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Review RPG Codex Review: Inquisitor

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Crooked Bee, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Cinemax; Inquisitor

    2009 saw the release of Czech RPG Inquisitor, which had been in development for about ten years. In 2012, the game received an English translation and is now available at GOG.com. But is it any good? We asked our own hack'n'slash expert Mrowak to investigate. Have a taste:

    So has Inquisitor managed to blend water with fire? The answer to this is a resounding… no. Inquisitor is a game of many contrasts and baffling design decisions, and its problems sadly take away from enjoying what could otherwise have been a decent and unique experience.

    [...] For many, the way the game is divided in two gameplay “modes” may come across as artificial. Nonetheless, in case of Inquisitor this segregation is justified. The two layers of the game are completely separate - they do not have anything at all to do with each other. The sheer fact that Inquisitor can be so easily divided in two distinct gameplay parts signifies a profound game design flaw which persists throughout the experience.

    Setting consistency is the first victim of the division. The game sometimes contradicts itself. For instance, the adventure mode makes a big fuss about the Pagan, Heretical and Infernal magics being forbidden arts, but not only can you use them without any constraints in combat, you can also buy scrolls with those "forbidden spells" in almost every church you come across. Another example is when the player slaughters a large group of knights serving a noble family without a second thought, followed by a conversation with their master who tells you you were misinformed and wrong in what you did, but it is fine, you can still be best pals - nevermind that his knights continue attacking you. Occasions like these are common in Inquisitor and will often leave you scratching your head.

    There is also the issue of location design. There exists a clear separation between town hubs, where the biggest part of the adventure mode takes place, and all other areas, where you engage in combat. In all fairness, this is a rather common hack and slash design, but here it also serves to highlight the disparity between the two aspects of gameplay. When out of town, you enter a kind of twilight zone which completely suspends all the logic and nuance present in the investigations; all you are left to face are the enormous empty overland maps and dungeons filled with mobs to be disposed of in the most lackluster way imaginable. At times you will stumble on a riddle or a simple puzzle of the “find the hidden passage to a location” variety, but nothing really ambitious or worthwhile.

    The disproportion between the two gameplay modes is Inquisitor's biggest balance flaw. The adventure mode, in spite of its many problems, is the one that features the most interesting events and generally pushes the game forward. In contrast, the combat mode is boring, repetitive, and devoid of any genuinely exciting elements. Indeed, Inquisitor is the first game I have played which had me dread to even think of exploring new dungeons for the fear of spending long gameplay hours soldiering through the tedious combat. I would have rather focused on investigating murder cases and unraveling mysteries, which were at least better presented and had more dynamics to them, however broken the underlying gameplay mechanics were. It is therefore most baffling that the adventure mode constitutes at most 30% of the gameplay, whereas the combat mode will unavoidably be accountable for at least 70% of your entire play time. In the face of such a strong contrast between the quality and the quantity of each segment, it is difficult not to question the developers’ priorities.

    [...] Bluntly put, Inquisitor is a bad game. There is not a single gameplay aspect it excels at. Far from that - it actually manages to implement many of the common hack and slash mechanics in such a haphazard manner that the end result is naught but an unplayable mess. It is evident that the developers lacked focus and did not know what it was they were trying to convey and what the strongest aspects of their project could and should be. It is as if they had picked the wrong medium for their goal. With its excellent art direction and the decent story it tells, Inquisitor could have been a good illustrated novel or comic book. As an interactive medium, however, Inquisitor fails miserably simply because its creators did not know what makes a good game. I appreciate the developers’ effort and wish them good luck in the hope that their next endeavor will be better thought through design-wise, but I cannot in good faith recommend this game to anyone.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Inquisitor
     
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  2. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

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  3. asper Arcane

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    I enjoyed reading that. It is such a shame they messed up the combat so badly in this game.

    I wish it would be possible to buy all those gorgeous art assets from them, and make a completely new game with them.
     
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  4. Phelot Arcane

    Phelot
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    Good stuff, Mrowak!

    I was on the fence with this game despite following it for about a year or so. Glad to see that it was eventually translated, but I think I'll be waiting for a GoG sale on this one.
     
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  5. Kron Arcane

    Kron
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    It has been a long time since a game made me as angry, sad, and strangely, at times, as immersed as Inquisitor.
    There are moments in which the satanic-pagan creepiness surpasses Diablo.
    But, there are many other moments in which I just can't bear to play for more than 5 minutes.
     
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  6. Gruia Educated

    Gruia
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    its already cheap, what sale ?!?
    pay the men
     
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  7. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    Read the review.

    Edit: Also if you guys want an opposite example of a very focused, simple but still very good game (though not an RPG) check out Mark of the Ninja :goes back to play more:

    Edit2: I have to admit, Inquisitor taught ma a lot. It did teach me how to approach criticism and to avoid being preoccupied by superficial meaningless stuff. So what that your game has feature X, Y, Z? So what it has lots of content, loads of text, dozens of spells, great lore, when they all together simply aren't put right - they aren't *fun*.

    That's why recently I've been very critical of Obsidian. To my mind they suffer from the same malady as the developers of Inquisitor, only that maybe they are more experienced, and somehow use duct-tape better than the Czech studio.
     
