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SneaksieDave

Dark Messiah Demo

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Gonna check this out on my new computer :)


ZylonBane's confession about himself:

"What can I say, I'm a jerk. A three times all American Jerk, from Jerksville, Kentucky. Yee Haw"

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I think that's the biggest demo download ever, almost 1.5 gig!

 

I installed it at home on my desktop, but the installer was being a prick and was doing odd things with the directory that I wanted to install it into. I finally wrestled to install. Twice my firewall asked me permission to let something have access to online, both times I consented.

 

Then I started it up, watched the corporate movie clips (like NVIDIA!), then watched a brief but cool intro movie, then got a loading screen that never finished. The progress bar got about 2/3 done, didn't budge after that. I couldn't Alt-Tab out to see if it was asking another permission. I couldn't Esc out or anything. I had to hard reset my whole PC. I started up again, deciding to just let it load "forever". I let it sit on that screen for about 20 minutes, no change, had to hard reset again.

 

I might try uninstalling it completely and then re-installing it wherever the freak it wants in the first place, and maybe it will work then. I'll also try it on my laptop.


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Okay, I tried it on my laptop and paid closer attention.

 

The permission twice asked was for "Dark_Messiah_Demo_FP.exe" (I'm pretty sure). But this time during that loading screen my firewall popped up asking permission for "mm.exe" (this didn't pop up on my Desktop, but I'm sure it was the issue, so I'll just give it permission ahead of time and try again when I get home).

 

But on my laptop all the videos didn't work, I instead heard the sound and got a weird rectangle box with a diagonal slash, weird.

 

I didn't start the game yet, just messed with options. The menu music was choppy and having trouble, so I turned everything down. Now I'll see how it goes...


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I played through a good chunk of the demo (eventually fell in some odd "light" pit and couldn't do anything but die)

 

My first impression is to be very disappointed! But let me amend that by saying I don't know how much blame to place on my laptop. Certainly with ALL the options turned down as low as possible and still getting a nasty <10 framerate doesn't help make things fun. But here is my list of negatives:

 

1. Sidestepping. It causes you to lean a bit. I suppose this is all fine in the "in real life you have to lean the direction you step" mode of thinking, but I don't like the effect on the screen at all! Maybe if it was toned down to about 1/3 or 1/4 as much tilt.

 

2. Sliding. Whenever I stop moving, it's like the world is made of semi-ice, because I slide a little bit. This gets extremely unnerving and frustrating when navigating narrow legdes, walkways, etc, having to tap tap tap and play it way too safe to avoid sliding off the side. I had a heck of a time trying to "line myself up" with a higher nook to see if I could mantle up into it. I gave up trying!

 

3. Special motions. There are a lot of special attacks and other things that to me felt like the game takes over my guy and does this thing then I get control back to play some more. It bugged me every time it happened. Even mantling doesn't allow you to look around until the mantling is done.

 

4. Leaning. It sucks (as usual), but not as bad as Far Cry leaning sucked

 

5. Crouching. No toggle (why???)

 

6. Jumping. Feels too bouncy (might be better on desktop)

 

7. Fatigue meter. It's huge and obnoxious in the lower middle of the screen.

 

8. Visibility meter. Big and in center of screen (doubles as aiming aid). Still not sure how it works or if I had a bug, mine seemed to flip on and off without good reason.

 

9. Traps. They're all set up so very specifically. I really wanted to lure an orc (or whatever it was) under a certain area and break the very flimsy looking support to have it crash on him, but THAT one wasn't set up by the game designers for that. So I was out of luck. I can kick and super-sword-attack that little support and I get nothing.

 

10. Bugs, Incompatibility. This maybe is just my fault, but I got a lot of graphical and sound glitches. The sound was especially choppy and fragmented, in a very wrong/buggy way, even when I set the sound quality to low. I'm not sure if I can upgrade my laptop sound drivers (but I don't care anyway, the game's not really playable on my laptop anyway). I got odd graphics problems, squares and blocks and stuff where there should be smoke or magic effects or flying bats, buggy things like that. Again, my laptop video drivers are picky and I can't just use the latest NVidia drivers, so I might be stuck here as well.

 

Positives:

 

1. Looks Great. Even with lowest settings, the level design and world graphics were cool and atmospheric.

 

2. Gameplay Potential. I struggled with an unplayable framerate and bugs, the skating on ice issue, and other stuff, but I might be able to get used to some of it, and there does seem to be a lot of cool options and potential. The game must have been a nightmare to playtest and balance!

