Dark Avenger Review
- A competent ARPG experience with no pricetag.
- When you're surrounded, you start attacking, and you see the waves descend alongside all the numbers, that feels good.
- Repetitive combat.
- Grind or IAP focused.
- I hope you like dungeons, because that's where you'll be fighting.
Dark Avenger is to ARPGs what Zenonia is to KRPGs. An average effort hampered by design choices centred around grinding and in-app purchases.
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In the last few years, the ARPG has exploded in popularity. For most of the 2000s, gamers were either playing Diablo II or one of the few games made to emulate it. This explosion in popularity even has the progenitor Diablo finding itself ill equipped to make a huge splash in the new market. It's of no surprise then that plenty of developers have tried to bring this style of game to IOS. These entires have met with various levels of success, and now Gamevil is throwing their hat into the ring, bringing their freemium, multiplayer focused style along for the ride. It's ends about as you would expect.
You start by selecting from a supposed three classes, but at the time of this review, only the Templar was available (which plays sort of like a rogue/assassin type). Each stage is a small series of interconnected chambers in an adequately lit dungeon, in which waves of enemies will attack, you will kill them, and then you move on and do it all over again, collecting loot, gold, and levelling up your character. In-between stages you can buy new items from the shop, sell or forge the gear you found (or equip it), and level up your skills and abilities. Each upgrade or shop item has two prices, one is in gold which you earn in-game, and the other is the in-app currency. You do earn enough to not be overwhelmed in the main game (although don't try the infinite dungeon till you've completed everything), but after a few stages, you get the distinct feeling that the game is holding back on drops and loot to persuade you into a purchase.
And the real problem is that the combat itself isn't that engaging. There were similar problems in their latest Zenonia game, in which the standard attack is a boring multi-hit combo that has no real oomph behind it as you slice into enemies. You can mix things up with the skills you learn, and their use is important strategically, but the core gameplay is very repetitive and grindy, and not in a good way. Gamevil definitely has its fans, and this sort of combat does appeal to a certain type of gamer, but this reviewer is not it, and it comes off a chore rather than an engaging experience.
As with most of their releases, the presentation is good but not great, with a level of audio and visual fidelity that is pleasing, but predictable. If you enjoy Gamevil's other offerings, or really love yourself some ARPG, give this one a try. It will cost you nothing, so there's that, but most players will be put off by the uninspired combat and repetitive nature.