With that in mind, Depths of Peril is... well I'll be tagging it as Action and RPG for this blog but yeah, it's a Diablo clone. Namely, it's a Diablo Clone that sees you as the leader of a covenant, fighting against other covenant's for control of the town of Jorvik. You do this by completing quests to help the town, gaining influence and strengthening your covenant, so you can take down the other covenants, either by making alliances with diplomacy, or as is more appropriate for a town full of barbarians, by gathering your men, storming their home base and beating the crap out of everyone inside it.
|Welcome to Jorvik, I hope you brought your axe.|
On top of your character you also have a covenant to run. You can recruit up to 4 other characters to join you, either by finding them out in the world or by completing their recruitment quest when they show up in town. These characters act like simple versions of the classes you can pick, having the ability to equip a weapon, armor and shield and having a small handful of the skills that class has access to. The skills are random, so finding somebody with the mix of skills is a must. fortunately, you can kick people out of the covenant at any time to make room for new members. These characters will help defend your covenant while you're away, join you on raids against other covenants, or you can have one follow you around while you're adventuring and completing quests. your covenant also acts as your home in base, containing stashes for extra equipment, as well as places to put in guard monsters you can hire, relics that give you're entire covenant various skill and stats bonuses. There's even a book shelf you can fill with books you find, and not only can you read the books stored here, but each new book you turn in gives a small stat bonus.
Your covenant also has a life stone. This stone can quickly heal you over time and acts as your covenants life in a sense, when you or anyone in your covenant dies and resurrects, it takes damage, and enemies can also attack it directly if they somehow get to it. If it's ever destroyed, you lose. Fortunately, the stone slowly heals over time, so one or two random deaths aren't a major problem, but it will add up if you keep dying.
|Reading the books is nice, but what's really good is the +1 VIT you get for having it on your shelf.|
The other way Depths of peril makes itself different from other Action RPGs is in how it's world works. Quests in this game are not static, objectives don't simply sit around waiting for you to complete them. not only might other covenants get to them first, but quests can progress or even change when left alone. Is someone lost and need rescuing? If you don't hurry, they might die. Don't gather the materials the armorsmith needs fast enough? he might go out to do it himself and that might get him killed. If your really unlucky, a monster uprising might produce powerful named champions, who will eventually send attacks against the town itself. I actually lost a game once because an uprising I ignored ended with a gate popping up in my home base and flooding it with more monsters than I could handle. It's an interesting takes on quests and adds some urgency to things, forcing you to prioritize what needs to be done, and not just focus on what the rewards are.
|While the game is mostly about slaying monsters, diplomacy is more important than you might think.|
The game's music is also fairly minimal. It's actually fairly quiet even with the music slider cranked up, and it's mostly there to keep things from being too quiet. There's not really anything to say about it, it's just there. sound is a bit better, everything sounds like it should including plenty of little beeps, chimes and other effects to help help alert you to important events, such as the sound of someone knocking on a door when another covenant when they want to trade with you. enemies do make some noise as they move around, so there's a chance you'll hear them coming if you somehow didn't see them yet. Sound quality is decent across the board and does what it needs to, so while sound isn't exactly great, it get's the job done just fine.
|It's not downright ugly, but it's not the prettiest game either.|
So with all that said would I recommend this game? It honestly depends, If you don't like games like Diablo this is unlikely to change your mind. If you do like games like that however, want to see something a little different and don't mind a few rough edges? This is definitely a game to check out.
Depths of Peril was developed and published by Soldak Entertainment. It is available on Steam, GoG, Desura and Gamersgate. It's homepage, which includes a demo and direct purchase option is available here.