Lionheart: Second Impressions.... :(

Well… my first impressions were very good. I enjoyed Barcelona, the area around it, the massive dungeons, the people you meet and the quests. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there! Why?

  1. Barcelona is the biggest (only) city by far. It’s like getting Stifler’s mom in the first 10 minutes of the movie.

  2. Combat gets really really annoying. You are swamped by 5 or 6 characters, you can’t do enough damage to them, your companions die very fast, healing spells are way underpowered, bosses are ridiculously tough, mana takes too long to replenish. I’ve got a tank but finding good weapons is a challenge. (Lvl 13)

  3. The lack of meaningful pause is getting bad. You can’t pause and target enemies etc…

  4. I think this is all a setup for a sequel. London, anyone? Hamburg, Rome? The New World?

  5. The patch, and there better be one, needs to be comprehensive. Difficulty levels! Annotating the automap! And more! (SOJ’s are not needed.)

Anyway, there you have it. I’m gonna try and kill two bosses… again.

Ouch. Well, thanks for totally killing any faint glimmerings of interest I had after hearing “it’s so great, this city is huge, so many people to talk to, wow, I love this game,” from a couple people on QT3.

Sadly, the interplay forums are showing more bad impressions apparently. I’ve read about multiplayer lag/crashes and direct-x crashes while zoning. Definately puts this on hold for me.

I have to agree entirely… The first half of the game was great, I loved Barcelona and the interesting quests there. But as soon as you leave Barcelona and Spain behind it goes down hill fast and pretty much becomes one dungeon crawl after another :(

HA!

Do you think that future generations reading these posts as research into the Gaming culture at the turn of the century will be like “Who the heck is Stifler’s mom?”

Stifler’s Mom, as everyone knows, is a MILF!! :)

The curse of Fallout strikes again!

First Arcanum gets the Fallout-wannabe hype and now Lionheart, and whadya know - both suck!

The next game that gets hailed as the panacea for Fallout fans who are desperately waiting for a Fallout 2 sequel is getting immediately ignored by me.

All we really need, and people should fuggin’ listen to me, is this: Fallout 3 the RPG. NOT some funky-ass RTS, or friggin’ Diablo 2 clone. Fallout 3 the RPG. I’ll even let them use the title! And let some good developers who LISTEN to their public make it! Grrrrrrr!!!

HA!

Do you think that future generations reading these posts as research into the Gaming culture at the turn of the century will be like “Who the heck is Stifler’s mom?”[/quote]

Um, uh, erm…well…that is to say…who is Stifler’s mom? :oops:

-Fox

They might be talking about this one.

Stifler’s Mom:

— Alan

BTW: what’s with all these goddamn clicky-clicky fake RPGs? Do people really think the thing to do is to make realtime RPGs which don’t sell, rather than turn-based RPGs that don’t sell?

Mrs Robinson to us old folk, I think.

It’s late Sunday evening where I am. I’ve been reading the Interplay Lionheart forum and the serious bitching has begun! My final words on it:
Rarely has so little been done with a setting that could have been HUGE and WONDROUS! It could have been a great game if 2 or 3 times as long, with large cities (plural) to explore, higher resolutions, giving commands while pausing, automaps that let you annotate, yada yada. Who’s responsible? The suits at Interplay? Black Isle? Reflexive? Don’t know, don’t much care. They need to learn from this, because the loyal customers are pissed!

Look to Divine Divinity for pointers!! (Not that it’s perfect but I just reinstalled it and am having a ball playing it again. It has most of the user-friendly features people like in an RPG. The contrast to LH is striking!

Lionheart grade: D and on double secret probation!

Edited for sleepy Bioware thang…

BioWare? What on earth does BioWare have to do with Lionheart? Nothing that I can figure, unless I’m missing something.

See, I’m tired… Black Isle! Good night!

A 20 hour PC RPG? Repeatable CTDs. Lame combat. Did any mag or website get a preview copy? Doesnt look like it, and there’s a reason when that happens.

Interplay just pulled a 3DO, they deserve the same fate.

olaf

Well, so far I like the game. I’ve played to level 14 or something like that.

I have no problems at all with the combat system. The lack of pause-ordering just doesn’t bother me at all, I only pause to drink potions or to take a moment to examine the nearby enemies when I first enter an area. Of course I’m familiar with Fallout 2, so my character a hand-to-hand specialist, and I rip things new orifices pretty easily without having to pause much if at all. There is too much combat in the game, and the quests and story aren’t as interesting and amusing as in Fallout 2, but then what did you expect, a miracle?

Sure, companions die, that’s why I don’t use them. Or if I need one for some story reason, I have him stand in a corner where he’ll be safe :)

The game looks like it will be too short. Oh well.

