Greed: Black Border PC
Published by: Headup Games
Developed by: ClockStone Studio
Those who are partial to action RPG’s have already had one impressive title this year with Torchlight, a game that managed to fully capture the essence of the Diablo series and was interesting from start to finish. Greed: Black Border certainly has the potential to be another quality action RPG that has you hooked (and there’s a multiplayer portion here too which allows for co-op play) but tedium creeps in all too soon and it lacks that certain something that keeps you coming back for more.
Greed: Black Border offers a choice of three playable characters. The sole female character, Plasma, is best suited to long range combat whilst the Marine is labelled as a medium ranged character and finally there’s Pyro who likes to get up nice a close to toast his victims with a flame-thrower. At this point in a review it’s customary to talk about the game’s storyline but in truth, Greed: Black Border doesn’t have much of a storyline except to say that you’re a former member of an elite military unit. You’ll find bits and pieces here and there through log entries and news reports but they are just scraps and don’t come together well to form an overall storyline. Action RPGs may not be heavily dependent on having a quality storyline to tie all of your mouse clicking combat together but the storyline in Greed: Black Border feels so light that it has no real value.
You’ll have to tackle robots, space zombies and giant insect type creatures and the AI is ultimately disappointing. In short, the AI isn’t challenging enough. This makes the battles far more tedious than they need be. Other than the boss battles, you usually have to deal with a number of enemies at once and the key to defeating them is, where possible, simply to move away and pick them off as they slowly make their way toward you. The boss battles simply require you to learn the attack patterns and attack at the appropriate time. The only irritating part about the boss battles is that the bosses can take a lot of damage and the battles can be overly long and annoying as a result.
The game uses both the left mouse button to move and to perform the basic attack. For the most part this isn’t a problem but there are times, particularly when dealing with large hordes of enemies and trying to do ranged attacks, when it can prove to be problematic. Some of the puzzles thrown your way can simply be plain annoying rather than challenging and they really break up the flow of the game. Frustrating moments such as these will have people turning away from the game and not wishing to complete it. The pacing of the game also seems out of sorts and the first chapter seems far too long which is odd because first chapters are usually used to ease you into the game rather than to bog you down.
The game’s presentation is, on the whole, adequate. Graphically the game looks quite good and you won’t need a high specification PC to see the game looking its best which is always a plus. The interface is probably best described as serviceable and gets the job done. Greed: Black Border does offer subtitles and these can be enabled from the external configuration program. In the game’s cut scenes there are no speaker names or portraits making it awkward to follow who is saying what. During the game you are told who is speaking however. Pressing the “L” button will open up your log which allows you to recall text objectives and other important information at any time.
On a base level Greed: Black Border is a passable action RPG that’s capable of holding your attention for a few hours. Unfortunately, there’s nothing memorable here and nothing that you won’t have seen before if you’re a fan of the genre. For those who have yet to sample the genre, Greed: Black Border certainly isn’t the best place to start. However, that’s not to say that the game is a bad one. With better AI, less tedious boss fights and a much better storyline Greed would certainly be far more appealing than it currently is. As it stands, it’s a game that will only interest those who insist on playing every action RPG on the market.