 

3. I want to play more. That's never a bad thing.

 

I'll report back tonight after trying again on my desktop


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Sounds like another shitty console game for 12 year olds thinly veiled as a PC game for intelligent consumers. Just what I was expecting.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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Tried it at home. Turned up everything to maximum (except AA and AF), and it still ran butter smooth. (Wish I had a better laptop since I spend most of my time on it and not the desktop, even at home)

 

However, the smooth framerate actually seemed to accentuate some of the negatives. It still feels like horrible ice skating slash mud wading the whole time, much worse than TDS.

 

The camera jerks and bobs way too much. When you land from a jump, the view tilts down some, then back. When you throw a crate, the view tips sideways some, then down some, then back. It's jarring and annoying, and I don't like it.

 

The demo is very short, basically if you watched the released preview vids (from E3 I think?) you've seen it all, except for a short (but cool) crypt crawl in the beginning which serves as the tutorial. It seems kind of crazy that this little bit of gameplay takes 1.4 gigs!

 

Still, I had fun battling the bad guys, mostly by throwing barrels and crates at them or kicking them off ledges or into spike traps. There were also a lot of preset traps to take advantage of.

 

But again, it all feels very artificial and "set up". I suppose that's the whole point, since it IS a demo, so maybe the full game feels more natural.

 

PS - I didn't have any sound or graphics glitches on my desktop, so it must be a drivers issue.

 

Oh yeah, to top it off, I had to give firewall permission to a file during UNinstalling - what the heck!?


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Okay, just tried it out.

 

Likes:

-"body awareness" (ugh, what a lousy term)

-the skills system looks interesting, if simple

-the throwing

-the burning objects (I so hope we can do that in TDM)

 

Dislikes:

-Oh, UNHOLY load times!? Yes, I only have a 1.4GHz here, and the rest ran acceptably (until that big room where something was very clearly wrong), but I waited TEN MINUTES for level 2 to load. WTF? That's beyond horrible. WTF did Valve do so wrong with that (I'm assuming HL2 takes forever too)? Doom3 reloads (after the first load of the map) take a few seconds at most. Is Dark Messiah any better on reloads? I didn't have the patience to find out. Even quitting the game took 3 minutes.

-Save times are terrible too!

-the ice skating must be fixed

-leaning is only so-so at best, and has sticking problems when close to walls

-TDM mantling is better ^_^

-no real object manipulation system (though the physics is good of course)

-classic Valve engine stutter

-Source lighting is very fake when held up against Doom3

 

Overall, I'll definitely be interested in playing it someday, as long as it doesn't force steam on me. I loved Arx and like Arkane's designs. But right now I'm in no rush, and don't have the system for it anyway. The load and save times alone made it so I might not even play the demo again - it's just too much, staring at a progress bar which doesn't move for minutes at a time.

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I had no problems with load times. Saves were instant, loading saves only took a few seconds, and quitting was very fast too. The thing is, load times were also just fine on my lamo laptop, no difference. Both are 7200 drives (with nice caches I think), so maybe you have a 5400 or slower and it makes a huge difference. Otherwise, dunno what's up with that.


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Hm, well I can imagine speed difference due to slower machine, but this was *obscene*. Ten minutes to load a level - the whole time, HD churning (i.e., not locked up). Maybe it wants a really, REALLY big swapfile; my system drive only has 1.2 Gb free.

 

Anyway, I just noticed it has a steam entry in the registry. <_< This won't be staying.

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Hmmm, at my max of 11kB/s, this doesn't seem worth it, especially given the fact that I am usually (and unfortunately for me) a lot more critical than the average gamer.

 

I think I'll pass. I'm not too excited about the fact that the game will require Steam (I'm sure Valve has some sort of obligatory agreement with developers distributing via Steam that a Steam install must be included in every copy of the game. You know, so they can get their advertising in there.)

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For me, my computer froze at the moment right before the troll fight. My impressions were that it was interesting, entertaining, but as an action game, although somewhat interesting, I didn't wasn't crazy about it. It was a fun First Person Slasher, but as stated before, but not really my thing. It's hard to take in detail when you are running so quickly, and yes, of course I could stop and gawk, and yes, I didn't. Does the "belt" have hot keys? That might make it more sensible for use in battle, but I suppose this was feature designed for the console market. I didn't really like that special moves had to be prepared so much, but that was something I could live with.

