First Impressions: Riftforge

Riftforge is a browser based 'RPG', currently 'beta testing', but it's more of an incredibly simplistic wargame. Y'know one of a great many, that really should've just stolen its fundamentals from Warhammer 40k, but stubbornly went off and did its own thing and is now more of a diseased and astray alley cat, than the lone wolf child of hard core arsiness, it so dreamed of? Yeah, it's one of those.

Actually, I think I saw this game over a year ago. Has it been beta testing for that long?

Sheesh, does the word 'beta' actually attract people? Oh, no, no, no, it can't. Because that'd be retarded. Right?
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Moving on.

The Art

The art style is non-consistent. In-game it has sort of this anime theme going on, but outside of it, it looks like some sort of non-anime dark/low-fantasy look. Encouraging.

Sound

There's no sound except this gong noise that interrupts everything else I'm trying to do in my oodles of free time spent browsing with mah firefox. God dammit, will that gong stop interrupting everything I do with my oodles of free time?!

Anyway, the noise is completely unecessary - it's purpose serves to indicate that your turn has begun - or ended??? I dunno. My attention span doesn't maintain itself that long. Who'm I to actually care enough, or stare at this game dumbly for any more than about forty seconds, before I figured out everything. Shut up, thisgamestillsucksandI'llshowyouwhysokeepreading.

Control

Use your mouse to click on a soldier and click again to move. Selecting a unit and clicking on the a grid space isn't as easy as it sounds. In fact, it feels like this game was coded entirely in javascript. Mousing over a grid space does not high light the grid space - and you can't click a grid space and move to it until it's highlighted. It's finicky, it's retarded, it... it... starcraft 2 had this same problem, except that it made up for it by doing nearly everything else right (not to mention movement grids in starcraft 2 aren't grids, and are apparently much more complicated/dynamic; as shown in the editor with unit size, pathing, etc.).

As for this abomination: This game has nothing to go on, except a grid.

StarCraft: Brood War used an isometric movement system. That's actually more complicated than a grid, because it involves requiring a computer to draw shapes at a 45 degree angle from top down view! And yet unit selection and movement was practically seemless and so smoothly responsive that it's probably the best I've seen in any RTS I've ever played (including AoE2, as much as I love that game).

This game (on the other hand) also uses a 45 degree angle (sorta), except there's no real purpose to using a 45 degree angle! Argh! And it messes up the selection process completely - as if the selection is just some kind of basic javascript image/button combo. It's incredibly ugly, and smells of make-work, like Ben Yatzhee's 'polished turd'.

But is that the only flaw? Oh no... not done yet!

Accessing the Game

Even accessing the game is confusing. The site is hard enough to navigate. Googling takes you to a home page that feels like a blockade. It's one of those places that are more likely to advertise 'visit the forums!' and 'like us on facebook' (in other news: 47,000 people have no soul) rather than 'play now!'. Oh yes. It's that bad.

Oh wait, but then again the term 'play test' (which feels more like an intro and gives no indication to 'this is the button you gotta click to play this fuggin' game') provided by the top banner is the fastest way to get to it (Och, I say! Och!).

It's just one of those retarded things that bring you down to their level and make you feel possibly even more retarded once you've figured it out. It's also that annoying, hurray!

So before I've been driven completely insane writing out something that took me 20 minutes, relative to the forty seconds I've played this game, I bring you...

Playing this 'Game'

It's hardly even a game. It's so bugged that movement itself doesn't work. I'll cut the next sentence into another paragraph, just to let that sink in for a moment.

Movement doesn't work (Got it? Okay, good).

So now the game says it's in the 'pvp phase', and is only letting players pvp because that's what it wants to do to test this... this thing. I mean - I wanted to play tutorial, but the tutorial is just another game, except there's no opponents! God! So it's more like a room to mess around with buggy movement. Even movement is bugged!

Movement is one of the most basic things that needs to be solid in anything like a strategy game (especially strategy games!) - or any game at all, for that matter (which videogames have you played that haven't involved movement?). Seriously, I try to move in one direction and suddenly the only tiles I can move to are behind my mount. If I move too much, I can't attack. Why is movement part of attack? It's like the designer was making a concerted effort to make this ever more so soul clutchingly un-fun.

Oh and also, when I end turn, it's only then that I discover I have no opponent. And so there's no opponent to click 'end turn', and so I have to wait a full 2 minutes to go again.

I don't, y'know? I don't even, like, care anymore. So yeah.

I'm giving this...

Overall (0/10)

I give this game a 0, because it failed in all regards, and it tries to get by on the excuse that it's still in beta.

If your a game designer and you don't have the money to correct things and make something solid, at least figure out a way to do it yourself before you throw this online or waste the time and effort of artists (who were probably commissioned from deviantart all the same) and those with probabilistically wasted degrees in business administration (who make the difficult marketing decision to use precision words such as 'amazing mmo').

What a waste of fossil fuels! I'm sure whatever server (or *shudder*, number of servers), that game is running on could be put to much better use.

Ie. Providing a guide on how to appropriately lead a revolution against brutal dictators in Africa. Or donation to Wikipedia.

I dunno, but this game is like a bicycle wheel without any spokes, or a hub. It's an oily mess is what it is!

/rant
- An Imp