Hey there. My first time on these forums. Let me start by saying I wasn't a big fan of AVWW1. It was okay, but I didn't play it for too long. AVWW2 I played for 40 hours, though, and in my eyes, it's the best game Arcen Games has made. So I was pretty surprised when I found out not a lot of people liked it, and felt like I should make up a post explaining why I think it's great.
Let's get this out of the way first, the game isn't perfect. I have a number of complaints, chief of which are:
- Spell variety is terrible. There didn't seem to be much difference in the damage each spell could do, so I didn't see much reason to focus on a spell with wonky movement patterns over spells that just flew straight forward like bullets. An especially big problem is that leveling options basically force you to focus on one spell in your arsenal, so you'll never even touch the others most of the time.
- Bosses are all basically the same thing. They share like 3 spell patterns and either stand still, wander towards you or walk back and forth.
- The procedural generation algorithms for the levels need more variety. I often felt like I was going through a lot of the same terrain.
- The hero character sprites were all kinda bad. Aside from the dark haired woman from the Middle Ages, none of them had much detail.
There. Now that that's done, let me talk about why I love the game.
First of all, it's really the strategy part that does it for me. I REALLY liked the system. I liked unlocking new territory, and I like that you had to really plan your moves in advance. You had to pick key areas to unlock in order to reach resources and objectives, but if you weren't careful about how you did it, Demonaica would catch up to your troops and kill them off. So for me, the fun came from trying to keep ahead of him while gathering the resources and figuring out what the best way to cut a path to the objectives was. The sidescrolling parts were alright, but nothing special. They served their purpose well enough, but for me, they were just kind of something to do in between turns.
Second, even though the story was minimal, I liked it quite a bit. I liked that the world was basically destroyed, and the survivors are trying to get by on what little is left while avoiding a godlike being who's intent on exterminating them. I liked the villains' personalities, and their different motivations for following Demonaica. And I liked how it was insinuated your character had to do some pretty terrible stuff in order to earn Demonaica's trust so you could gain access to the one thing that can kill him, and how in doing so, basically none of the rebels were willing to trust you. I liked the twist at the end, too, although I do kind of wish the story was resolved a bit more.
Third, the music is fantastic. I'm listening to it even as I type this. Pablo Vega is an excellent composer. Most of the music is kind of soft and slow paced, which really led to a feeling of loneliness, which fit in with the world and the idea that you and a handful of survivors were all that was left. It was a pretty great atmosphere. And when the music did get intense, it was at the right times, like during a boss fight or escaping a factory. It's just great all around.
Anyhow, I might be in the minority, but I for one am glad AVWW got this awesome sequel. What I'd love to see is if Arcen Games could incorporate that strategy system in a future game of theirs. I'd love to see a game that used a similar system.