First off as a disclaimer in this preview build of I was only able to get up to the goblin brew rescuing mission which is only about 5 minutes past the difficulty select quests. The preview build did not include, voices, combat particles, shop mechanics, and final versions of the GUI, music, sound effects, and cooking system.
The preview build started off in a hospital where we're introduced to the main character Drake. There's a killing fog consuming the area devouring elves and humans alike and of course evil creatures lurking in the underworld. Drake, as you can see is highly fashionable with his attire dawning a wardrobe fit for a depressed goth (it's made fun of in the game) and of course bears the burden of saving the world from everything. While you're in the hospital you meet Holy Avatar, an “attractive” fellow who talks about himself highly in third-person and is followed by his loyal maiden guild members. He offers you to join his guild and set out into the underworld but first you must give him a gift to give to the elves who might think it's the humans fault for the killing fog.
You move using the WASD keys or holding down one of the mouse buttons. However, all of your actions are mostly performed with your mouse anyways so it's much better just using the mouse. Once you set out on your quest to find a gift inside the hospital you'll find that it's kind of cumbersome grabbing loot. There is a faint gold glow around items that can be looted but it's too faint. Infact if it wasn't for the “loot” action in the GUI I probably wouldn't have found the scissors I needed to cut off the dead elf's fingers from a giftable elven shield. What really made me use a mouse-only control scheme was the fact that all of the actions mapped onto the keyboard were using numbers. This although configurable felt crammed even when using the numpad and WASD movement.
Proceeding past recovering the shield with attached fingers and talking to some of the NPCs in the vacinity you come across the best aspects of the game. The script. It's simply hilarious even when it wasn't voiced. You have pokemon references and tounge-in-cheek parodies of stereotypical RPG characters. It's definitely something to look forward to in the full game. The dialogue choices ,although vague, do lead to some LOL-worthy dialogue from both Drake and the characters you're talking to.
On to the main quest at hand, I give the shield to the Holy Avater Semi-Divine Entity himself and venture out of the hospital, just to find a dead 'ho' with a limb chopped off from a blob of slime. Disregarding how unrealistic that is we get introduced to the combat system. It plays out a lot like any tactical RPG game. You move to a square and either attack, defend, or do a special ability. Ranged players such as the Holy Avatar maidens can fire projectiles two blocks away even if a player is in between you and the enemy. It was actually pretty sweet seeing my character Drake step to the side while one of the maidens shot an arrow at the enemy blob. Once defeating all of the enemies I gained some experience and went on to the next battle.
The next battle happened just around the corner with Holy Avatar's senses tingling. An elite blob was now among the group, surely to be more ferocious than the non-elite blobs. I pretty much used the same tactic as always but one of the key differences was the introduction of dealing extra damage by hitting the back of an enemy. This can also work against you because if you attack an enemy in front of you anything outside of the players cone of vision will deal back damage to you when it's their turn. The AI is actually really smart. They are very oppurtunistic and will find way to get behind you or an enemy just to take advantage of the battle system. When defeating the elite blob I picked up its loot and took a gander at the inventory system.
It's not bad but it would have been better if it was streamlined. For example, if I double clicked a tunic I wanted to wear that was better than the one I had on it should automatically equip. But no, instead it settles for the old drag and drop interface. The skills screen was a simple click and then click save on whatever ability I wanted to put my skill point into. Nothing hard.
This is the point where the preview build takes a nosedive. After collecting some loot and meeting the elves for the first time I was greeted to three different pathways. One leading to a flower-loving easy difficulty level, a stairway leading to a normal difficulty level, and a path filled with skeletons and huge boss skeleton as a hard difficulty level. I immediately went for the normal difficulty level and was warped to this small area where I was supposed to find skulls. Two maidens followed me and I went off on my little expedition. They didn't agree to help me until I brang them this picture I got from a chest of Holy Avatar, which apparently was meant to impress the looter. Those bitches I thought. After acquiring the maidens as help and collecting all of the skulls my quest was complete. However, the stairway leading back just simply didn't work. I took a look at my quest log seeing that I did in fact complete what I was meant to do and still no dice. Time to reload a save.
As soon as I reloaded a save poof! Suddenly my mouse wasn't working. Drake just stood still as I kept trying to get him to move. All of a sudden he moved straight through a wall and out onto a dark field outside of the dungeon. He kept moving up until I reloaded the save again. This time I made it to the Hard difficulty level and got my ass handed to me by the boss. Oh great, reloaded again and went to the Easy difficulty level.
This is where things get trippy. After being teased by the maidens (the bad type of teasing) I went on to go collect flowers and kill Hippie-Skeletons for my quest. All of a sudden, after being told by the skeletons to fuck off, the game started moving twice as fast. I'm not too sure if this was SUPPOSED to happen given the level but hey I guess that meant I'll finish it twice as fast.
Upon completing the level I finally found my way out. Just to get my ass handed to me by these gang of thugs in a quick three slices. Waking up from an angel whose sister healed my wounds I was told to impress her by doing something...Impressive. I found a secret passage and was warped to a dungeon where I met a goblin who wanted me to save him from blobs who absorb weapons from dead enemies and attack you with it. At this point after experiencing several bugs along the way I reached up to the point where I didn't care anymore. I ended up fighting 4 different blobs of varying sizes and just ended up dying.
Grotesque Tactics 2 – Dungeons & Donuts is a fun little game, I'm sure. But these bugs need to definitely be ironed out. I hope the final build will be great and I won't come across anything as game-breaking as what I experienced. I look forward to reading more amusing dialogue from this game and seeing some awesome parodies.