I've been playing the demo up to level 6 so far.
First off, I was pleasantly surprised that this is in some ways, a Depth of Peril successor I've always wanted to play.
The engine is much better optimized, while being improved overall at the same time. I can finally play native 2560x1440 and the UI scaling works reasonably well. And finally... I can toggle windows with the same shortcut.
I might post a longer impressions later.
To super summarize my feeling / first impressions right now:
WHAT I LIKE
: is that the variety of systems that seem t have been brought from the earlier titles along with the randomness is what makes these games so much fun and brilliant.
WHAT I DONT LIKE
: unfortunately now that there are so many systems, I feel like there is too much complexity. But the thing that is holding back the game the most, in my opinion, is the inventory system. There is far, far too many insignificant upgrades, and this causes a lot of paralysis of choice
. This along with the item descriptions that lack contrast (font size, font family in particular) makes it so long to compare items to know what to keep and what to drop. Does the game also need so many item tiers? I think the game would benefit overall from reduced item drops, a simplification of the stats so that there are either less insignificant stats, or that the rate at which they appear are more meaningful. edit
: it might benefit the game for example that you only see a very small subset of the stats in the first ten levels, as well as seeing only one additional stat both on magic and rares so that you can compare items more easily and not feel overwhelmed by all this info.
Of course the rate at which item drops is also tied into the economy but it seems less important than in Depths of Peril. In fact my home town doesn't even seem to have a merchant, which is a bit frustrating.
I would really not add the system of "this is an upgrade" colour coding to item descriptions as the main solution because that is a workaround at best. Right now the item description really needs contrast. For example price, and weight, and level required.. could be in a much smaller font. The whole item description is very "monochromatic" in design terms, in that all the text is more or less the same size, the same colour, the same font... it makes it very slow to read and parse.
A possible improvement
here would be to add an option for short item descriptions and when you press the Alt key or some other key, to display the extra text.
Anyways maybe I'm missing some pieces that I haven't figured out, as a new player for me right now the inventory management is frustrating and the only part that put me off playing. I'm swapping betwen Grim Dawn and this atm, and the fact I actually want to play this over G.D. says a lot about how fun this game can be. However right now the potential, in my opinion is significantly affected by the way that itemization is watered down by the sheer amount of insignificant item upgrades, too many drops to sort through, the seemingly missing town merchants or difficulty to find them, this is all compounded also by the fact that you may want to manage recruit's equipment as well.
If you can find a way to simplify the item management somehow, I think the game would be more fun to play.
WHAT I DONT LIKE
(part 2) : oh.. this is my pet peeve also since Depths of Peril. I really don't like how I feel pressured all the time by the in game clock, and the way that events keep piling up. Whenever I stare at the inventory I want to press Pause but then it becomes annoying because you can't ID items when it is paused. Since the time it takes to ID items here seems mostly a feedback thing and have not much of a gameplay impact, perhaps a workaround would be to allow it to happen outside of the main game clock, while the game is paused. And once that works, you could have an option to always pause the game while the inventory is open. I don't know if this is a good idea, but it may reduce that sense of pressure. Going back to my previous point of course, if the inventory management was less cumbersome, the pressure from the real time events may also be less of an issue.
Other than that I'm really enjoying the game so far. I have to admit that I don't really care for the Zombie system and I'm mostly seeing the game as a Depths of Peril successor atm. Maybe I will figure out the zombie thing later and it will make more sense to me.