Apparently written by a college freshman who barely passed psychology but really, really liked It, I Demon Stone is chock-full of awful character development. In this third-person hack-n-slashing action game, each of your three heroes has a sob story about how he was separated from his home and family. Together, they must save the world from the hideous fate of being ripped to shreds by two armies intent on destroying each other. However, your main incentive for staying alive doesn’t spring from any fondness for the characters, but from a desire to avoid being force-fed the same cut-scenes over and over again.
The basic setup of the game has promise. You can switch players on the fly. and each has a specialty to offer. The rogue can slip through the shadows unseen and slaughter enemies. She also jumps, but that’s needed only for a few mini-scenes and hidden treasure spots. Using the fighter doesn’t require much finesse, since his strength is, well, his strength. His special abilities include busting large rocks and obstacles. The mage has an unlimited long-range attack, much better for killing end guys than knives and axes are.
Yet the game doesn’t take advantage of its foundation. Much of the gameplay involves cither protecting something or attacking something that’s protected. Defeating most of the bad guys doesn’t require finding weaknesses, so the attack description you find most pleasing is the one you choose to level up.
When upgrading, there’s no need to ration your experience points or gold. Even if you’re a pacifist, you can still afford everything. This would be very cool, but all of the characters’ upgrades are focused on their main abilities. After a while, you get bored of seeing the words “increases the time Zhai remains undetectable.”
The most irritating aspect of Demon Stone is the carpal-tunnel-syndrome-inducing game-play. which harkens back to the original Diablo The incessant clicking is reminiscent of, but not nearly as gratifying as. using a retractable ballpoint pen.
Another major problem is that you can’t control the camera angles. Since the lens is always focused on the bad guy or the environment. It’s embarrassingly easy to lose your character. Even more maddening are the sudden view changes that leave you wondering which direction you’re actually heading. The lock of manual camera control also makes it easier to accidentally deflect enemy fire into your teammates, though normally they don’t wander aimlessly into enemy fire. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if someone dies on a mission, it’s the character you’re currently controlling. So hooray for you.
The enemy A.I. on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. Characters’ predictable one-two-three attacks are easily countered, and their group communication is nonexistent.
Archers and mages often hit their own grunts, and the thugs themselves can’t go two steps without elbowing each other in the ribs.
Maybe it’s just Patrick Stewart’s narration, but Demon Stone is enjoyable despite its flaws. If you want to get your knuckles bloody or evaporate enemies on the spot, or better yet, if you’re in a vicious, backstab-bing mood. Demon Stone satisfies those basic needs, but not much else.
Verdict: Could have been much better, could hove been much worse. Verdict: 60/100