Last night, as I was blindly searching Steam and staring off into space (thinking about my love affair with Master Chief), I fatefully came across a little gem. After recently purchasing Alice: Madness Returns (more on that, soon), I wasn't much in the mood to spend any more funds out of my dwindling bank account, so I began flipping through the free-to-play section, when I stumbled upon this...
It reminded me of Gauntlet Legends, but on a whole new level. Who doesn't love colorful robots with guns that shoot neon green blobs?! I immediately downloaded it. I was pretty excited to get started, but I never get my hopes up for "free" games, because in the end, I know they are after my wallet. Just like those arcade games that tempt you with a Gameboy Advanced, and you end up putting in $20 worth of quarters and walk away crying (true story). However, Spiral Knights leaves me rather impressed.
After playing for about two hours, I'm diggin' it. I am not quite following the story, but I'm assuming it goes something like this: You're a cute little robot. Kill shit with a sword.
My knight in shining armor, Green Wire, and I went off adventuring alone at the time, which was AWESOME, but I think it would have been a lot easier if we had been playing with more people. You can have up to 5 people in a group, and we were definitely feeling slightly outnumbered. There was a point where we were getting harassed by a group of at least 12 nerdy-looking rabbit creatures, and my hands were starting to cramp. Once we were back on safe grounds, however, I was able to take a look through my inventory. It was filled with all sorts of foreign objects, whose meaning completely eluded me, but after doing a little research, I discovered something rather fascinating.
Throughout the game, you can collect an assortment of gems. There are 5 or 6 different colors, and you come across them only once each level. You can only pick up one color each time, and put it on your back. Now, at first I thought they were just some run of the mill crafting materials, but later I realized that each gem acts like a seed to generate new levels. By combining them in different combinations, you can create entire dungeon systems that you and your friends can go exploring. Bad ass! I can't wait to try it out.
Right now, the game's aiming mechanic is the only thing that is giving me trouble right now. In order to use your weapon, you have to aim with your mouse and right click. Now, if I wasn't such an Apple Geek and had a normal PC track-pad, this wouldn't be such a big deal. But such is life when you're gaming on a laptop, and it would be solved by investing in a decent mouse.
So if you are looking for a new fun game, where you can battle nerdy-looking rabbits and meet new people, I would definitely check out Spiral Knights. Its totally worth downloading, and will only cost 5 minutes of your time.
What do you guys think of this "free to play" paradigm shift? Is it ruining the conceptual gaming package by monetizing things that would traditionally come with a purchased game? Or, is this just the way the future of PC gaming can be preserved against rampant piracy? Who knows. I don't. Do you? Who knows.
If you want more info or need help along the way on your Spiral Knights adventure go here!