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  8. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Meh, it'll be in an indie bundle eventually.
     
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  9. Mirthless Educated

    Mirthless
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    Nicely summed up.

    The setting and the premise along with the story is intringuing and it doesn't tone down just for the convenience to appeal to a larger audience, but that alone doesn't add up to the boring ass dungeons and combatzones. The combat is just potionspamming or kiting, let your companion take the hits. If you face a phantom make your companion wait around the corner while you take resistance potions to fight it off yourself (worst case scenario use a box, which you'll find yourself doing a lot).
    Though I have to give them credit for the side quests as most of them introduce you to people with vital clues/hints or to places which has a significant importance to your quest (for example the boy who witnessed the invocation of Arthamon or Tinthan from Glatzburg). The downside with this is that you're sometimes depandant on doing these sidequests in order to progress and make it to the next act.

    I don't see any reason to replay the game once you've completed it once.
     
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  10. PosledniKovboj Scholar

    PosledniKovboj
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    Played the game, agree with the review. I did have fun with it, but very often did I find myself imagining the brainiac who came up with the whole "o weit guyse, if you put more combutt in it, itz longer, and longer gaymes sell more" leitmotiv of the game.

    Also, while it does NOT feature tastefully done rape, I believe the tastefully done torture is the next best thing.
     
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  11. sea inXile Entertainment Developer

    sea
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    Awesome review, and I think you completely nailed everything about the game and why it does not work well. The combat and adventure modes of the game are very hard to reconcile and feel like they come from two completely different games... it had such great promise if only it had stuck to being focused more on the investigation, like the first chapter, but as the game goes on it just gets worse and worse.
     
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  12. oldmanpaco Master of Siestas

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    Too bad the game sucks. I was debating purchasing it before but heard some rumblings that it was a mess. Glad I waited.
     
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  13. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

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    Thank You for the review, Mrowak. :bro: I was hesitating if i should buy it before reading, but not anymore.
    Hopefully, mods will fix it someday.
     
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  14. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    sea In your Gamebanshee news article about this review, you forgot to link to it. :) Just saying.
     
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  16. sea inXile Entertainment Developer

    sea
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    Shh, don't tell anyone!

    (fixed)
     
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  17. Commissar Draco Codexia Comrade Colonel Commissar Patron

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    Insert Title Here Strap Yourselves In Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Sad but True, Really Really wanted to like the game, which could be Divine Divinity sequel made into more interesting setting than another Tolkien pastish, but The sheer idiocy of slaughtering dozens of fellow Knights, while the country outside fortress was besieged by hordes of Xeno beasts, Demons and Heretics made me rage quit it. :(
     
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  18. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Ahh, yes! YES!! Codex needs every bit of link juice it can get!! Mwahahahaha!!!

    But seriously, thanks sea for your words. I actually deliberately waited to finish my article before reading yours to see if they'd overlap much. To be honest I feared this review would be substandard - when I was writing it, it just felt like a constant stream of abuse pouring down into my text editor.

    I admit, though that a lot of the credit must be given to Crooked Bee and Jaesun who mercifully edited the shit out of the review reducing the impact of some major rants (when I rant my vocabulary becomes rather limited).

    I am surprised no one came to game's defence - we had such a rift back in the day it was released. I guess everyone reached act 3. :troll:
     
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  19. Marquess Cornwallis Cipher

    Marquess Cornwallis
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    Mrowak: Hats off to anyone who made it that far. I gave up after act 1 and all I can say is that for what I've seen of the game, the review is pretty much spot on.
     
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  20. Ringhausen Augur

    Ringhausen
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    True that, forcing myself to finish this thing left a real bad taste in my mouth. Those plot twists at the end were cute but was it worth it? I.. can't say.
     
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  21. ohWOW Sucking on dicks and being proud of it Dumbfuck Queued

    ohWOW
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    So it's a piece of crap after all?!

    I would buy it anyway. But in a box.
     
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  22. godsend1989 Scholar

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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Still playing it, beautiful art kept me going i`m on act 2, its far worse then Divine Divinity but if your a isometric freak you might wanna try it.
     
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  23. Morkar Left Guest

    Morkar Left
    It's an diablo-style action rpg with the best mood and world in this genre. But unlike other action-rpgs - especially Diablo - it lacks balancing. Severely.
    The strange thing is most of the bad balancing could be mostly overcome when/if modding is possible and someone takes his time to do so.
    It would still be behind D2 or even DD but the rest of the game would easily carry the enjoyment.
     
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  24. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    I fear no amount of moding can save it. A complete redesign in the form of a heavily modified remake, maybe. But mods can only make it suck a little bit less.

    Even if you mod out the entire combat, the ludicurous stuff will remain (e.g. slaughtering all those paladins), and the adventure mode gameplay it's really broken - it would be a "meh" experience with a rare spark of ingenuity. I've "played" better detective visual novels than this.
     
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  25. Morkar Left Guest

    Morkar Left
    I have an opposite opinion. The general gamerules aren't bad, just badly implemented by fucked up balancing. Of course it depends on how moddable the different variables are.
     
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