Inquisitor offers neat story, but terribly unbalanced gameplay

Inquisitor offers neat story, but terribly unbalanced gameplay

4/10 pitchforks

Released Wednesday, Sept. 5

Inquisitor is an old school open world RPG offering a mysterious story rich with religious persecution, murder and demonic entities, but subpar and unbalanced gameplay ruins the game’s potential. It’s available exclusively from gog.com.

Created by Czech independent developer Cinemax, Inquisitor draws heavily from games like Baldur’s Gate and allows you to play as a paladin, priest or thief. Skill points are allotted as the player desires, and two spell books are chosen. The remaining spell books can be purchased or discovered throughout the game.

Inquisitor’s main attraction is its plot. God has brought about the world’s end, and you are sent to the town of Hillbrant to inquire about the grotesque murder of an adventurer, and discover and punish heretics who align with Satan. Out of the 11 hours I played the game, about six of them were reading blocks of text and questioning characters to understand the story, where to go and why I’m going there.

As a whole the writing is good and fairly compelling; however, it does suffer from numerous grammatical errors. The downside of the story is you have to read everything, because the only way to gain an idea of where to go is by questioning everyone around you. It’s neat at first, but grows old quickly; especially because once you start a conversation it has to be finished before accessing any other function.
By collecting evidence through conversations you can accuse someone of heresy and worshiping Satan, torture them and then burn them at the stake.

Inquisitor’s weakest point is its gameplay. The entire game’s combat system is horrifically unbalanced. Even on the easiest setting, I spent far more time dying than completing quests and exploring. One hit from most enemies forecasts instant, or near instant death. Unlike in most RPGs where leveling your character up increases its power and makes the game easier, this feat does very little to improve your survivability. Playing as a priest and kiting enemies was the only viable option I found, and even then if your companion dies, you typically die shortly after.

The numerous status elements even make the experience worse. In most games, a status element is a simple debilitation that mildly affects you for a short period of time, but not in Inquisitor. Unless you feel like depleting your stock of health potions to survive a three minute timer, or you’re lucky enough to have an antidote, many ailments practically require reloading to your last save.

As if being bombarded with constant death isn’t bad enough, the game is terribly unfriendly to new RPG gamers and provides no in-game tutorial. To understand the more intricate play mechanics you’ll need to go through a 66 page manual.

On top of the unsatisfying gameplay are several graphical glitches including texture popping, sluggish character animation and render failure. While these bugs are not frequent, they all occurred numerous times.

Lastly is the acquisition of gear and loot. Buying gear is a very simple process, but buying what you want can be quite arduous. Numerous vendors are located in each city, many who sell everything you’ll need. The catch is items are randomly loaded into each merchant. Every time you try to buy something the inventory changes. While the constant supply of new gear is initially exciting, when you’re looking for a particular item the task can be very time consuming and frustrating.

Loot is plentiful in the form of potions and gold, both of which are rapidly consumed, but the icons are so small they can easily be accidently bypassed and are difficult to pick up.

Reach the reporter at tdmcknig@asu.edu.


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