 

Also I didn't like the simple "dungeon crawl" logic of the story, but I shouldn't be asking for too much: "Oh! Looks like my master is taking me to get some treasure! Well, I guess the treasure doesn't mean anything for me, but it's suuure valuable. We're in some random temple (what is this temple? Why was it built here? Oh Undead? Why are they here?) Oh damn, the blackguards are here looking for the treasure (dim-wittedly wandering around? They didn't notice that the door could only be opened with a seal?) But I guess they didn't notice the spider amulet that was left on the tomb back there to open up the shrine (Wait a minute, no other adventurer before had thought of that? This thing has been resting in here for how long? A week?)"

 

Just as most of the Egyption pharaoh's were discovered with empty tombs, I would expect the same from this world being introduced to us. We aren't the only tomb robbers around. I seriously doubt we were the first to solve simple problems to get to the goods (seemingly ancient, right?). I suppose I just don't like it when a world is ignored and basic questions (and logic) about it are not addressed in something like a tutorial. I can see how it will be a good game. But nothing that I feel I will overly enjoy.

 

I agree with Komag when it came to leaning, honestly, I cringe at thinking what kind of contortionist could comfortably stretch his torso that way.

Edited by Ombrenuit

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-Oh, UNHOLY load times!? Yes, I only have a 1.4GHz here, and the rest ran acceptably (until that big room where something was very clearly wrong), but I waited TEN MINUTES for level 2 to load. WTF? That's beyond horrible. WTF did Valve do so wrong with that (I'm assuming HL2 takes forever too)? Doom3 reloads (after the first load of the map) take a few seconds at most. Is Dark Messiah any better on reloads? I didn't have the patience to find out. Even quitting the game took 3 minutes.
HL2's load times were a pain in the ass for me, and my computer was cutting edge at the time HL2 was released. While they weren't as long as what you're describing, it took a couple of minutes to load even a small level, compared to D3 being able to load a large level in a few seconds. To top it off, HL2 had to load a level as a background for the menu! What kind of idiot makes a menu with a background that takes a minute to load?! :angry:

 

(in case anybody is wondering, my drive is 7200 rpm)

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I must say, if this is just a demo the reports are not truly inspiring to give it a try. :) Are there any screenshots?


Gerhard

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The second news item here (http://www.stygianabyss.com/) has like 30 screenshots of Dark Messiah from around E3. Not the demo exactly, but gives you a good idea.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I started to download the demo, but then watched a couple videos and realized I probably wouldn't like this game. Is this the same game where there's a demo video going around that has the main character taking on a big cyclopse creature? If not, what is that game called? I am interested in that game. Part of me thinks that game might be Messiah, but I don't think it is. I haven't had a chance to research yet.

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Apart from some bugs and terrible performance (on some computers, including mine - clear signs of a rushed demo), I liked the game.

It has everything a medieval FPS should have, so if you expect just and only that, you won't be disappointed.

 

& DF: yeah, that's the game. You play at the location seen in the E3 videos and screenshots, and there is a cyclops in the game, but is not killable - the demo ends just before the fight :-(

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Hmm, interesting. Maybe I will try it, then. I'm not looking for a magical, multi-player frag fest, which is what the gameplay videos I saw last night made it look like. As long as the game has a focus on single-player and it is a nice campaign adventure, then I will try it. Otherwise, I'm not really interested...

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The game will have both a competent single and multiplayer - Arkane did the singleplayer portion, whereas they apparently outsourced the multiplayer to another company which has made it some sort of a medieval take on Battlefield.

 

I tried the demo and oh god it's the best thing ever. I haven't been this thrilled by a game demo in ages and their take on melee combat is extremely satisfying (unlike Oblivion). Although both the magic and stealth aspects are well done (although sneaking and backstabbing seems to be too easy), I had most fun barging straight at the orcs and dueling them to death. As for the sliding controls, surprisingly I didn't mind them that much (although obviously I'm glad if they'll tweak it). Headbobbing I turned immediately off.

 

You can apparently fight against the Cyclops in the demo by using this save game. I haven't tried it yet though.

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You can, but the cyclops AI is pretty much nonexistant. He barely attacked me and there seem to be no related scripted sequences from the videos.

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