That was quick.
I remember enjoying the Lawgiver and the different ammo types like Ricochet, and just being Dredd. But the level design was a bit dull at times, and the overuse of vampires was annoying, and it turns out I remember very little about it.
I don’t think I regret playing it, but I suspect I could have just played the first level or so.
I have given up on City of Brass.
I think maybe roguelikes just aren’t for me. This one did better than most at keeping me interested, but in the end the game was always pulling in the opposite direction to where I wanted it to go.
It’s basically Spelunky, if Spelunky as Arabian Nights Bioshock. But it has way too much Spelunky and not enough Bioshock for me.
The world looks lovely and I want to explore it. The minute-to-minute gameplay of exploring, collecting, jumping and fighting is fine. (Though there are far too many traps).
The problem is the overarching structure.
It has a level-time-limit ‘feature’ like Spelunky’s Ghost… which goes against wanting to explore the world and find loot.
But you can turn that off with the Blessings (customizations). At which point I was much more successful and had much more fun.
But it still has the underlying Roguelike structure of mostly learning about new things by dying to them. And turning off the time limit possibly makes that worse.
My last run was going really well. I’d collected an interesting and weird set of buffs/equipment and by this point I was pertty comfortable with the basics of the game. Then I hit a Boss.
Do most Roguelikes have bosses? I rarely stick with them long enough to know.
But Bosses fundamentally don’t work with a roguelike structure. They tend to have different mechanics to regular enemies, and you often have to work out their attack pattern, or timing, or weakness. This is the kind of thing that’s almost impossible to do the first time you meet them.
Remember that thing everyone hated in the old days, where the checkpoint wasn’t before the boss encounter, but further back and every time you died at the boss you had to replay through all the easier minions to get back and try a new strategy/timing? It is not improved by having to go back to the beginning of the entire sodding game!
As it happened, I did work out how to deal with the boss, but too late as I’d already lost too much health trying other things. So now I’m pretty sure i could beat it… but I have to go back to the beginning and do another entire run to get there. And I know 3 levels later there will be another boss and it’ll happen again.
I get that the whole point of Roguelikes is that things are different when you replay… but they aren’t that different and it kills any sense of progress for me.
So, if you like Roguelikes you’ll probably like it, but I’m in the situation I expected to be in… wishing they’d just made it more like Bioshock and a linear single player game with saves.