Quick thoughts on: Mars: War Logs

Бревна или немного про Mars: War Logs

As a curiosity purchase for some really low price, this might be an interesting game to check out. Especially if you like studying games from a design standpoint. As a full (even if low) price story driven action RPG, Mars: War Logs isn’t very good.

Story never picks up, partially because of a rather bad translation, partially because everything in the game is fit into very claustrophobic locations and it’s hard to take anything seriously. Characters go from “we just met” to “like family to me” in 15 minutes, with no indication if in-game time flies differently from player real-time or not. A lot of plot threads get hinted at as being important and grand, but then just kinda resolve in the most disappointingly boring way possible.
Gameplay-wise, it’s also pretty badly put together. Combat has some nice ideas, but they never work properly. You constantly find a lot of crafting stuff and money, but there’s almost never a need to buy anything and best weapons and armor for the chapter (of which there are 3) are available from the start, so when you can just wait to find or buy best possible stuff you need, upgrade it in the best way you need and play out the rest of the chapter without ever caring about it again. So, by the end of the game you have tons of money and stuff you don’t need at all. Skill system is also rather weirdly done, as the most useful skills are in the combat tree and by the end of the game you’ll have enough points to max out it and about a quarter of another skill tree, so focusing on anything else feels like a waste. And one of the trees is not even available until the second chapter. And companions are useful only for diverting attention from you, but useless otherwise. Also, there is a morality system, which simply doesn’t work. Or, more specifically, it seems that I did finish the game as a best guy ever, since merchants talked about giving me a discount (which is a feat for being “good”), but in-game menu always showed me as “neutral” and “good” feats were showing as locked.
It is a shame, though, really, since there are some nice ideas here and there and the game world seemed to have been put some thought into. Game also looks quite good, with its own distinct colorful style. But the game is so underwhelming and frustrating and most of the time simply boring, that it’s hard for me to recommend it. Unless there’s a big story RPG itch you have, and you can’t scratch it with countless better games. Like Rise of the Argonauts, for example, which is actually a better game.

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