Gaming Writer’s Saturday: Inquisitor

Gaming Writer's SaturdayInquisitor is a game developed by a Czech studio, Cinemax Games. This game sat in my GoG library, insignificant and forgotten, until I got a real craving for some good old-style RPG and I decided to give it a go.

The first impression wasn’t the best, the sound effects of the dev’s name intro hurt my ears, and the start page looked quite meager. Then I got disappointed by being unable to create a female character. I know it’s “church” and “inquisition”, but since the story is not clearly set in medieval Europe, and more in its close fantasy equivalent, I really don’t understand why I couldn’t get some priestesses or female paladins to choose from. To me, playing a female character means deeper immersion and involvement, and not being able to chose one it’s a definite turn down. It also meant I spent much less time creating the character and rushed into the game…

And the game play, for all it’s 90s feel and graphics resembling the first Diablo, grabbed me from the very beginning and pulled me into the world of the inquisition, heretics, and demons.

Oh my, what a gem I have found!

I could list multiple problems I had with the game, its mechanics, general game play, and other things, but the story made me ignore all the inconveniences.

As a beginner inquisitor, recruited by the mysterious people straight of the torture chamber, we arrive at Hilldebrant, a small and insignificant city that suffered its share of trouble when disasters hit the world. Plagues, rain of fire, and monsters. The back story creates a vivid dark ages feel, and once we start investigating suspicious murder of a shady merchant, things just get more complicated. It’s enough to ask anyone about their suspicions, and you have all of them throwing accusations at one another… It’s going to be the player’s duty to sift through them, to recognize the vile words spoken out of jealousy and the facts from reliable witnesses.

Speaking to the citizens brings stories, gossips, suspicions, facts, and clues, so reading through the dialogue parts proved to be very rewarding, especially when certain pieces started to fall in places, and the vague picture of intrigue started coming out from the dark. I wanted to talk more, to learn more, to discover secrets…

And then the Iron Mines happened.

Iron Mines is one of several locations available in what turned out to be the first chapter (the map looked like it promised more locations to open later, but I only learned about it after reading external sources), and after exploring all of the places on the map, I finally had no other place to go than the Iron Mines which are very different to all the other places in the map. Standard locations is a map, with one (or none) not-overly complicated dungeon to explore, while Iron Mines contain multiple levels of endless corridors. With no ability to fast travel between them, it becomes a mundane walking trip to take, especially when the inventory becomes full or you run out of potions.

So instead exploring a thriving intrigue, I got stuck walking through the mines that offered little variety of enemies, only two side-quests and few puzzles—definitely not enough to get one going. And with the game divided into chapters, there’s no way to skip the chore and move on to more stories, especially when the solutions to the main storyline quests hide in the deepest bowels of the mines.

Oh my, what a let down!

By the time I got through them and progressed to the second chapter, my interest in game waned almost entirely and I ended up putting it away “for later”.

I still consider the game worth playing, but sadly, I wouldn’t recommend it to more casual gamers or people willing to find their inspiration in an easy and entertaining way. Inquisitor might be engaging and interesting, but it contains tedious parts, and it’s easy to get lost (a seasoned gamer myself, I found myself looking up few things on the web just to make sure I didn’t overlook something crucial for the story’s progress). It’s still worth giving a try if you’re not expecting a fast-paced game play and a multi-choice storyline.

Statistics:

  • Story: High
  • Immersion: High
  • Inspiration: Very High
  • Relaxation factor: Medium
  • Procrastination risk: Low

This post is a part of the Gaming Writer’s Saturday series. You can check the idea behind it or browse other posts from the series.

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