Inquisitor (PC) Review

By Athanasios 08.10.2014

Review for Inquisitor on PC

Fantasy meets the Middle Ages, in a dark and dangerous world full of corruption. So dangerous that it makes the hellish dimension of Diablo pale in comparison. What else can it offer, though, beside its high level of challenge? Unfortunately the problems outmatch the few things that are actually done well. From the core mechanics of the gameplay, to its plot and visuals, it annoys more than it entertains, and the worst thing is that underneath it all lie great potential, with some nice new ideas, a great plot and a weird nostalgic charm.

Ten years in development and Cinemax delivers something which at first glance looks like the spiritual descendant of the classic PC RPGs from the start of the century. It looks, plays and feels the same, but that doesn't mean that it is the same. In the beginning the player is welcomed by some very familiar sights. The intro speaks of an era smitten with famine, plague and destruction, in a world where evil seems to be on the rise. A gatekeeper "welcomes" the hero, and after a while either lets him enter the city or gives him his first mission, the now standard chore of killing a couple of beasts before proceeding - so, pretty standard stuff for a game of its kind.

Unfortunately the flaws will soon start coming through the veil of familiarity that was being weaved up until now. While it took a long time to be developed, it feels as if its creators haven't done their homework, and although it has all the charm of the classics it has none of their actual value. On the surface it looks like a decent Diablo clone. The story takes place in a similar setting, only with a strong touch of a medieval atmosphere, with Holy Inquisitions, torture chambers, corrupted church officials, Knights and of course a summoned fallen angel who serves as the main antagonist. As mentioned before, it's Diablo all over, so what could go wrong?

Screenshot for Inquisitor on PC

By far the worst aspect of Inquisitor is how unbalanced and boring battles are. That is not a good thing since fighting with enemies is the main deal here. For starters, all enemies have way too many Hit Points and this doesn't make battles harder, it just makes them longer. Even worse, there is no skill involved. It's all about carrying enough healing potions to keep on fighting as long as needed. Additionally, the controls, while not broken, can generate even more inconveniences. It's easy to "slip" and walk instead of hitting an enemy, and it's even easier to select a teammate and open up a window and end up talking with him instead of carrying on with slitting a couple of throats.

Moreover, dungeons and caves are way too long without having something of worth to offer despite their size. It's just dark room after dark room. Speaking of the devil, unless there is a torch hanging in a wall, all that the player will be able to see will be a nice shade of pitch black. The fact that battles take so much time doesn't help, either. Just take a look at the numbers. It takes an average of 15 to 30 seconds to defeat each enemy, and that is not something to excite about, especially when one has to traverse through a cave with more than 100 monsters.

Screenshot for Inquisitor on PC

All the aforementioned flaws could be nothing more than nit-picks if stamina wasn't used in such a bad way. Many RPGs and not only, have used stamina to affect running speed or agility, and while this is usually a minor, almost forgettable thing or a bit of an annoyance, it has never been a game's main focus. Here, it is used for everything! It goes down when using a weapon, when enemies attack and even when using magic skills, which for some reason use both stamina and Mana points. The stamina meter depletes way too fast, although it regenerates slower than a slug, forcing the player to constantly run to a merchant to buy more stamina potions.

Saying that this is the most unbalanced PC RPG there is out there wouldn't be an exaggeration. Take classes, for example. It is possible to choose amongst a Paladin, Priest or Thief, the medieval versions of the typical Warrior, Mage and Rogue of most role-playing games. They obviously have different strengths and weaknesses, but their differences create annoyance rather than the opportunity of a different way of playing. The Paladin is way too slow, the Priest dies way too easy and the Thief's ranged attack is way too weak, and if that wasn't enough, the enemies tend to constantly use spells that deplete stamina, paralyse and so on - something very annoying since the player simply can't counter attack those attacks.

Screenshot for Inquisitor on PC

Apart from all the fighting, of course, there is a great deal of adventuring available. Quests can be divided between two categories. First there are the typical "fetch item A" or "kill enemy B" missions that are self-explanatory. The rest of them require a lot of detective work, since in order to solve these quests one has to talk to a lot of people, ask questions and gather clues or find certain items. Also, since the plot revolves around the witch hunt for heretics, a great part of the hero's adventure is about finding enough proofs in order to arrest a character because of his wrongdoings against God, put them to jail and finally torture them in order to gather even more clues!

These aren't as interesting as they sound. Choice is an illusion, since all the thinking is done for the player. All it takes for someone to "solve" a case is to exhaust all possible dialogue options available in order to trigger the desirable event. The only challenge is figuring out where to go next since the information available isn't exactly helpful. Finally, get prepared to read tons of text, with NPCs talking way too much about subjects that could be described in two to three sentences. Furthermore, instead of well formatted dialogue with paragraphs and all, the game "drowns" with endless walls of text, turning reading into a tiring process. Long story short, the trouble one has to go through to enjoy what little good stuff there is isn't worth it.

Screenshot for Inquisitor on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Instead of paying tribute to the hack 'n' slash RPGs of the past decade, Inquisitor just scratches their surface and offers a cheap and flawed imitation. It has some good points, notably its immersive storyline, but for everything done right, there are at least three done wrong.

Developer

Cinemax

Publisher

Cinemax

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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