For those of you confused by the title, “Deutsch” means “German”. And so, while the title may be completely grammatically incorrect in actual German I think it gets across what I was trying to say. I realise it’s not a particularly inspired title but then I think it’s unusual enough when you think about it. After all, how many other German video games can you name?
That’s probably enough about that… Time to actually talk about the game itself!
Drakensang is a top-down MMORPG, in the same style as Runescape. It’s a free-to-play, in-browser game again reminiscent of Runescape. The similarities end there really. The rest of the game is more similar to other MMO’s out there, with the traditional method of grinding, leveling up, questing and getting items. It’s a tried and tested method which has once again been successful brought to play in a game.
The first thing I noticed when I started up the game is that it actually looks pretty good. Really good actually. When you consider it’s both F2P and an in-browser game the graphics of it are actually even more impressive. The environments are great, the animations are smooth and just in general the game looks really great.
Unfortunately, in already traditional MMGaming style, my praise for the game stops there. And in rather unusual, not-at-all MMGaming, style my complaints for the game don’t really start there.
The thing is, the game is not bad at all. It’s really good, well put together and has everything that makes an MMO good. The problem is, it’s so average. It may be good and well done. But there’s nothing there that’s special. Nothing that makes the game unique or gives it any zing.
If any of you are familiar with Top Gear you will know that one of the presenters, James May, talks about getting a fizzing sensation in his abdomen when he’s in a car that feels fantastic. And I actually know what he means… in a fashion. There are some games which just feel great, they feel amazing, fun, stylish, unique or whatever and give me a sort of “Oooooh” feeling (although not in my butt). Games like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet have this feel and therefore I enjoy the whole experience of playing through them. Drakensang… didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, as I have said, it is a good game. But it just feels unoriginal and boring. Everything had a sort of “Yeah, well… been there done that” feel. There also wasn’t enough variation in the combat. Again and again I would find myself up against ten or so little Gremlin bastards. I’d hit them each once, and they’d die. And then I’d run in a random direction for about 2 minutes and find another ten. The quests also felt very familiar, similar to any early quests in any MMO.
That’s another thing about it, along with being unoriginal there wasn’t enough variation in the game. I must have met about four types of mobs in about 2 hours of so of playtime, and I got about two new items and two moves. In an MMO variation is always a nice selling point. Lots of customisation of your character and lots of different mobs which you can kill in lots of different ways.
I will be the first to admit, I didn’t play very far into the game, but that in itself is a sign that I simply was not enjoying it. There were a few things I didn’t get to experience, for example there was something called Andermant you could collect, which I believe you could use to enchant your items. But while interesting, certainly, it’s not enough to keep my interest in the game.
At least the game wasn’t bad in itself. The only complaint I have with the game itself was the lack of mini-map or another way to navigate the individual areas because it was extraordinarily frustrating attempting to find a fishing village in the northwest corner of an area without any idea where exactly you were on the map.
So there you have it. A sound and well designed experience over all, but also a boring and conventional one.
Check here for the highlights of my two-hour experience: