DivoSaga Review: experience being a hero and a lord when RPG meets RTS
Xairylle | On September 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Upon learning that DivoSaga claims to be the first hybrid game that combines RPG and RTS, I was curious to try it out. After all, a game does not become one of the top 10 games on Friendster for nothing, right?
Gameplay: From the battlefield to the farmland
DivoSaga is a Friendster-exclusive browser game with very interesting gameplay, which takes a while before it can truly be appreciated. Unless you are already aware that it is a hybrid, you might be left wondering what the game is trying to make you do. You can play as a warrior, a wizard, or a ranger. I was at first surprised that I was referred to as “Hero,” and I wondered whether I forgot to enter a name for my character. I wasn’t able to customize it because I was immediately sent into the game as soon as I chose a class. If you encounter this problem, just keep playing; you will be allowed to do that later as you progress through the story.
The combat system in DivoSaga takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to typical RPGs of today. In DivoSaga, battles are turn-based and players can trigger spells and skills from the hotkey bar at the bottom of the screen. There is no need for the player to issue regular attack commands. If the player does not issue a skill or spell, the character attacks on its own, whether you like it or not. This was quite uncomfortable in the beginning since, because I didn’t feel in control. While the battles tend to start out quite boring, the RTS part of the game is what makes it enjoyable.
Aside from combating monsters, you are also tasked with the responsibility of building and leading a city of your own. You need to take over gold mines, build your army, increase the population capacity, feed your people, defend your land, go on expeditions, and expand your territory. You can even invade other cities and fight other kingdoms. Aside from building your own character, you also need to build your troops, as they will accompany you in future battles and expeditions. The more your city grows, the more things you are expected to do – but you have to get through the boring initial phase of the game.
When you step into a game for the first time, it’s natural to see a tutorial. In DivoSaga, you will encounter instructions well into the game. Most of the time, there will be glowing indicators showing where to click and why. Although you are not always required to follow these instructions as you continue playing, they can prove a little distracting, though some players might find them helpful. What I like about these labels, however, is that you won’t be lost about what you are supposed to do and if you are doing something wrong. The grammar and the phrasing of the dialogs, instructions, and labels needs to be improved. The story felt a bit bland due to how events were explained and narrated.
The character portraits are well-drawn, but the graphics, although impressive for a browser-based game, won’t wow anyone. The animation could use some work. The audio was okay for me except for during battles where the BGM felt off and not that engaging.
So is this game worth playing? I believe it is, but only for those who have the patience to do so. I will stress it again: the beginning of the game is rather boring, but gets interesting as you find more things to do. The question here is whether you’ll be bored before actually getting to the interesting part of the game.
This is not a game that will have any kind of character mobility during battles. This is a game that has more to do with being able to manage tasks and resources and then using what you have built to your advantage. It doesn’t have fancy effects or animations and actually felt closer to the simulation of a king’s daily duties minus the glamorous parties and politics. DivoSaga is not your usual RTS or RPG, but it does a good job of combining these two genres. DivoSaga is for the patient gamer who is great at multi-tasking and time management and not for those with a short attention span.
DivoSaga is currently available on Friendster where you can register and play for free.
(Edited by Paul Bischoff and Steven Millward)