On October 8th, Kalypso Media held an event with the press to take a look at The Dark Eye: Demonicon from developer, Noumena. This was a hands-off demo as they played the game for us and showed specific sections. The game was mostly referred to as Demonicon, as I will for the rest of the preview.
The Dark Eye is a popular German RPG akin to Dungeons & Dragons, even outselling the popular tabletop RPG, regionally as the devs explained. I’m definitely intrigued as there’s a bunch of lore for the developers to pull from. There’s even an in-game Codex to refer to.
The event started off by showing us the game world that reminded me of Dragon Age: Origins or maybe The Witcher with the big, tall surroundings and well-designed locations of a fancy medieval timeline.
Once the first battle happened, everything is a close, in-your-face type of fight. There are three bars to watch over when in active combat. The red bar is your health, or as they call it: vitality. The green bar is for stamina, which controls how much you can run or throw daggers/knives and will regenerate over time. Lastly, the blue bar is your essence for casting spells known as blood magic. Essence can be earned back from combat, spells, or medicine (which is a talent).
When in combat, combos are essential to earning essence back as a way to keep the momentum going during combat, if you can pull it off. Hotkeys are available for quick spells and inventory items it looks like. Spells allow you to buff yourself to resist damage. When casting spells, there’s a spotlight that shows, giving you an idea of the AOE and where it’s being placed at any given time.
As this is an RPG, you earn levels via Gift Points (GP) and Adventure Points (AP). There’s four branches of the gift spells to invest into. Cleverness, Charisma, Dexterity, Intuition plus the combat-related attributes: Braveness, Agility, Constitution and Strength. You can buff haggling so you can lower prices at vendors.
There’s a lot of systems and things going on, but none of it seemed to be overwhelming, at least from my perspective. Everything seems pretty straightforward.
At the end, there was time for Q&A. I was able to get some in with the developer and presenter:
Q: Can you respec at any time, or are you locked in once you make your choices?
A: You can try a lot while you are in the character sheet. but once you have decided to save the settings, they will remain as they are.
Q: Are you able to save manually either by menu or quicksave, or is it by checkpoint only?
A: Story-related Checkpoints and manually saving are both possible.
Q: Is knowing “The Dark Eye” beneficial or required for being able to fully enjoy the game?
A: Knowing The Dark Eye is not necessary and the game gives you a lot of lore to discover the game world even more. TDE is VERY big with a dynamic history line.
In the 45 minutes or so that I saw of the game, it looks incredibly gorgeous, deep, challenging, lengthy, and full of minor to major choices to be made throughout the beautiful world. I’m looking forward to spending some time in Aventuria.
You can pre-purchase the game on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/215630/
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Versions of The Dark Eye – Demonicon for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system will follow in 2014.