My Demigod saga ends happily

Kudos to Stardock for treating me like an honest customer. As of this evening, they’ve refunded my purchase price for Demigod, which I’ve now uninstalled.

I’ll cop to this mis-understanding between Stardock and me being mostly my fault. I got caught up in the hype of the new release, combined with some very rich and interesting backstory material I read, and jumped to the conclusion that this was more of an RPG than it is.

Here’s the first part of the blurbage on the ImpulseDriven (I bought the digital version) site:

The all father has vanished, creating an opening in the pantheon. To fill the void, Demigods from across from the mortal world must wage war against one another in a bid to ascend to true godhood.

Demigod is a real-time, tactical strategy game that includes extensive role-playing elements. Choose from several Demigods, each poised for battle with their own unique capabilities and awe-inspiring powers. Vanquish other would-be gods as you gain levels, increase in power, unlock the power of mystic artifacts and slowly battle your way closer to joining the Pantheon.

To me, fan of strategy-RPG games, “tactical strategy” + “extensive role-playing elements” = something like Final Fantasy Tactics, only this one would have a way of doing multiplayer skirmishes with other players in addition to the singleplayer strategy-RPG game. Not something I’d be interested in, I detest competitive multiplayer gaming. I’d rather spend an afternoon in the dentist’s chair.

I was assuming, and assuming wrongly, and in addition being hasty (farther down the same page the genre is clearly marked as “Strategy”). What Demigod really offers is a game that feels like Unreal Tournament or Quake Wars: a series of ‘matches’ played in arenas, complete with an announcer. Only in RTS form rather than FPS.

There’s nothing at all wrong with that, but it just isn’t something I personally am interested in.

*Most* PC game companies would’ve told me “Tough cookies, we have your cash.” but I was hoping given that I bought the game from Impulse and requested a refund within an hour of completing the download and installation (as soon as I booted it up and saw the kind of game it was, I know it wasn’t for me), that they’d do the right thing. (I’m assuming the Impulse launcher phones home whenever I fire up the game, so they could see I hadn’t played it much, and down the road can see that I’m not playing it).

And they did.

And in doing so, they’ve gained a loyal customer who, going forward, will shop with confidence (albeit after doing more research next time!) from Stardock and Impulse.

So thank you, Stardock, for treating me like the honest customer I am. Most PC gaming companies treat gamers like a bunch of thieves. You’ve shown yourself to be different. Kudos!

Demigod warning!

Remember this post when I became so enchanted with Demigod from the rich backstory?

I was so excited by it that I did something I never do these days. I bought the game at launch, rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of diving into that richly crafted world.

And, as is so often the case, got burned badly for rushing in.

Demigod is not a game that takes place in a rich fantasy world. It’s a tournament game… like a kind of RTS bloodsport. If you’ve played something like Unreal Tournament with a big announcer voice booming out “RAMPAGE!” and crap like that while you play, then you’ve got the feel of Demigod’s structure.

There is no campaign, no fiction… just “Pick a side… FIGHT.” Then get a score.  There’s also no tutorial and the camera controls suck. It locks up if you try to skip the intro stuff, too.

If you’re primarily a multiplayer gamer, then it might be an excellent choice. But as a single player game, it’s… well, pretty damned non-existent. My fault for not researching the matter more thoroughly.

Caveat emptor.

How to sell me a game

Until 1o minutes ago, I hadn’t given Demigod, the upcoming Gas-Powered Game, a second thought.

And then I read this:

It was in this climate of despair that a man came to offer his services to the Fathers of Belrond. Fifteen hands across at the shoulders, tall enough to fill the garrison’s archway, and carrying a mallet the size of a birthday breadloaf, he called himself Mard Hammerhand. He was not a native of Belrond, nor were his features familiar to anyone who had traveled abroad, but his ready smile and booming laugh dissolved all barriers of mistrust.
Demigod Origins: The Rook

And now suddenly I’m all excited about the game. Hook me with good fiction/world building, keep me with great gameplay. Now granted, it remains to be seen if the latter will be delivered, but at least this piece was enough to get my attention.