This is me right now.
I may have gone on a bit of a rant here. There’s a “tl;dr” at the very bottom for those of you who like to skim.
Still here? Great. Let’s begin.
Long Gone Days – A 2D Modern-Day Military RPG is a character-driven game in which your choices matter (and they actually do!). It’s anime art style and lovingly-rendered sprites bring joy to our hearts and the music is also quite lovely. It’s well-scripted, the combat works great, the characters that we’ve met so far are likeable–need we say more?
“But, wait!” you say? “Isn’t this just a demo? It says so right on the screenshot.”
Yes, it is, dear perceptive reader. Suffice to say, this gamer was impressed by what she experienced in the demo alone.
Call me an old fart, but with technology nowadays, it’s very easy to make a game that looks great on the outside, but beyond that pretty exterior lies a devastating lack of substance. Sometimes the problem is as insignificant as the lack of an engaging story in an action-y FPS, sometimes it’s as major as, well, the lack of an engaging story in a VN (visual novel)—either way, the lack is there and I’ve been seeing it more and more frequently in modern gaming.
You know, like how Final Fantasy XIII, which was certainly a stunner, lacked the amazing-ness that we had come to know and love from other titles in the (not-so) Final Fantasy series? This is my humble opinion, of course, and if you love XIII to death, more power to you. Just know that you can’t sit with us.
So it was with some amount of trepidation that I watched the opening cut scene in which the hero, Rourke, gave you a bit of insight into what makes him tick because it looked really, really good. Miss Gormaz is one talented lady.
Long Gone Days not only looks great—those pretty anime boys make even this gaymer swoon—but it performs well, too. Whether it be the combat system, which pairs the VATS system fans of Fallout will recognize with the tried and true turn-based combat of your classic RPG, the sniping mini game that requires your precision, or the intriguing Morale system which makes it so that your dialogue choices actually matter–the game does it all in style.
And don’t get me started on games that make the promise that your choices matter when options a, b, and c through z result in the same darned outcome.
Back to the Morale system: Morale is a stat that effects the combat efficiency of your units. It can be raised and lowered by the dialogue choices you make in and out of combat, so it’s in your best interest to tell your party members what they need to hear. My only complaint is that there seems to be a right and wrong option with no gray area in between.
Long Gone Days also does atmosphere well. The Core is a brightly lit, bustling facility while the surface is a dismal, rainy affair drenched in shades of gloom. It really helped to drive home the whole “core good, surface bad” theme right before your conception was shattered all to hell by the big reveal.
Curious? Check out our playthrough.
The soundtrack really helps to bring it all together. Timing is everything and there wasn’t a moment during my playthrough when it felt at all out of place. When you first emerged onto the surface, the music halted entirely and all you heard was the ambient drum of raindrops, eerie and lonesome; during combat scenes, the music was fast-paced and driven; during dialogue, the music would pick up appropriately to signal that something was about to happen.
Finally, let’s talk about the demo itself.
First of all, you can rebind the keys.
If this doesn’t excite you then you haven’t played very many indie titles, because a good number of the ones made by smaller developers—and even some games with big names behind them, now that I think of it—tend to be lacking in this department. So this in and of itself is a huge check mark on the list of things that made me happy in this demo.
Second of all… I’m going to be honest with you. Is that okay? I went into this demo thinking that I’d hopefully draw some backers to the IndieGoGo campaign, but didn’t really expect much. In fact, the frugal gamer in me said, “15 bucks (the lowest tier available in order to secure a copy of the game once it released)? No way, no how.” By the time I had encountered my first “save raven” as I like to call them—these are literally cute little ravens that allow you to save your game—the talented Miss Camila Gormaz had secured my support.
Now that’s a good demo.
If you’re still reading at this point, I need you to pull out your credit card and head on over to the Long Gone Days campaign on IndieGoGo because throwing cash at your screen is a nice gesture, but still an ineffective one.
The breakdown (tl;dr):
The Long Gone Days demo is fabulous and it only wet my appetite for more. It looks great, performs well, and the finished product will likely be a smashing addition to any RPG-lover’s library.
Demo or not, so far the game shows a ton of promise and we’re really looking forward to the full release.All it needs now is YOUR support to make this promise a glorious, role-playing reality.Back it here.
Stay in the know, gamers ❤