Saturday, 27 February 2010

If I had a Hammerflight...

Would I Hammerflight in the morning? Well uh, probably not. Like me you've probably seen this on special offer on the steam store for quite some time, until March the 2nd in fact so if you fancy trying this out there's a couple of days left to get it for the tiny sum of £2.50.

Except the question is: should anyone bother? I thought I'd give this a go and was immediately confronted with the "Unique Combat System" which indeed is unique, but also fairly unpredictable! It took me several adjustments of the mouse sensitivity before I felt it was anywhere near controlable.

The idea is that you have these flying machines that you control by dragging the mouse around the screen. Your flying machine is usually dragging around either a solid hammer/blade type weapon directly attatched to the ship, or some kind of rock on a chain. Either of which you can get to swing around your ship by moving the mouse in a fairly quick circular motion. In the real world that much mouse pushing causes quite a bit of racket and therefore much complaining from my fiance who kept shouting asking "what the hell I was doing up there?!!"

So while you're swinging your weapon around you then need to move your flying machine towards an enemy so that the swinging blade strikes their flying machine and hopefully damaging it significantly. This in itself is fine however aside from the fact that this is fairly difficult to get the hang of there are a couple of game design points that make this quite annoying.

Firstly the arenas, especially the earlier ones, are quite small and I often found myself having to wait for enemies to rush back into the area after I'd given them a good kicking. This left me swinging my weapon around with no specific purpose and no way of knowing exactly when I'd be next attacked. It's annoying because you can't time the rotational speed of your weapon as well to guard against their rush attacks.

Next are the supremely annoying character dialogue boxes that appear during a fight. If you hit an enemy hard enough sometimes a box will appear with their face and a caption going "Oh, my head!" But that dialogue box nearly always covers up the action that's happening behind it so you've no idea if you're accidently get tangled up with their weapon or if it's about to gently swing around and cause more damage than it probably should.

Aside from this I quite like the concept, swinging the weapons around is good fun once you get used to it and some battles can get quite tactical. It's usually the ones where you have no idea how you're going to be attacked which are frustrating, such as when you get attacked by many worm creatures. They just fly in randomly and tactical play just goes out of the window. However against one or more always-in-the-arena enemies it's a bit more fun and you can do a bit of clever dodging and attacking to win the round.

I quite liked the setting, a kind of Persian like society based around different houses ruling the known world. The story wasn't anything too special but at least it's there, providing a reason to keep going. The characters just didn't have much unique about them to make me care enough about what was happening and I almost completely tired of the game until the option to load up your own choice of weapons came along!

If I'm totally honest I don't think Hammerflight is for me. Like I said, the concept is good but there's quite a lot of annoying aspects to the gameplay that are frustrating. I should have tried the demo first but the small price tag lured me in. That's not to say that anyone else wouldn't like it just don't make my mistake, try before you buy!

1 comment:

  1. Actually a pretty fun game, UI is a little clunky tho which can be annoying sometimes.