Video Game Review - Demigod
Sure it's fun to play god, but what happens when a bunch of other gods are out to get you? Gas Powered Games lets you find out for yourself in Demigod, a hybrid of role-playing and strategy.
Some might complain that there's not much of a story to speak of, but with this type of game it's not really needed. Demigod is hard to pin down. It clearly draws its inspiration from Defense of the Ancients, a popular mod for WarCraft III, but it's definitely not a rip-off.
Players take control of one of eight Demigods and battle it out in one of eight beautifully rendered combat arenas. As the battle progresses, two teams of up to five Demigods per side attempt to infiltrate enemy territory and eventually take down the opposing side's citadel, which is the source of their power.
Each arena is filled with special territories which can be claimed for gameplay bonuses, and massive defensive structures which need to be destroyed in order to progress. There are also two other gameplay modes where you must hold certain parts of the map or kill as many enemy demigods as possible.
Demigod includes a single-player tournament mode where you play through a series of battles using the same character each time. There's also a full-featured skirmish mode, but the real action is online where two teams of up to five players square off in arena-style combat. There's also an online tournament mode called pantheon that tracks how well you and your side are doing over a series of battles.
No matter what mode you play, the gods aren't the only ones in the arena. Each team continually spawns groups of reinforcements--smaller, less powerful units that wage an attack on enemy creatures and fortifications. It requires a combination of reinforcements and powerful Demigod abilities to bring down the enemy. In this way, Demigod feels like a simple real-time strategy game with very limited unit control.
But there is more going on here. As you fight, your demigod gains experience levels that can be used to purchase additional skills and abilities from a skill tree. Each demigod possesses unique traits which can be used to compliment your teammates or directly hinder your enemies.
Gold, gained through territory ownership and battle, is used to purchase items and equipment which, given enough time and money, can make your demigod incredibly powerful. Players can also spend their gold purchasing special upgrades for their citadel which, when used wisely, can turn the tide of battle. So in this way, Demigod feels a lot like an RPG.
Unless you're already familiar with games like Defense of the Ancients, your first impression of Demigod will likely be one of frustration or confusion. Although on the surface it looks a lot like a real-time strategy game, it really doesn't play like one. The game also lacks a tutorial, which doesn't help matters. The instruction manual does include a guide to get you up and running with the basics, but it lacks sufficient detail on much of what the game has to offer.