The thing you have to understand about SPECIAL is that it’s unbalanced and exploitable. Not every character conception is going to work unless you really learn the game and replay it. In Falout 2, they did a reasonably good job of balancing an inherently unbalanced system; but even then it was quite a bit out of whack. In Lionheart, there’s even less balance. So if you don’t want to make playing the game a career (like many people did with Fallout 2) make the best of it with a character who will be successful.

Some random character creation hints:

  • Unarmed combat rocks, just as it does in Fallout 2. Take say a demokin with bloody talons, you will shred most opponents easily with quick attack mode versus a head target. Needless to say you don’t use a shield with unarmed combat…

  • Use divine healing regardless of how many points you spend on it. It doesn’t get hugely better even with a lot of points in in anyway, but it will save a lot of downtime as well as being somewhat useful when you have a spare moment in combat.

  • Starting traits are very important, many of them are not so hot. I choose ascetic and either light frame (there are plenty of load-increasing items, and it’s not a big deal if you’re strong anyway) or studious tinkerer. Heavy handed would be a good choice too, but I hate giving up criticals because they’re fun. Gifted is a bit too much of a tradeoff for me, but is reasonable for some characters.

  • Look at the perks list to determine what attributes you will need. Look at the effect of attributes on important values like melee damage and don’t give yourself more attribute than you need in a given area. I like a balanced character, but I can short Perception and Luck in this game, Perception because it isn’t very important for non-ranged-combat characters, and Luck because it is as usual the booby-prize stat in a system like this. I have just enough strength for base 4 melee damage to start with, and otherwise balance my stats.

  • Push your main combat skill high even if you want to suffer with a non-combat-specialist character.

  • All that stuff about how NPCs will hate you if you have obvious taint is a lie. Sigh. All you need is a halfway decent speech skill, which you can easily get with eloquence or with taking it as a tag skill, and everyone will love you. Since you need charisma for spell points anyway, WTF, might as well be lovable.

  • Modest lockpicking skill is very useful for getting loot. You will want extra-healing potions for major combats, and there are a limited number of them for sale, so don’t leave unopenable chests behind you. Even a score around 30 or so with a couple of lockpicking items will let you open the vast majority of chests.

  • Evasion seems pretty useful, but is not absolutely essential.

  • The combat system makes direct-damage magic and ranged combat annoying, so don’t take these things unless you really really want them.

  • Protective magic is useful and easy to use, so learn at least one kind of buff. You don’t necessarily have to choose it as a tag skill to get some good value.

Some gameplay hints:

  • Lionheart has almost Diablo-like combat for some reason. When there are a swarm of monsters, pull them and run to focus on just a couple of them if they are too tough for you. Don’t forget you can zone to save yourself whenever you want. Buffs are there for a reason, you might as well use them even if you don’t have much skill points.

  • Blue dots are everywhere… it’s hard to imagine ever running out of mana if you are not a direct-damage spellcaster. Soi you should always be at full heatlh between combats, and if you are about to fight something big and you aren’t fully buffed, there is really no excuse.

  • I find range and magic targeting excruciating. This is why I chose a melee character.

  • You can’t give many orders while paused, but you can drink potions. There is no need to blow out your wrist clicking around in the middle of combat to change your current hotkey selection, that works in pause mode too.

  • Do all the quests, of course. Like almost all games of this kind, you are paid off better for being a nice person than for being greedy or malicious.

  • Don’t waste money on possibly-useful items, or items which will only be useful for a little while. There are some very useful expensive items you would do better to save up for, but in general you can find a lot of loot anyway.

  • For heaven’s sake, make sure you have a good wrist support, or that you raise your wrist above your support or the tabletop. All the clicking in this game is an excellent way to damage yourself if you aren’t careful. This game is a poster child for good ergonomics in your workstation…’

That’s a very interesting post, Miramon. Thanks!

But…for me it simply points out the flaws in the game even more starkly. I mean, what you’re essentially saying is that most of the game’s supposed variety and flavor is wasted because, well, most choices are worthless. You can’t really be a spell caster. You can’t be a ranged weapon specialist. You can’t use half the traits or perks. You have to take a small group of abilities and focus on a small group of characteristics, or the game becomes an exercise in frustration. Followers, er, companions are worthless. There is no real need for many of the abilities or skills. Etc.

Now, to me, that’s a great description of a game that isn’t exactly a model of good design. It may well be possible to have fun with the title, but that hardly justifies going out and spending even the $45 Best Buy is asking for it, now does it? I mean, really?

Miramon, when I read your post, I didn’t think “Hmm, maybe lionheart is worth checking out after all”, I thought “There is a gamer who knows how to make the best out of a bad game”.

About your other point: I don’t think the SPECIAL system is any more unbalanced than the d20 or orther RPG systems. People can pretty much always powergame if they want. I also don’t think RPG character types need to be balanced, I like the idea of certain paths being more challenging – the tricky bit is giving enough advice to new players so they don’t uknowingly choose the hardest way.