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Call of Gods Hands-on Preview

Sara Lau
Oct 31,2011  07:10 by
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After reading several reviews about the game of Call of Gods, I was kind-of attracted by what’s described between the lines and finally played it myself. What’s my own impression on it after the hands-on experience? I can at least say that it’s not as engaging as I thought or expected based on the prior reading.

Call of Gods starts with character creation, which is to select from three playable classes(for both gender): Human Wizard, Elf Druid, and Undead Priest. Limited choice and commonplace design. But the choice is not entirely meaningless, for it decides the military units you would have in afterward gameplay. For instance, the undead priest I chose would have military units like skeleton warriors, death bringer and bone dragon, and the skull-featured images plus the whole darkly shaded interface suits the choice too.

The initial interface is the land of Necrolis, the starting point for beginners to finish the tutorial. The outlay of the in-game maps shows the similar style to quite a lot of strategy games: 2D graphics with several buildings on it as explorable areas. In fact, the interface of Necrolis looks very much like that of Heroes of Myth, another strategy online game, except the building names and the palette.

Tutorial is short and simple, focusing mainly on how to initiate attacks and deploy heroes and units. And just when I thought that the game might have skipped the staple of building part, then the castle management turned up when the tutorial came to the end. There in the castle, you need to build an overall 12 types of buildings, serving different purposes such as providing resources and conducting research, etc. Yet, I think building constructions is a lesser part, for icons(such as the Recruit and Assign icons in the center bottom) listed on the interface are around combat. When I switched to the castle map, I just didn’t know how to build more structures: one reason is that I didn’t really pay attention to the tutorial, and another reason is that there is not a clear icon to open the building interface at all.

In the world map, there are various areas, some activated with high-levels locked. Driven by quests, you will explore them all. Quests seems to me to have followed a pattern: go to a place, challenge NPCs and come back to receive rewards. So you can skip the nonsense in quest description, just pinpointing the key word and moving on to the fighting part. Combat is turn-based and automatic, with a little crude animation. Win-or-lose is somewhat unpredictable, since the strength of enemy is not known beforehand. And needless to say, you can always have more winning odds if equipping heroes with better items and sending off more units. But playing in this style seems to reduce the importance of strategy in battles. Meanwhile, only when you have played long enough to set up an army consisting of differently skilled heroes, diversified units and varied equipment are you able to start playing strategically. As to the necessity of claiming rewards after completion, it is rather interruptive and troublesome. Why not save those meaningless clicks for more interesting gameplay?

Quests are of little variety in the essence and generally easy to finish, only serving to earn XPs to level up. Upon arrival at Lv 10, the first dungeon is unlocked; and Lv 20 opens the Arena. Personally, I like these two systems more than the linear quest line. And fighting daunting bosses in dungeons gives more play to strategic choice of army formation, while dueling other online players offers greater sense of achievement at victory compared with defeating NPCs in quests or in dungeons.

And Call of Gods also contains other elements to play, such as trading with one another to get needy items or forming allies to engage in scaled wars. The game on the whole features a wide range of playable elements, but it’s a little disappointing that none of these features really makes it particularly interesting. if compared with Heroes of Myth, it’s undoubtedly better; yet it has a long way to go to become a top-class in the strategy circle.

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