Monday, May 24, 2010


Unfortunately I haven't been able to do much modding today. However, in order to get another update (yes, I'm trying to do them more regularly) I'm doing to do two reviews.

The first thing I'm going to discuss is Return to Korcari Wilds, which I mentioned in passing a few days ago. Now, given it's been out for a month, and already had more downloads, just as many endorsements and twice as many comments as Alley of Murders in one quarter of the time, I was expecting something pretty special. Now, I'll happily admit that I'm jealous of its statistics, but I'm more disappointed by the fact that it doesn't deliver.

Put simply, Return to Korcari Wilds is a 'dungeon' romp. It's a short and linear adventure where you kill a whole bunch of darkspawn. You're expected to encounter the three sets of NPCs in a set order - and in fact, the third one doesn't even appear until you've talked to the other two. There's no real roleplaying to speak of, and the dialogue is filled with spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, I understand that the creators speak Spanish as their first language, but there is barely a sentence that doesn't contain an error.

The combat of the mod seems like it would be very challenging for the most part. I played with a fairly high level warden and got through the majority of the fights without too much hassle, but I imagine it would be nigh on impossible for someone attempting it early in the game. An abundance of boss monsters, often with two in a fight, means that it would be very challenging.

There are a few cutscenes, notably featuring music from Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, which are reasonably well done. There are a number of pieces of custom loot, which are balanced apart from a few overpowered items; a two-handed sword with +30 spirit damage is the worst offender here. There are two companions, one of whom has a nice side quest to kill a Dragon, but again the quality control is lacking. See the mystical floating mountains of Ferelden...

However, all this said, Return to Korcari Wilds isn't a bad mod. For a straightforward combat-fest, it's fine, but the overall lack of polish made it trying for me. Given how well it has been received, I was expecting to be impressed by an adventure that integrated smoothly into the main campaign, but I was ultimately unsatisfied. This isn't to say I don't appreciate the effort that's gone into creating it, and I'd happily encourage the modders to improve upon their efforts. However, I suggest you play it expecting just to kill a bunch of enemies. With that expectation, you'll probably be happy.

The second thing I'd like to review is Warden's Fall, a short Dragon Age machinima. It's apparently going to be a series of videos telling the story of the Warden Kristoff, who seemingly takes his duty of killing darkspawn very seriously. The production values on this work are extremely high, and the people involved deserve credit for all the hard work they've put in. The only real complaint I have is that the directing during action suffers a bit from Michael-Bay-ism, or rapid-fire shots that reminded me of the second Bourne movie. However, I only comment on that because I can't find any other really constructive criticism at this point in time. The music, voice acting, cutting and sequences are well crafted and put together nicely. Seriously, go watch it if you haven't already.

I'd love to get some of the animators doing cutscenes for The Shattered War...

PS Please, give me your opinions on the texturing post I made yesterday, and vote in my poll!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that machinima was amazing. Thanks for the recommendation.