geisterschiff. Namely, the entire game feels much more like an “abstract dungeon crawl” rather than a “real” environment, and it suffers for it greatly. You might say it makes sense, because it takes place in military proving grounds, which would be “abstract” by nature, but there are quite a few problems with this approach.

    Geisterschiff was very atmospheric, and its atmosphere or auxiliary worldbuilding added much to its otherwise simple presentation. There was a sense of adventure into the unknown in that game. Meanwhile in Geisterturm, the atmosphere is completely gone. Really, it just doesn’t exist. You are only moving through the same dull corridors all the time, with very little to no diversification in looks, each floor typically being characterised only by some gimmick inherent to it (“this is the spinner maze floor”, “this is the teleport puzzle level”, etc.). Also, unlike in the case of the expanded combat mechanics, I don’t think this game adds any new gimmicks or obstacles to the mix – I’m pretty sure I’ve already seen them all in Geisterschiff.

    Simply put, in the long run this makes the game a kind of a chore. After getting to floor 8 or so, I started asking myself “what exactly is the point of all this?” and this question never really goes away. In fact, the higher you get, you more you just want it to end already, and that’s no good at all – especially since apart from the gimmicks, the further floors don’t have that much new to offer. Eventually, in the last 5 ones or so, even the enemies stop changing and you keep fighting the same assassin droids and heavy guard bots, with the only difference being that your stats get higher and your gear gets upgraded, which makes the enemies progressively more irrelevant.
    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Der Geisterturm
     
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  2. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Wow, that was fast, a review in such a short time, and sadly so negative. I guess Roxor was triggered by the mines too much, once again. :troll:

    Thanks for mentioning there are new mine types and strategies to bypass them by using the AI against them. I'll keep them in mind for my playthrough.
     
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  3. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    "... zwanzig once again managed to persuade Darth Roxor to review it ..."

    Shouldn't the goal of any developer be to persuade Darth Roxor NOT to review their game?
     
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  4. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    It was September 2018 lah :M
     
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  5. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    Thanks for the revio Darth Roxor, you're a true bro.

    In order to maintain the image created by Roxor, I'm accepting suggestions on new types of mines for the next game. :positive:
     
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  6. Tweed Arbiter Patron

    Tweed
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    Looking forward to Das Geisterbordell and invisible ghost mines that follow your through walls in real time.
     
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  7. Tavernking Don't believe his lies Patron Shitposter Developer

    Tavernking
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    I'm counting on codex nepotism also making my own game successful
     
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  8. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Certainly! What about these examples? I haven't played this expansion pack to your first game, so I dunno if they're a thing already or not.

    -Invisible mines. What it says on the tin. Cannot be detected until stepped upon. To compensate they're uncommon and weaker than regular mines.

    - BIG mines. More damaging, and capable of affecting multiple tiles with their explosion.

    - Leaper Mines. These detonate when you're 1 tile away instead of waiting for you to step on them.

    - EMP Mines. They fuck up with your stats temporarily instead of causing damage, but they're nasty.

    - Pressure Mines. They don't explode until you leave the tile where they're hidden, but you'll be a stationary target until then. Harsh.

    - Unbreakable mines. They cannot be destroyed nor disabled, you have to avoid them or walk through them.

    - Mine-layer enemy. A rare enemy that is capable of laying mines every time it moves as well as hovering over mines safely, it is not recommended to have the player fight more than once, or the butthurt generated from all of the frustrated players will increase global warming levels.

    - Dud mines. The worst of them for the last. These mines do not explode or do anything, but they're identical to regular ones, and they exist to make the player nervous.
     
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  9. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    :shredder:

    Must... resist... the urge... to make... Der Geistersappeur...
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  10. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    A game where all of your enemies are mines and explosives? So, like a hardcore version of Minesweeper? I suppose it would be the logical evolution of your style. Would it have green as the main primary color? :troll:
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Goddamn this is devious.
     
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  12. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Dud mines should use resources to deal with (or the player gambles with whether the mine is real or not).
     
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