Depths of Peril is an ARPG filled to the brim with unique ideas. From the premise of the game, where clans fight and adventure simultaneously for control of the region, to the randomly generated and adequately customizable game worlds. However, unique ideas alone cannot make a good game, and it is in the execution where Depths of Peril falls flat on its face. It isn't completely without merit, though, and I encourage anybody interested in making an ARPG of their own to at least take a look at the game, for the same idea in fully funded and capable hands is easily a recipe for success.
Unlike most other ARPGs, Depths of Peril doesn't contain a single game world that you advance through linearly; instead a new world can be generated for any of your characters to play in at any time. Each world has a number of 'covenants' (guilds of adventurers) that you can fight or ally with in an attempt to control the world. When only you and any allies you may have are the only ones remaining, the world is "complete". This world style allows the game to stay relatively fresh, but severely hampers the compelling story and exciting set boss fights common to others in the genre.
Depths of Peril manages to be like other ARPGs in many ways, though not all of them are positive. Quests in the world are randomly generated, often requiring you to kill enemies or find and rescue an NPC who you may then recruit to help you, two things which are also far too common in the genre. Also like other ARPGs, Depths of Peril suffers from some relatively uninteresting skills, few classes to choose from, all the flaws of random loot generation, and more.
The worlds themselves are uninspired and bland. The graphics are, as you can probably see from the screenshots and video available, not good, especially by today's standards. Even worse than that is how areas of each world will be literally squares of land with nothing separating them other than a small wall of some sort and a break in the wall to walk through. I'm not sure what kinds of forests and plains are perfectly square, but Depths of Peril has them in spades.
The most unique part of the game is, however, its strong point. Competing with other convenants for control is interesting and exciting, especially if you crank the difficulty enough for them to be a significant challenge (and cranking the difficulty up can easily be done). Attacking other covenants, however, is about as boring as can be, unfortunately; each covenant has a crystal that acts as a respawn and teleport point for its members, and you must destroy it to defeat the covenant. What that leads to is you and your covenant wailing on the crystal for a long time while killing the infinitely respawning enemies until the crystal eventually dies. For what could have been an amazing, potentially game-making mechanic, it's disappointing.
Probably the most disappointing part is the lack of multiplayer. It could be an amazing game to play with (and against) friends, possibily even enough to make me recommend it, but it's sadly not there.
A perfectly square field of unrealized potential is what Depths of Peril is, and you'll find numerous fields just like it if you choose to play it. While it has unique ideas, ideas alone are not enough for me to recommend buying it over other ARPGs.
Posted: December 24, 2013