Druidstone is a tactical strategy game from the developers of Legend Of Grimrock, and it is pretty much exactly the kind of tactical strategy game that I’d expect the developers of Legend Of Grimrock to make.
Some of my friends have asked me why I even bought Rage 2, since I didn’t exactly enjoy the original and the sequel wasn’t looking like anything special from the previews. My answer to them was that I just wanted to blast things with a shotgun for a few hours, as that’s a genre that’s been somewhat underserved this year (so far), but the real reason is that I really, really wanted to open the review with a “You can’t spell average without Rage” joke.
Unfortunately this makes Rage 2 doubly disappointing, as it’s turned out to have fallen some considerable way short of even that rather dubious target.
If I’ve ended up being disappointed in Heaven’s Vault then, in fairness, that’s not exactly a fault of the game itself but rather its not living up to the quality demonstrated by its stellar choose-your-own-adventure predecessor 80 Days. Developers Inkle do interactive text adventures, and 80 Days was basically a text adventure with a nice interface over the top of it; it was Inkle working with tools and structures that they were already familiar with, and so 80 Days demonstrated what they could do at the peak of their powers. However, it’s also quite a difficult act to follow, both from the point of view of the people playing their games and the developers who actually make them. I do understand the motivations behind wanting to take a slightly different tack with Heaven’s Vault, making it much more of a traditional point-and-click adventure game. I also can’t help feeling that almost all of the problems Heaven’s Vault has (and there is a not inconsiderable list) stem from this leap from text to a 3D world, and that Inkle would have been able to do a much better execution on the idea if they’d stuck to what they knew.