Previews// Indie Roll Call: The Weaponographist and Toren

Posted 15 May 2015 16:29 by
This is it, the last of the games Chris saw at Rezzed! And if you're wondering about why we're still covering Rezzed in May, well... Chris played and wrote about a whole sh!t ton of games, basically. If you go to our previews page you can see for yourself. So, without further ado...

The Weaponographist
Developer: Puuba Games
Format(s): Windows PC, Mac and Linux

What happens when you start to believe in your own hype? Well in the case of Doug McGrave, the main protagonist in The Weaponographist, a terrible curse is laid upon you by a witch. This curse causes every weapon that Doug touches to deteriorate very rapidly, making it nigh on impossible to defend himself. In short-hand this is known as 'hubris' but Doug, being the arrogant turd-bucket that he is, has had to learn this emotion the hard way.

The Weaponographist is the second title from Puuba Games, the first being Concursion (reviewed here). Puuba Games featured in Episode 22 of The Sausage Factory, so SPOnG has some understanding of where they are coming from with their games. This follow-up title is quite different from their first in that it is a top-down brawler with an interesting weapon degradation mechanic.

The player takes the role of Doug McGrave, a famous demon hunter who demanded payment from a village to rid them of an evil scourge of demons. In response to this a local witch has cursed him and now he must vanquish the evil creatures or leave this mortal coil. As he cannot hold weapons for very long, he can only use the items dropped by the creatures he kills.

This is an anathema to any self-serving hero or, indeed, player of hack 'n' slash games like Diablo, where only the weapons dropped by bosses are considered to be worthy of use and certainly not a 'rusty sword', for that is considered to be merely vendor fodder at best!

This constant need to replace the weapon the player is holding makes for some very intense play as the knowledge that the two handed sword you're swinging about will soon turn to dust is a very sobering one. There is also no guarantee what you'll pick up next, forcing you to change combat techniques on the fly.

The Weaponographist is a really fun game to play as it breaks a lot of the rules people are familiar with in brawlers, while keeping things fresh for the player. There is also a heavy dose of humour, which is well placed and very welcome.

The Weaponographist is due out later this year on Windows PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

Developer: Swordtales
Format(s): Windows PC

Those of you familiar with Never Alone will know how stories from ancient cultures are starting to make their way into the realms of video games. Toren is another one of those games that has been inspired by folklore, but rather than the ice-bound realms of Alaska, this time it's the lush tropical rain forests of Brazil to make their presence felt.

Based on an epic poem, Toren is a third-person action adventure that tells the tale of a girl turned warrior maiden. It is being supported by the Brazilian Cultural Incentive Law that provides a tax incentive to video game developers who make titles that draw their inspiration directly from Brazilian culture.

When I first encountered Toren I was really taken aback by its lush visuals. The quality of it was up there with the likes of Assassin's Creed (minus the missing faces bug) and the animation was similarly impressive. Yet Toren is a game that has been made by a much smaller team of people, who are clearly enthralled by the poem that has inspired the creation of Toren.

Toren is about growth and this is communicated to the player by the character they control, who starts off as a toddler and eventually grows into a girl and so on. The demo I played at EGX Rezzed 2015 only went as far as pre-pubescent age, with the little girl being very agile and able to balance on very narrow edges with relative ease. The environment around which Toren is set is a tower that the player needs to climb in order to gain the ultimate prize: the meaning of life itself.

From what I played of Toren I can certainly vouch for how beautifully-rendered it is and how it is really well put-together. The animation of the main character is very convincing, as are the creatures that inhabit the dark tower that dominates Toren.

Toren is due to appear on Windows PC later this year.

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