Based on the tabletop wargame, Cyanide's Confrontation brings the fantasy world of Aarklash to the virtual realm. The over-productive French studio which used to primarily work on the Cycling Manager series has diversified itself with some promising, yet flawed, titles in recent years.
Confrontation (PC) Developer: Cyanide Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Release: April 5, 2012
Following a lengthy introduction cinematic featuring perhaps the most entertainingly serious narrator of the past decade, you find yourself in the ravaged world of Aarklash. There is a war going on (peacetime sucks for action games) and your noble Griffin forces are battling the evil Scorpions for one reason or another.
Confrontation is somewhat of a bastard child of Baldur's Gate and Dungeon Siege, using the active pause role-playing combat system of the former and the pace of progression through levels of the latter. With four characters under your command, and a wealth of characters to choose from in the full game, you can customize your force to fit your play style as you wish. Many characters fall in the typical tank, priest, mage, rogue, and other class categories, which helps to give you a basic idea of what the hell you're doing.
Similar to Baldur's Gate, simply selecting all units and right-clicking on one enemy in a group of enemies will quickly lead to at least one party member's death. In many cases, you need to pause the game (spacebar) and select your individual heroes, followed by utilizing their special abilities and spells to give you the necessary edge in battle.
Abilities and spells cost energy, which comes in the form of SP, FP, and MP. MP (Mana) regenerates at a steady pace, while FP (Faith Points) regenerates faster when the hero is surrounded by allies. In practice, it means you can cast one or two spells at the start of a battle, with additional tactical options becoming available again depending on what classes you have in your squad, and how your squad is positioned.
These games can be immensely fun and satisfying to fun to play, especially when it's a PC title that throws as many micromanagement options at you as you can handle. Confrontation does seem to be lacking in a few key areas that would've made this a surefire hit, however.
Disregarding the slightly aged graphical prowess available on even the highest settings, Confrontation insists on offering you a wealth of tactical options and menus without providing you adequate means to use them. While the F1-F4 keys let you swap between characters, and the same hotkeys are bound to each character's individual abilities, it can be hard to distinguish between both your own characters and the abilities they have.
Sometimes one ability has to be cast on an ally to provide a buff, and another ability that looks similar is in fact an offensive spell you need to cast on an enemy target. Likewise, you start out with a team that quickly gains access to quite a few area combat buffs, but what they actually do and how they affect how combat plays out isn't always very clearly communicated.
This problem of a lack of clarity is found elsewhere in the UI, too. The character sheet and inventory menus seem thrown together without much thought for best practices in usability, and there are a lot of aspects to tailor for each character. Then again, for those who will end up dedicating themselves to Confrontation, the amount of customization available might be a boon.
Each character has two weapon sets (melee and ranged, essentially) to fit their position in a squad. Sometimes the terrain doesn't allow for open battle, forcing you to think about which characters to swap to ranged weaponry in tight quarters. Chests can yield weapon and armor points, which let you upgrade one of your character's proficiencies. Do you want to focus on melee or ranged weaponry? Shields and defense or swords and offense? Physical damage reduction or magical armor? These decisions are made by choosing upgrade paths as you level up, offering a deep customization system for each hero.
When leveling up a character, many of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons type of primary attributes can be increased. Wisdom and Intelligence are somewhat representative of the priest and mage attributes you might be familiar with, but they work slightly different in Confrontation. Both attributes provide bonuses to different types of colored magic -- schools of magic if you will. Depending on whether you are building a support character whose focus is on casting buffs, or an offensive mage focusing on offensive magic, choosing the right attributes to level will likely end up being one of the most important aspects for your builds. Of course, specific skills can also be upgraded as you level up to increase their power.
Confrontation offers some interesting ideas by taking this approach to customization depth, providing a potential for a good amount of replayability and freedom to choose and create your ultimate squad of badasses, and seemingly offering hours worth of leveling and upgrading your heroes to perfection. It's just a bit of a shame that it doesn't quite look the part for this day and age, and that many of the UI and control systems prevent you from smoothly progressing through series of fights.
Despite this sense that the foundation of gameplay systems is solid, you can't help but feel like the title could have used another year of polish to make it more accessible to play, and more enjoyable in the process. Like with Cyanide's A Game of Thrones: Genesis, there are some excellent ideas here while the execution is less worthy of praise. With the release date coming up in two weeks, there's a tiny chance that things may have been vastly improved over the build used for this preview, albeit not a very large one.
Confrontation is worth keeping an eye on if you are a lover of the genre who is willing to overlook the game's faults in favor of some hardcore top-down RPG action, but it will probably have limited appeal outside of its niche audience.
Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys
This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.
Solar Pony Django So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will helpAgent9 Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit. Mike Martin I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice. CoilWhine I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.Parismio Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.KingSigy Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.OverlordZetta Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.Niero Desu How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silenceAmna Umen Don't forget [img]http://i.imgur.com/AlijIqq.gif[/img]Mike Wallace I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."Rad Party God I just tried out Skyforge, and...
[img]http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--wCowrD8c--/1423499241920185774.jpg[/img]Pixie The Fairy Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img]http://operationrainfall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/koshosho-4.jpg[/img]Gamemaniac3434 I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it.
Soon I will dust it.
I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust. CoilWhine Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).Gamemaniac3434 This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal.
Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results. Nekrosys So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.Solar Pony Django Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!Sr Churros Listening to Pokémon SoulSilver OST while doing some college work. Suddenly I feel a great amount of guilty taking over me for loosing my PokéWalker 2 years ago... :(OrochiLeona Ok you thanksgiving motherfuckers. 5 favourite Arcade games (as in coin-op) No order necessary. Go!