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Review

Curse of the Dead Gods has a hard time competing against Hades as an overpowered opponent. The action role-playing game based on the roguelike blueprint from Passtech Games and Focus Home Interactive manages to convince with intense battles, but the game quickly runs out of steam away from the dungeon hunt. Curse of the Dead Gods is sympathetica...

Curse of the Dead Gods

  • Samanta Blumberg
  • Jun 25, 2021

Curse of the Dead Gods has a hard time competing against Hades as an overpowered opponent. The action role-playing game based on the roguelike blueprint from Passtech Games and Focus Home Interactive manages to convince with intense battles, but the game quickly runs out of steam away from the dungeon hunt.

Curse of the Dead Gods is sympathetically straightforward in a way, as everything revolves around fierce battles in three temples with Mayan/Inca flair. It also fits into the picture that the main character isn't even introduced and you only find his name in the official wiki.

Caradog McCallister, the name of the main character, likes to search for treasures in mysterious temples, but for his curiosity, he was put under an eternal life curse by the god of death. He is therefore forced to fight his way out of the temples over and over again - and after each death, he is sent back to the starting point once more. Since McCallister is allowed to take some stuff from the previous run with him each time he tries to escape, he gets a little stronger each time and can go deeper into the bowels of the temple, if the random elements will have it that way.

The game from Passtech Games thus relies on the usual roguelike loop. A story, interesting characters, backgrounds about the main character, a creative scenario, or even voice acting is what you're looking for in Curse of the Dead Gods.

On the way to freedom, there is mainly fighting, and this is where the game scores well, especially since it strongly depends on the player's skills and reactions. Thus, it is necessary to avoid the attacks of the opponents with precisely timed dodge rolls or to parry attacks at the last second to receive an attack bonus or stamina bonus. Stamina is considered a resource for dodge rolls or charged attacks and is displayed in block form under the character. There are risks to take in combat, dodging at the last second, and also the "greed mechanic" rewards McCallister for making several kills in a row without getting hit and without taking a major break.

The possible combat actions and combinations depend heavily on the weapons you use. There are eleven weapon types in total. You can quickly switch between three applied weapon sets. The weapon type affects the gameplay and the combat tempo, and the display of the strength of attacks and hits, partly with slow-motion settings, is well done.

Conclusion

Curse of the Dead Gods lives mainly from its intense and gripping fights, which are focused on aggressive attacking and precise dodging and parrying. They are massive and well controllable, although of course, you have to learn the enemies' attacks first. Otherwise, the usual roguelike mechanics of the fight, die, and try again with light reinforcements - including choices for the paths and a nice light/shadow mechanic - take hold. Beyond the well-done combat, however, the game offers far too little. There is no story, no interesting characters, and not enough enemy types. The joy of experimentation and the customization options of the play styles are also too limited, which is why routine sets in too quickly in the great fights apart from the random elements.

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