REVIEW / The Weaponographist (PC)

 

A developer from California, Puuba, wants to create a new word in the dictionary. It is doing so by creating a game for the PC via Steam that deals with a cornucopia of weaponry and high-speed combat. By tacking on the name The Weaponographist, Puuba wants to show the world what it can do as a budding developer.

 

 

Plot

Doug McGrave is a legend. With his handsome looks and best gear in the land, he has established himself as a hero by killing countless of demons big and small. However, like all human beings, he has a fatal flaw, and that is greed. Boy, does he love money.

Doug’s adventure starts when he meets a witch in a forest who seeks his help exterminating demons in a nearby town. Doug, of course, asks the witch how much she is willing to pay for his services. The witch reveals that she is penniless, and the revelation peeves Doug who refuses to assist her. Angry at his refusal, the witch casts a terrible curse on Doug, destroying his weapons, dissolving his money, and diminishing his power. She tells him that the only way to restore everything is to save the town.

 

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Gameplay

The town is very small; it consists of a single screen where Doug can interact with the important townsfolk who will help him dispatch demons. One of them will help Doug increase his weapon skills, another with magic skills. The two others help him out with statistic improvements, such as slowing down the combo meter and gaining more experience points.

 

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The townsfolk will not help Doug without a cost, and money will not help him here. Doug needs to collect goop from fallen demons in a nearby dungeon and use that as currency to improve himself. Essentially, the dungeon is set in different layers, and the further the depth, the harder the demons. Each depth level is a set of adjoining rooms where demons randomly populate, and Doug’s job is to kill them.

Doug’s curse is evident as soon as he steps in the dungeon. First, he lacks any weapons besides his fists. While his fists can carry their own, the range and power will not sustain him for the whole dungeon. Luckily, all demons he face carry a type of weapon (or magical item) that has a possibility of dropping when they die. Doug can pick up the items and use them to his advantage; they do, however, have their advantages and drawbacks. For example, the trusty sword may take blow a chunk of damage per hit, but may not be so effective on demons who have ranged weapons. The rifle, on the other hand, may have a good range, but it takes a lot of bullets to cap a demon.

 

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Another aspect of Doug’s curse is that weapons do not last long. All weapons have durability levels, and every time he uses them, the closer they get to breaking. After breaking, Doug is forced to use his fists and scrounge for the next weapon or magical item to use. The game, fortunately, is gratuitous most of the time in dropping items. Also, weapons and magical items are two different categories; Doug can wield one of each category, so if a weapon breaks, he can still use his magical item and vice-versa.

Doug also has to keep up with the pace of the dungeon or else he gets weaker. The combo system in this game is set specifically for constant action. The combo meter is raised every time Doug kills a demon and depletes when he has not killed one. Experience is interestingly tied to the combo meter; the higher the combo meter, the faster Doug levels up. Thus, in order to keep up with the increasing difficulty every level, he must constantly kill demons, since the experience level resets every time Doug enters the dungeon due to a game over. The game then gets really fun and challenging in later levels where numerous higher-level demons are around, but tedious and repetitive in the earlier levels when Doug has to level up from scratch.

 

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Design

The Weaponographist utilizes the keyboard or a game controller to maneuver Doug. The keyboard controls uses the four WASD buttons for moving and the directional buttons for attacking. The shift key is for picking up weapons, and the space bar to use the magical item equipped.

Having four dedicated buttons for directional attacking with a weapon can get a little tricky at first, especially those who are used to a game where the direction of the attack happens where the avatar is facing. Unfortunately, changing button settings is not possible; adapting to the controls is coerced.

 

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To Buy or Not to Buy?

Players who enjoy a fast-paced action game that can bear a slow start on every run should give this a try. The interesting mechanics of the game can give these players a challenge as to how fast they can keep the combo meter up. Those who are obsessed with games that have countless of weapons should pick this up. The game’s title just hints it.

To find more about The Weaponographist, visit its Steam page.

 

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