Thursday, November 19, 2009

Solium Infernum Coverage Notes

First off, I'm definitely doing a "play guide" to Solium Infernum in the same style of the guide I did for Armageddon Empires. That will hopefully be up the week after Thanksgiving.

I've played for 10+ hours now, and there is no question that this is an extraordinarily singular game. It's distinct from the first moment.

I've never played anything like it, really--it's Machiavelli in Hell.

Many games offer branching strategies, but this game offers more potential strategies than I've ever seen. There's nothing resembling an ideal character build, because there literally hundreds of thousands of combinations, and there is absolutely no free lunch--every decision about attributes has consequences elsewhere.

It's also impossible to use the same strategy in every game, due to the random nature of how resources are generated. No worries, though, because the number of strategies is huge as well, and adapting to what's available is a key part of winning the game. It's very much a cognitive experience, and your ability to think creatively will constantly be challenged.

Here's an example of how different Solium Infernum plays than other games. Combat is certainly possible, but it's rarely the most efficient way to achieve an objective, and there's a formal dimplomatic procedure that must be strictly followed before attacking. Deceit and deception are often far more effective--operating from the shadows, as it were.

I had much difficulty during the first few hours understanding how everything worked, which is why I'm doing a play guide. But once I grasped how the world worked, I started playing compulsively. The game world is one of the most creative I've ever seen, and when I say "I've ever seen" that encompasses thousands of worlds over more than two decades.

One last note. I haven't tried out the multiplayer yet, but based on the game structure, I absolutely believe that this might be one of the best multiplayer games ever for gamers who want an intellectual challenge.

That's all for now, but I'll start working on the play guide early next week, and it should be available the first week in December.

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