September 7, 2012

Too Old School for Today

Lasting First Impressions of Inquisitor

Developed by Cinemax

Inquisitor boxart» Being touted as a clone of Baldur’s Gate, independent game studio Cinemax recently released their lovingly created, detail oriented RPG, Inquisitor.  A Baldur’s Gate clone, you say? Sign me up!

Inquisitor tells the story of a disaster of biblical proportions in the late 13th century. It is a time of heretics and priests battling for the fate of the Earth. Witches and heretics have opened portals to hell and let loose all kinds of monsters and demons and it is up to you, a lowly Inquisitor in training, to track these undesirables down and put a stop to their evil doings.

All the trappings of an old-school RPG are here as you choose a class (Paladin, Priest, or Thief), complete your character sheet by assigning skill points and spell alignments before being thrown into the story head first.  Literally.  From the moment the game begins with a simple menu screen, there are no instructions or any kind of tutorial at least explaining the controls and interface.  The player is left to figure it out in their own.

Inqusitor Character Sheet

Normally, I’d be okay with allowing the player some freedom to figure things out, but in this case, there is so much to understand it seems like a daunting task to expect every player to know what to do right out of the gate.  I chose to play as a Priest (thinking he’d be as close to a magic user as I was going to get) but was unpleasantly surprised to find no known magic spells to start the game with. No weapons either.  I was essentially forced to battle enemies bare handed until I could find items littered around the countryside.

There’s another sore point for me.  Once I found the items scattered on the ground, there was no typical RPG treasure chest as each item was laying there in its own. That’s not so bad in and of itself but the problem was that I found it very difficult to actually pick up the items because the mouse pointer had to be in an exact precise location to select the item.  Targeting enemies was just as finicky.  I finally figured out that I needed to first assign a spell to my quick-bar (once a spell scroll was found), select it to activate, and press the right button to cast it at the enemy. The problem was that the spell would be cast wherever the mouse pointer was instead of the selected enemy so targeting an enemy became a constant game of cat and mouse.

Inquisitor ScreenGraphically, Inquisitor isn’t terrible as they seem to be going for the old-school Baldur’s Gate style.  The graphics look good if just a bit outdated.  The story seems to be well thought out and detailed, but some necessary conversations just seem to go on and on.  I honestly felt a little anxious while playing Inquisitor because the pacing was very slow going.  Inquisitor has many incredible RPG details available for the hard-core player, and if you have endless hours available to understand it all and figure it all out, then this game is for you. Unfortunately, with so many other great RPG games out there, this one just doesn’t stand above any of them.

Fans of the Baldur’s Gate series may enjoy this retro style Action RPG, but with Baldur’s Gate actually returning very soon, is it enough to keep them entertained?  In my case, no.  I felt bored with Inquisitor and the sloppy controls, slow pace, and lack of instructions quickly made me want to put it down.

Cinemax, I gave you an hour and I am NOT IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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