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John Romero's Daikatana (Windows)

57
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  tantoedge (20)
Written on  :  Jul 16, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

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Summary

True Lies (the hazards of demos)

The Good

The first episode weapon models, the enemy creature models and the architecture throughout the game are extremely well done. The textures and miscellanous art leave little to be desired, striking new ground in style and quality.

The duo that you tow along in the game, while annoying when in your line of fire, provide good comic relief, great assistance in a firefight and are generally nice to have around. Kudos for ION's attempt at moving the industry forward.

The Bad

For every episode after the first, the weapon models degrade. By the fourth episode, the weapons have reached an all-time low. Bad animation, foul modeling and even worse coding makes for an arsenal that serves only to smear you, rather than your opponents.

While your partners AI is grand, your opponents are a far cry. Harking the days of Doom, upon catching sight of you an enemy will yell, and attempt to advance on your position, usually getting hung up on the beautiful architecture and generally making a complete fool of itself. If they're not stuck somewhere they will bee-line. Some enemies will attempt to play with you, for example the griffon or the mosquitoes which zip around and actually present a challenge for a marksman, but in the end there is no AI, simply a repetitive and predictable Action/Reaction system; Quantity, but no Quality.

Sound effects and music are sub par but livable, while voice acting leaves me laughing. A japanese swordsman does not have an American accent. Shadow Warrior is more believable.

Of all the details, however, one sticks out; sorest thumb of all, the Daikatana itself. This sword is horrible. No fluidity in the swings, unpredictable hit-scan (meaning you don't know where you're going to be slashing) not to mention the fact that you have no way of controlling which of four slashes you perform.

The RPG element is in sour need of a redesign. An attempt at creating an RPGish system wherein you gain experience and thus 'levels' through the slaying of 'baddies'. It doesn't fly very well simply because if you do not select the correct stats you will find yourself a bloody pulp too many times, and with load times reminiscint of pre-patch SiN you do not want to be reloading.

The level design, while breathtaking in more than one area, is linear to say the least. And if not linear you will find yourself wandering aimlessly trying to figure out where to go next (though this is quite rare). There is no similarity between functions, for example a door that looks like another will not function the same.

The Bottom Line

Download the demo and you will find it enjoyable. Buy the game and you will be throwing your money away on an amateur product that should have stayed in development for another week to create new weapons.

Overall I would not recommend buying this game simply because it is not what it should be, after four years in development. I have seen many user created modifications for many different games that of much higher quality than this (eg: Counter-Strike, or Gunman)