Legend of Grimrock
Written By: v0rt3x
Back in 1991, I remember fondly playing a Game called Eye of the Beholder. It was an amazingly deep game, to which I lost hours of my young teenage years.
Just a few nights ago, Almost Human Games released a game called Legend of Grimrock. It is inspired by Eye of Beholder
, Dungeon Master
and Ultima Underworld
. The game itself is certainly reminiscent of the style and gameplay present in those older titles.
As sentenced prisoners, your party is abandoned at the top of Mount Grimrock and must make its way down to the bottom, through all sorts of dungeons; in order for them to be cleared of whatever crimes they were accused of committing.
The game offers a generic party but also gives the option to let players design their own heroes. It has tiled based movement and real time action. The graphics are fairly nice, the models very detailed and the textures nicely applied. The lighting is really nice and key to creating this great dungeon atmosphere. In a day and age where we are used to cutting edge visuals, these Indie devs pull it off with limited resources. There are about 15 types of monsters wand a total of 13 levels of dungeons to explore.
Using puzzles, tactical combat and real time action, they manage to set the pace in an exciting game of exploration, treasure hunting and survival. More thinking and less button mashing is the opus morandi. Monsters can sneak up on your party, circle around and surprise you with flank attacks. Traps and pitfalls are everywhere and you will need quick wits and a sharp mind to avoid them.
If you would like to further live the experience of old school dungeon delving, the game lets you disable features such as auto-mapping, meaning you’ll have to pull out the graph paper if you want to survive!
For the future, the developers, who worked on previous titles such as Alan Wake and Max Payne 2, have talked about a level editor as well as possible expansions that would perhaps include new dungeons.
In my first game, I started with the default party, which included a fighter, a Minotaur, a rogue and a mage. The first thing that struck me was that I had no equipment, time to scrounge! Looking around the dungeon floor I found an old knife and a couple of cast off peasant clothes. It would have to do. Once inside the dungeon, the game instantly felt like a classic.
As I explored further in the dungeon, I started coming across some sort of fungal creatures and giant snails. Using fists and wits, I managed to defeat them, learning a flame burst spell in the process. The way the magic system works is very interesting. Using 9 runes, you choose a combination and unleash a spell. You can only cast the spells that you have enough knowledge to pull off, or else it will fizzle. Luckily I had found a few scrolls giving me indications.
After forgetting to save and being boxed in and wiped out by some skeletons, I began to save more often. The game is very unforgiving in that regard.
I did manage to elude some traps (not all of them), find some hidden rooms by pressing some cleverly hidden buttons and go through a teleportation puzzle. As of today I’m down to level four. I had to stop playing to write this and I’m going right back to it afterwards.
Over the last years, we’ve seen visuals in game reach new heights, but a lot of times, the gameplay in these beautiful titles stayed stale or inexistent. In the last year, there has been a slew of Indie Developers announcing or releasing games based on old licences and gaming concepts. This is great for the gaming industry. I hope more continue to do so as these games can re-kindle the love of playing in all of us.
Legend of Grimrock is available for purchase on Steam
for $13.49 right now (10% off)!