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Review of Book of Demons – “Diablo in an indie wrapper”


What do you think a great and terrible game from Blizzard would look like if it were made, for example, by an aspiring but promising indie developer from Poland? Perhaps, in this case, the game would have been about survival in the harsh conditions of the Underworld and it would have been voxel. Maybe even in this game, simple icons were fighting monsters without direct control, just like the survivors in Rimworld do.

Another thing is the guys from the little-known studio Thing Trunk, who decided to do it much easier and therefore simply released a remake of Diablo without any knowledge of the copyright holders. Moreover, which is typical for people involved in such a business, they are very successful in this.


Gameplay


The fact that the game was clearly inspired by the immortal project of Blizzard becomes clear and visible literally from the very first minutes of the game. The protagonist of the game returns after a long journey to his native village and upon arrival discovers that the settlement is, to put it mildly, deserted.

Most of the inhabitants of the village fled, but those who remained in this cursed place live in constant fear, while nervously looking back towards the ancient and radiating evil Cathedral, which was captured by the creatures of the forces of evil.

Moreover, the feeling of “déjà vu” will increase with every minute of the game, because Book of Demons not only exactly repeats the plot of the good old first “Diabla”, but even borrows many character images along with the game mechanics. However, you will not find stupid thoughtless copying in this game, so in this regard, the work of the guys from Thing Trunk can be assessed extremely positively.

►Visual style looks stylish, so it organically complements the atmosphere of the game. The atmosphere, in turn, was not without humor. That only are the caustic statements of local residents in relation to each other.

In general, Book of Demons is something like an “RPG for lazy people”: the main character will move along pre-laid game rails and “click” his enemies to death at a fairly large distance.

To prevent gamers from getting tired of the game from the very first minutes, the developers made sure that each new level was randomly generated, but before each new passage there will be a rather interesting choice – the player himself will be able to choose how large a “piece” of the dungeon he wants to go through. A very useful feature for those who are going to play Book of Demons during short breaks.

By the way, a new fashionable thing has come to replace the classic items – cards. These cards include both the usual “consumables” and activated skills that are unique to each class represented in the Book of Demons. In addition, there are also artifacts, but they have not active, but passive actions.

►The mechanism that determines the duration of the game session is called “Flexiscope”. And the longer your party is, the higher the reward will be.

The main task of the main character is to kill three Bosses. The last enemy appears to be the Archdemon. So, the murder of this main Boss will allow you to finally put an end to the “dirty” rituals that take place in the Cathedral overflowing with evil.


Plot


The plot is simple and unpretentious. The main character, returning after a rather long adventure, sees how his native land fell into decay and complete desolation. A little later it turns out that some time ago rather strange events began to take place under the old cathedral. First, the priest disappeared. And a little later, the area was filled with mysterious and creepy creatures, similar to the former people.

Panic followed. And by leaps and bounds. More desperate or, perhaps, brave people went to the Cathedral, although so far no one has seen them after this act. The cowardly, as I indicated above, found salvation in flight. Others generally decided not to pay attention to what was happening, so they simply transferred to a reclusive lifestyle. So all hope is for the hero who has arrived.

►Cards make a huge difference in the game. They replace the classic sets of scrolls, potions and other ammunition. And at first it will be quite difficult to determine what is more needed at the moment: slow mana regeneration, attack boost, or 30% fire protection?

A childhood friend who deals with magic potions will help the protagonist in this difficult battle. A wise elder who knows literally everything about monsters and knows how to recognize cards. A fortune teller trained in some mysteries, thanks to which it will be possible to work with magic cards. And, of course, a healer, ready at any moment to heal wounds or even save the soul from complete oblivion!


Remake innovations


But you know, despite the fact that almost all the details of Book of Demons betray the authors’ love for classic Action-RPGs, not everything was thoughtlessly copied from the first Diablo. The more you play this game, the more you realize that the developers have introduced some of their key new mechanics that fit perfectly.

In Book of Demons, almost every opponent has a certain tricky key feature that, like it or not, you have to reckon with. So, for example, skeletons can put up a shield, while blocking absolutely any attacks – in this case, you need to quickly click on the shield icon several times to destroy it.

►Some enemies will have to find their own unique approach. So, for example, Bosses can have multiple lives, strong wizards tie their protection to the summoned creatures. Others generally become temporarily invulnerable and much more. Imagine getting into a small room filled with different types of creatures!

Typical for such games, zombies, in turn, simply love to explode and thereby poison the hero, in connection with which you have to wait until a special button appears below to heal. And this list of seemingly simple things in the game, but curious mini-finds, can be continued for a very long time.

So, for example, when the enemy starts to cast, the spell can be “knocked down” by holding its icon with the cursor. And in case of stunning, a slight darkening will appear in the eyes of your hero, and you will soon have to “count” the stars flying all over the screen.


Visual style and graphics


►Some enemies will be boosted by elemental attacks. Elemental attacks can both poison and immobilize, or simply burn a character.

Another positive side of Thing Trunk is that Book of Demons has a pretty high-quality styling. The bottom line is that the game looks like it is a panoramic book: all the objects on the screen are made of paper and thick cardboard, and absolutely the same can be said about the interface.

In fact, it is noticeable how much effort the developers have put into making their new project look spectacular in the first place. Of course, Book of Demons has its drawbacks in the form of rather simple animation, but otherwise the game is pleasant and addictive in some moments, which is very important.


Indie developers take a look at the classics


At the moment, the game is in the final stage of early access, but now all the basic mechanics of Book of Demons are completely ready for use. Now the developers are planning to add the last class – the archer. However, now the magician and the warrior are enough to play dozens of fun gameplay.

►Cards can be improved, but having previously found special runes in the dungeon, with the help of which the fortuneteller will be able to perform the necessary ritual.

And even though Book of Demons has a huge number of similarities with the classic first part of Diablo, to call this project an ordinary clone – the language does not turn. The game is more like a remake, in which all the original mechanics are revised and certain changes are made in a more modern way. The situation can be overshadowed only by the complete lack of localization and the absence of the Russian language – now there are only two languages ​​to choose from. The first is English. The second is Polish.


Eventually


As a result, Thing Trunk created an incredibly beautiful and conceptual game. The developers managed not only to make an excellent debut, but also to provide an opportunity to look at a familiar genre from a slightly different angle. At an angle that is clearly not disgusting. The game has completely and appropriately rethought many aspects of a completely imperishable classics, received excellent styling and many other interesting mechanics that can not only surprise you, but also interest you. Everything that can be upsetting is the arcade gameplay, simple animations and the absence of even partial translation. But in general, any self-respecting fan of the original Diablo, if he wants to get acquainted with this game, then clearly will not be mistaken with the choice.


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