Author Topic: review: Dead Reign  (Read 3414 times)

Nessa

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"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."  -  Mark Twain

Check out my book reviews at http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/

The Jade Knight

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Re: review: Dead Reign
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 02:53:54 AM »
Cool.  Zombies are totally not my thing, but I'm half-tempted to pick it up.  Now spice it up with Half-Life 2 kinds of complications, and you've really got something interesting, eh?
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Reaves

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Re: review: Dead Reign
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 03:35:35 AM »
Cool.  Zombies are totally not my thing, but I'm half-tempted to pick it up.  Now spice it up with Half-Life 2 kinds of complications, and you've really got something interesting, eh?

I've heard Left 4 Dead is a really good PC zombie game.
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Crusader808

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Re: review: Dead Reign
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 08:15:56 AM »
First things first, I'm going to begin by giving Palladium books some credit. I liked Beyond the Supernatural. I wouldn't call it horror, more supernatural thriller. I liked TMNT and Robotech and RIFTS for their camp. I have fond memories of Heroes Unlimited. Sure I've since found games that play those genres better, but that doesn't change the fact that the times spent playing those games was fun.

I had a small handful of issues/questions/points on the review:

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Two thoughts ran through my head when I heard that Palladium was doing a zombie game. The first was “awesome!” Palladium is one of my favorite publishers, putting out great action/adventure RPGs with a nearly endless supply of cool stories and ideas. They also tend to specialize in horror and its subgenres, with games like Nightbane, Rifts, Splicers, and Beyond the Supernatural, which is hands down my favorite horror game from any publisher. With that kind of pedigree, how could they not make an incredible zombie apocalypse game?

Palladium doesn't specialize in horror. It never has.  It has never released a horror game. If this is a horror game, it will be their first. As I said above, BtS was a Supernatural Thriller game, not horror. When your characters can lob fireballs and explosives at the monsters coming up from below and win, you fail the horror test.

Calling Nightbane a "Horror" game is like saying that Scary Movie is a "Dark, chilling thriller". Your characters were spike-covered-arse-kicking monstrosities.  RIFTS has mecha mammoths, hand held railguns, and cyborg cats. It fails the horror test so many ways they can not be counted. A game needs more than vampires as a monster (or playable race for that matter) to be called "horror". CoC? Horror. All Flesh Must Be Eaten? Horror. RIFTS? Not horror.

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Removing the vast suite of super powers typical to most RPGs, and substituting it with an excellent career system adapted from Beyond the Supernatural, forces you to think about who your character really is, not just what he or she can do.

The vast suite of super powers is something that Palladium does in virtually every game it produces. So throwing stones at everyone else when your house is made of very brittle glass may not be the best way forward. 

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A significant portion of the book is taken up by the zombies themselves—not just the stats for an individual zombie, though those are certainly present, but for the threats and possibilities of the zombie horde as a whole. The true threat of Dead Reign comes not from one zombie, but from the mounting threat of thousands of zombies slowly converging on you. Combat is quick and brutal, because the only other option is long and more brutal, and if you hang around too long you WILL get overwhelmed.

Palladium's combat system is never quick. All Flesh Must Be Eaten is quick. CoC is quick ("You're mad! New character!"). Palladium has two forms of HP and characters can have between 1 and 6 attacks a round at 1st level depending on what version of their combat they decided to print with this book. Unless they trimmed things back in some way, hordes of zombies will become battles that take hours.

I like that it sounds like they stripped down the gear list, so hopefully assault weapons will no longer be readily available. The fact that they were kind enough to leave out psionics and magic (you specifically said magic, I'm assuming that meant both....I'm hoping that meant both) is a plus sign for it.

What I'm wondering about with the inclusion of feeding on PPE is if this doesn't foreshadow the inclusion of some form of magic in future supplements.
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dirty g

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Re: review: Dead Reign
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 12:27:43 AM »
Bought the game and two supplements today thinking Id host a game. I've hosted D&D and Judge dredd roleplaying games plus warhammer and even the very simple advanced fighting fantassy games.  Never have I seen such a long combat system. Whilst it looks great I'm going to have to dumb down the combat rules. I'll be there hours resolving a combat with more than 3  zombies. Plus since the multiply it just seems like its really hard to overcome. I play tested it myself and it just seemed to take ages. The core book should be set out in a much more simple way or at least organised anyway