Now I hardly give games perfect scores, but when I reviewed Demigod, I really fell in love with the game. It revives memories of DotA, but had several improvements over it, like the lower learning curve.
Neoseeker's Demigod review got way more attention than usual because it was the first to be posted. This is especially important for us because we are independent and relatively small compared to the likes of IGN, GameSpot, 1UP, and so forth. It's a way of getting our name out there and demanding notice.
While I was terribly pleased to hear Stardock and Gas Powered Games liked my review, and many fans agreed with what I had to say, a backlash soon followed. Now, I'm not a fan of whining, but this is the Internet, so I don't know why I was at all surprised (though "whining" is relative). Many PC gamers were not quite so willing to take the review to heart, saying that the 10 I gave Demigod was unwarranted. Well, okay, that's not totally untrue because as much as reviewers try to be objective, our perception of a game will still be influenced by our own preferences.
An example here is the single player content in Demigod, which many felt was lacking without a campaign mode. For me, this is fine, because every Demigod had their own rich back-story and RTS campaigns are really tedious to me. I prefer getting in the action, so the skirmish modes were enough for me, in addition to the game's stunning visuals. While no game is perfect (and the word is subjective), I felt Demigod was well-made and stands firmly on its own two feet.
Many people also complained about connectivity/technical issues while jumping into multiplayer mode. Now, it might help to know that while Demigod was still in beta, GameStop decided to be an asshole and launch the game early, so the beta servers were unexpectedly flooded. Stardock has been trying to fix everything since the incident, and even then, the game has only been out (officially) for ONE day. My friend at Gas Powered Games also mentioned something about these networking problems over at Stardock, and I assume those issues are related to the sneak attack on their servers.
Additionally, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has been including status updates on his own blog. Apparently, there's a massive number of connections via warez, and they're scrambling to weed those out so legit customers can game in peace without suffering connectivity issues.
While reviewing, I actually tried to get on multiplayer, but their servers couldn't find me a match. At the time, I assumed this was because because I had the game early, but after learning about the early launch, it makes sense the servers were undergoing difficulties. Someone at UGO said that the guys at Stardock were supposed to have Easter Monday off, but instead were tied to their desks shoving out updates and patches to try and accommodate traffic.
When any game gets a rough start, the gaming community seems to flip out, and I've noticed this is especially true with "PC gamers," based on all the forum lurking I do. Xbox LIVE subscribers can get pretty damn whiny too, and I don't visit PSN forums... but many PC game communities just seem plagued by constant asshole-y bitching. Well, stop it. Multiplayer games will always run into these problems the first few days, including huge titles like Halo 3 and Resident Evil 5.
All the multiplayer issues aside, I played the game and judged it to be lots of fun and beautifully executed. I would like to play more when I'm finished with the upcoming Zeno Clash review. If the Internet suddenly explodes between now and then, I will still play and enjoy the matches in single player. Especially for those who aren't into traditional RTS games, Demigod is just plain fun, throwing you right into the action without bombarding you with a billion options to learn first. It's simple, clean, and just shiny as hell.
Another big selling point for this game I think is the future content. A lot of companies sell you a game and leave it at that, maybe releasing a patch here and there to appease the community. With Demigod, Stardock has already confirmed new playable characters and arenas on top of the eight currently available.
Not to mention Demigod is $10.oo cheaper than most PC games; even less if you look for bargains. I recommend Amazon.
It seems gamers can will just ride your ass if you give anything a good score these days. Hell, if you give major titles bad scores, you'll STILL be buried in flames, not to mention potentially blacklisted by companies. Reviewers just can't win, and those of us who aren't hiding behind a "household name" like IGN or Joystiq seem to make especially nice flame bait... without even trying to piss anyone off. This whole incident, having a day totally invaded by bloody trolls -- it's pretty maddening. I just wanna grab one of 'em by the neck, shake him up a little while screaming
But this is the Internet, and I guess a lot of people feel the need to lose their self-respect as well as general respect toward others simply if they have an opinion to express. Real shame, that.
Guess I'll just need to grow a thicker hide for now.