Monday, February 25, 2013

A Valley Without Wind 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing A Valley Without Wind 2, a platform game with a dash of turn-based strategy by Arcen Games.

The sequel is free to all owners of the original (and A Valley Without Wind is given to anyone who orders this version as well). The game still features randomly generated levels (although each world tile now only consists of one section) and cooperative multiplayer. Each character can choose from one of ten classes at each level, each of which comes with a set of four spells. Experience gained during combat can be used to choose new perks that add bonuses, while new feats (like double jump) can be stolen from research facilities placed around the game world. Firing in only eight directions using the keyboard or a gamepad makes precise aiming difficult, and the recently-patched-in ability to use the mouse makes using all four spells cumbersome. You can cause more damage if you go a while without being injured, and treasure chests can contain equipment to further alter your abilities. The enemy variety and patterned AI are generally the same as before. As for the turn-based strategic portion of the game, you must defeat the boss before he kills all of your NPC allies by reaching a certain experience level and learning specific skills. Food (for morale) and scrap (for buildings) must be collected by NPCs, which you can order around the map to scavenge resources, construct buildings, or defeat low-level monsters. Your job is to purify darkened regions by destroying the wind generators, slowly improving your character until he or she is capable of taking on the boss directly. The graphics and music have definitely been upgraded, but an effort to reduce complexity results in a more approachable, but less diverse, game that I found to be less enjoyable than the original.