or, what the heck is the point of playing anyway?
“Polygod is a rogue-like, randomly generated, single & multiplayer FPS with a brutal difficulty curve!” And really that describes most of what you need to know about the game. Polygod is a fast-paced FPS with an old school feel and a mix of old school FPS game mechanics and a fresh low-poly art style but not a lot of depth, (not that every game needs to have that mind you) and is at times ridiculously difficult because of the mechanics of the game.
“The picture alone, without the written word, leaves half the story untold.”
– james Lafferty
There are NPCs in the game but they are bland and boring, leading me to wonder why they are even in the game at all. They have very little if any backstory or dialogue and I had a hard time trying to figure out why they were included at all. Do not get me wrong, a game like this doesn’t need NPCs, so why are they there, and if they’re going to be in a game like this shouldn’t the purpose of their presence be explained? Otherwise they’re little more than talking furniture.
“AI might be a powerful technology, but things won’t get better simply by adding AI.”
– Vivienne Ming
The art style is quaint but not overly exciting and the AI in the game could use some serious work. Many times it was just easier to stand way back and shoot them from afar than running up close to deal with the group of enemies and they wouldn’t always react or fire back (though non-stationary enemies would move around), especially if that included one of those annoying balls that shoots in nearly every direction constantly. (And trying to avoid those things shots while shoot them as they zing through the air with your slow ammo is annoying and frustrating.)
“So much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy, and to stand still, or get on but slowly, is death and the devil.”
– Laurence Sterne
The ammo you shoot is way too slow, making it supremely difficult to hit any kind of fast moving target even when leading them by quite a bit as should they change course even a little the shots just fly by; this is especially frustrating in the 1st Boss battle where it flies around you and then strafes you spitting tonnes of shots at you but is nearly impossible to hit unless it is close. All the while you’re also targeted by the aforementioned bots that shoot constantly in every direction. This seems a bit Oxymoronic for a game like this where fast movement and quick reactions are key to survival.
But That’s Just The Beginning!
And I’ve not even yet mentioned the most frustrating part yet: If you die you get kicked back all the way to the beginning, as if you’d not even started the first level yet! Now if you’re at all familiar with “Roguelike” games then you’re likely laughing at the thought of me rage-quitting the game when that happened the first time. I would have disappointed you, but it wouldn’t last long. After making it past the 1st level to the boss in the first go and dying and having to start all over it wasn’t that big a deal. But after doing it all over and getting past the boss and then dying in the 2nd level and having to start all over from back at the very beginning before the 1st level…nope. I’m done. Let someone else have fun with that shit. But I guess I’m the dummy that thought there would be a save/checkpoint after the 1st boss was defeated. And it has caused me to realize that even though I thought I had played at least one if not more “Roguelike” games in the past, not only was I wrong on that account, but I never want to try any again in the future. (I must have been thinking of “Rogue-lite”, I suppose.) If games weren’t being churned out at a pace my kid-self never could have imagined, if I were younger and didn’t have a family and other responsibilities and thereby had tons of time on my hands, then maybe.
Life After Death
While unable to play multiplayer as I could not find anyone else playing at the time, and the game certainly frustrated me, most of the issues are on me and not the game. It is very much what it promises to be, fast-paced and pretty difficult, and if this is the kind of game you find fun then it may be worth your time to look into it.
Polygod is on Steam for $14.99.
Drac just wants to play games on his PC (and occasionally a console), but somehow found himself roped in writing and talking about them as well. Don’t expect anything high-brow though, Drac is just your “common man” gamer and he speaks from that perspective.