I wanted to give it another shake. I dropped down the difficulty to rank 2 of 4. This has 2 effects, the first of which is that enemies are apparently easier. The second is that I now heal 24/7, whereas before I needed a “talent” to heal during the day. I figured maybe it was the combination of load times and death in combat that was my problem.
Well, that’s not the issue.
Combat is just garbage, pure garbage. Every fight is 4 on 1 or more. You can’t see half the folks because they surround you (which is neat mind you) and they all attack in a staggered fashion. Blocking either doesn’t work, or does and you get stunned. Get 2 hits in, take off 10% of the enemy’s HP and then have to roll around like a gymnast to avoid everyone else swinging at you. The entire combat feels like I’m avoiding 10 people continuously throwing knives at me.
And even if I manage to whittle them down to a single foe and just hammer them with blows, they end up blocking a third of them. And once combat is over I’ve got damaged equipment, and no where to repair it.
But wait, there’s more. The first “main map” is pretty big. But I’ve yet to find a single enemy my level, most are 2-4 levels higher. Heck, one town slightly off the main quest path had 10 enemies, 5 of which were level 16. They killed me in 2 hits. And it’s not like I can sneak up and take a couple out. No, it’s 10 vs 1. Why does that even exist within spitting distance of the main quest road?
Dying is one thing if you can avoid it. I can’t avoid half the hits I take in this game due to the inability to cancel an action and inaccurate hit boxes. In other words, while I’m in the middle of a swing, I can’t stop to block, even after I connect, until the sword animation is complete. I also have no idea how big enemies hit boxes are so I end up missing my swings even though my sword goes through their characters. And they manage to hit me by their combat animation causing them to take 3 steps forward in a swing.
Oh practice you might say. Well, I can’t block or parry a downer or a ghoul, and that just leaves rolling around all over the place. Really, that’s what people think are good combat mechanics?
I don’t mind a challenge, I really don’t. I’ve played my fair share of hard games all the way through. I think the hardest in mind was Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the hardest difficulty (that was batcrazy, and awesome at the same time). But there was some sort of reward for it. I didn’t end up with 2 monster teeth and a broken sword. I progressed some story element. I actually felt myself get stronger as I progressed. After nearly 10 hours in the game, I feel I’ve made no progress at all from an RPG-stats perspective, and just a dent in the main story.
I’m more confused than anything. How a game gets this much praise, seems to fit my style (action + RPG + open world) yet so thoroughly hits bad vibe after vibe is a head scratcher. I want to play the game people are fawning over. Cause it just can’t be this.