Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Let me Try - Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (PC Game on Steam)

My first impressions (gameplay in 1080p 60fps) on Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas the Action Adventure Role Playing Game (RPG)This is the PC version on Steam.

Action-Adventure RPGs are a dime-a-dozen these days, Is Oceanhorn a worthy addition to said genre ? The short answer would be "Yes and No"
Let's get into it.

This is not the original launch of the game, first being released on iPad where it got good reviews. So first things first, how well was it ported to PC ?
Please keep in mind that my time with the game was through a pre-release version, that being said :

-Frames locked at 60 max (Vsync on or off).
-Vsync off will result in screen tearing.
-Operates fine with mouse and Keyboard as-well with a controller.
-Most of the keys are rebindable but not all. You can rebind the movement and action keys which are most important, but you can not rebind generic commands such as "Pause" , "Menu", Numeric for items (1,2,3,4) and you can not assign keyboard commands for mouse actions (attack, use item and turn camera). Overall i found this to be acceptable but not ideal.
-No bugs, glitches, crashes or any issues from my time with the game
-Decent graphics options for quality / resolution etc.

The developer claims that this was a huge overhaul and from my time with the game i found this to be true. So overall it's ok technically speaking. My only issue is with the frame lock and tearing, hopefully the dev will have this sorted soon. OR RIOT!!! :D

Now that we are done with that on to the game!

The overall feel of Oceanhorn resembles the Zelda series, featuring a mute hero, a handful of magical artifacts that you will collect across very different environments in order to save the world!...what else ?... oh and find out what happened to your father!

The journey will take you from verdant landscapes to sun-scorched deserts to treacherous dungeons, all of these environments are beautifully crafted and never outstay their welcome.
The "I am on a adventure!" feeling is present throughout the game. A big part of that feeling is caused by the epic soundtrack which blends perfectly with your surroundings, never breaking the feeling and always adapting itself to the situation at hand.

The gameplay is rather stiff for a Action RPG and while it may be fine for ipad it's definitely sub-par for a PC title. This is a issue because from my point of view the actual combat-gameplay is the bread and butter for a game of this type. You start with a STICK for a weapon (yes a actual stick!) but you soon find your fathers sword and shield! You can block with said shield using shift and you can move around while holding block, but when you attack with your sword you are rooted in place, making for a bit of a frustrating experience when a enemy moves 5 pixels out of range you need to stop attacking, move and start attacking again.

While you traverse Oceanhors worlds you will level up and unlock new items and abilities which will allow you to solve previously impassable puzzles. So if you are a completionist there is plenty of backtracking for you in Oceanhorn.
Speaking of puzzles...these are for the most part no-brainers, with the occasional brain teaser, i did not mind this to much as i never enjoyed being stuck on a puzzle but if you want something more complex you will have a hard time finding it here.

What about the difficulty ?
Well there is no hand-holding and the game rarely points you in the right direction.
For example, if you chose not to talk to all of the towns folk or read all the messages scattered across the land you will not get access to all the locations you can explore. A location will only unlock for you if someone tells you about it or you read about it somewhere.
The actual combat is not that challenging and you will have no problems dispatching creatures or learning a bosses patterns so you can counter it.

Let's wrap this up...
If you are looking for a leisurely-paced enchanting adventure and you are not to fussy about combat then look no further.
Sure... it is not perfect and it may not be the embodiment of modern day ARPGs but it more then makes up for it in feel and style.
Overall a good game at a very attractive price which i am happy to recommend!
For a clearer view on the actual game you can watch my first impressions video :