Published on June 4th, 2012 | by simeon0
By Ben Rueter.
There is a slew of table top and miniature set RPGs out there and all of them seem to eventually be adapted into a video game. Cyanide’s Confrontation is a another entry in the top down perspective RPG games but it doesn’t offer anything unique to keep the experience fresh for RPG fans. Everything here you can find in Baldur’s Gate or Diablo 3.
With a game titled Confrontation you can believe the focus is on the action and not much else, which happens to be one of the main problems with the game. The story is rather dry and names and location are filled with so many vowels it’s like reading fantasy alphabet soup. The world of Aarklash doesn’t really have much character and this spreads to the game design. For new players entering into this vast world it’s a bit jarring. It’s obvious this is a deep world but as a newcomer to Aarklash you are not eased into it very gracefully.
Players choose from four characters with 12 possible classes. Your team have names and back stories, but after playing the game long enough their individuality is lost and they become a vessel for better stats for better loot. This seems like a missed opportunity to establish some connection with the character and further more the world you are interacting with.
Having said that, the limited character development can be overlooked if you are in it strictly for the RPG/RTS gameplay. Once you ignore the plot and characters and see Confrontation as a stripped down RTS the game offers some limited enjoyment. You have your choice of ranged and close combat characters in your party of four. While it’s not very deep or does anything new it has a few thrills. When the action gets too heavy you have the option to pause the game and decide how to use your skills or plan a new course of action in the downtime.
Don’t expect a high level of strategy though mainly due to the game’s flaws. Path finding is terrible in Confrontation. For a game that relies on strategy, players need to be able to expect characters to be where they should be which makes microing easier. It makes the strategy more like you are battling the game mechanics rather than your enemies. The rewards and loot make your struggles anything but climatic. There is not a big pay off for the player’s struggle, which makes the combat frustrating at times. Add in the awful path finding and you will lose interest quickly.
The graphics are dated to say the least. There is no reason to pause for a moment and marvel at the location and art. Everything is very trite to your characters and action. Especially when it comes to the cut scenes. Major story elements are told through standstill frames with special effects and limited movement. The character models don’t seem to be integrated into the world around them and disconnects you with the world even further. Graphics and art design should have been pushed further given that this is an established world from the table top game. More risks with the art would at least give Confrontation a sense of style and marketability in the heap of fantasy RPGs and RTSs.
There is also simple multiplayer mode that pits two teams of four against each other. It’s nothing worth your time, in fact no one is really playing it unless you have a group of friends you plan to play with. Competitive play is non-existent simply because there is no community to embrace it.
Confrontation just doesn’t have the punch to keep interest levels high and it’s hard to give this game a recommendation to people who aren’t fans of the tabletop game. Confrontation feels like a game for the fans and it stays firmly in the land of the mediocre for everyone else. It doesn’t do anything with the genre and what’s there isn’t too inspired when it comes to fantasy storytelling and action. Even if you are a fan I would think that you maybe looking for some more depth and higher production values. Regardless, Confrontation doesn’t do a whole lot wrong but it’s hard to think of a reason why players should pick this game up at full price when there are better click-fest RPGs out there more worthy of your cash.