If there’s one thing that old school RPG fans like to lớn vày, it’s to lớn tell the whipper snappers out there that RPGs were better back when it was also top down, isometric, & sometimes even turned based. InXile and Obsidian led the charge a few years baông xã with the mighty Wastelvà 2 và Pillars of Eternity, while Harebrained Schemes relentlessly threw Shadowrun game after Shadowrun game at us. Those of us who truly feared 3 chiều and ray tracing in our graphics had a safe refuge. So, what does Seven: Enhanced Edition bring khổng lồ the table?
S:EE is a remastering of Seven: The Days Long Gone, which was released in 2017 khổng lồ a fair bit of acclayên. With it’s bright cell shaded looks that gloss over what is the dark và gritty world of the prison islvà of Peh, you take on the role of Teriel; a master criminal. But not masterful enough lớn not get his shit fried in the first ten minutes and incarcerated on an islvà that’s locked down by brutal guards & visa passes that prevent you from unregulated (official) travel. Oh, and there’s the matter of the daemon in his head manipulating hyên for his own nefarious ends. You know, another day at the office.
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As the story unfolds you learn that current day civilization bows down khổng lồ Drugun, a god-lượt thích figure responsible for the advent of the new technological age that humanity finds itself in after almost coming to lớn the brink of destruction in ages past, which The Days Long Gone suffix of the original game references. Strewn throughout the game are his toughs, that rule the isl& of Peh with a brutal Technomagical fist, as well as the Biomancers; a faction of devoted khổng lồ Drugun that spew religious ravings lớn anyone who will listen.
And this is the crowning glory of S:EE. The world of the Vetrall Empire, the lore, the juxtaposition of high tech futurism against the brutality of prison life và the hopelessness of the slums is expertly woven together khổng lồ create a truly fascinating world. You could stiông chồng your head inlớn a bucket of the lore and not come up for months. The memories section of the thực đơn screen is regularly updated with information about characters, factions, enemies, công nghệ and more besides that flesh out the world & really allow you to melt inlớn it.
S:EE wants to be many things. As a self-described “open world, isometric stealth và action roleplaying game” it’s certainly casting it’s net wide và pays homage khổng lồ a slew of games from the past. As a master thief Teriel is blessed with cat-lượt thích reflexes which allow hlặng to run, jump & climb his way over almost any obstacle. The parkour element is very reminiscent of the Assassin’s Creed and original Thief series, albeit from a different angle. I rethành viên the first time I was able lớn make Ezio dance his way across the rooftops from rooftop to rope khổng lồ shop sign, or have Garret whisk himself away into the dead of night to lớn avoid a horde of roving guards.
Teriel can stand up to both stealth icons. The character movement is fluid and for the most part it’s easy to lớn tell what you can run on và what will provide you with a quichồng path to lớn the load screen. Because you will die in the early game. A lot. While intuitive sầu, creating the smooth runs of isometric tomfoolery that the sample videos show for the game takes a surprising amount of effort. Delivering a world that’s explorable through freekhung player exploration works sublimely well through some terrifically varied environments. One moment you’ll be sneaking through bushes in a rich man’s garden to lớn steal a shiny kniông xã knaông xã, the next you’ll be in the sewers wandering past cart loads of corpses.
S:EE begins to show it’s cracks when the meat and potatoes of the gameplay and UI come to bear. The thực đơn & inventory system is a good decade out of date with an inventory system that decided khổng lồ put the character loadout & the rest of the inventory on two separate screens so actually gearing Teriel is a complete pain in the ass. The UI, khổng lồ it’s credit is sleek & vibrant, the health/mana bars just short of a Bethesdomain authority lawsuit for borrowing Dishonored assets. The minimacác mục experience really does play to lớn the aesthetic, but perhaps the biggest issue with S:EE lie at two of the critical aspects of any RPG; combat and progression.
S:EE boasts that any situation can be approached several ways, whether it be firing magic off, swinging blades or sneaking around guards to achieve sầu your goals. For better or worse, you’ll be sneaking. Or, you’re supposed lớn be sneaking. The game is so blatantly designed in favour khổng lồ sneak it’s a wonder they didn’t pull the Human Revolution trichồng và reward you more for taking the stealthy route. When the crap hits the tín đồ & guards come running, the combat is clunky and feels lacklustre.
Character progression works very differently in S:EE. Usually in an RPG, you level up your character & choose a new perk or buy a new skill. S:EE decided this was stupid và instead you have khổng lồ scour the world finding Chips to insert into your progression tree & gradually unlock as you gain ability points. Such a system might not be such a bad thing in itself, but when S:EE presents itself as a game where you can play any way you lượt thích, having players have sầu to actively tìm kiếm out for the skills và upgrades for their preferred method of play seems a little disjointed.
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There’s a lot lớn unpaông xã in S:EE. It’s head crushingly deep, và those of us who enjoy the fast-paced roguelượt thích stealth ‘em up will find a boat load khổng lồ love about it. Under the clunky UI và questionable progression choices there is a gem of a game that will offer dozens of hours of exploration, questing and a story in a world that’ll have you dreaming of electric sheep all night long. Personally the overall experience feels lượt thích someone jammed the annoying stealth from Commandos 2 inkhổng lồ Fallout: Tactics. While not a terribly unpleasant experience, running through S:EE after having played Shadowrun: Hong Kong or the similarly rough Age of Decadence leaves you with no doubt that IMGN.PRO have some brilliant ideas & visions for bringing worlds khổng lồ life, but actually living in them is a bit blvà.