[Review] Driftmoon – More like Driftmeh
Role Playing Games are sort of my thing. I’ve been playing them for as long as I can remember and they are my favorite type of game if I really had to choose one. Many Indie developers go the route of the RPG because they are simpler to develop even though they have more content than other types of games, and because of this we see a lot of RPGs fly by us here at Twinfinite. Driftmoon is one of these RPGs, so let’s dive right into it.
In Driftmoon, you play as the typical protagonist that you see in pretty much all RPGs. A young white male that will meet a load of new friends and battle an evil force to save the world. If you’ve played any other RPGs you’ll quickly recognize that Driftmoon does nothing exceptional or out of the box in this regard and is underwhelming in a few areas without having too many highlights to hold on to.
The combat system is a hack n slash type which has very little strategy involved aside from clicking the mouse like a crazy person. I would have liked to see enemies that were a little more difficult or had better AI so I could be forced to implement any strategy at all. Most combat situations were either me coming in swinging or backing away while firing off some arrows as I recovered from a previous encounter. For my complaints here, the gameplay mechanics were pretty solid and didn’t cause any headaches. The highlights for me are the point and click adventure feel that certain parts of the game give you and some of the whimsical dialogue that you find yourself in. It kind of reminded me back to my days playing Quest for Glory, which is a good feeling to have as an older gamer.
The story is where RPGs live and die though and Driftmoon comes up a little short in this area. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a standard story where your friends and family are turned to stone leading you to adventure out to vanquish the evil King Ixal which will take you roughly 10 hours to do if you complete all the side-quests along the way. The dialogue, while funny at times is often a little basic and seems rushed through by the writer. This could have been better if it was spoken versus just being text or if the writing was done by an actual writer. Unfortunately, this is what you get when it’s a smaller team as you can’t afford a staff member that does nothing but write and you certainly can’t afford to record and master a bunch of audio. With Driftmoon having been in development for 7 years, a little more time could have been spent on fixing up all the text.
Graphically, Driftmoon is nothing to write home about but that doesn’t matter in this case. The textures are well done and from the top down view, that allows it to use lower poly models without compromising its looks. The character models for the humans are a little weak and I think it takes away from some of your emotional attachment to them by having them in this view. Each character has a concept art sketch that is used during their dialogue so you can see their faces, but the artist isn’t really the best at drawing characters from what I can see.
The game comes with an editor and allows users to create mods. That is a fairly unique and interesting feature to have in a game like this, but being so close to launch, there isn’t a ton of content here and even less of it is very good. I expect that the more people pick this up, the better the content you’ll see floating around there which might add some replay value to a gametype that usually has none. The audio didn’t stick out in my mind for either good or bad, which is a really good thing here.
Ultimately, I can’t really tell anyone to buy this game unless you are a serious diehard fan of games like the Quest for Glory series. If you are unsure if you are one of these types of people, they have put out a nice demo so you can check it out and maybe get hooked. I really expected a game billed as in development for 7 years to give me driftwood if you know what I mean, and it just never delivered. At nearly $20 (€14.99) for 10 hours of slightly above average gameplay and story would leave most people underwhelmed. With the bunch of RPGs currently floating around for that price point or less, Driftmoon would have been a good purchase at half this price or less. For me, the price is what keeps this game from being a 4/5.