Not Gary: Numen: Contest Of Heroes

By Jim Rossignol on March 24th, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

Antlers for a hat!
Blame information overload, but I initially passed over Numen: Contest Of Heroes largely on the basis that I assumed that we must have posted about a budget-priced fully-fledged action RPG from an indie studio, because that’s just what we do. Turns out we actually haven’t, and so I am compelled (COMPELLED!) to point you towards this Grecian micro-epic, even though it’s a little wonky. I’ve had a bit of play of the opening part of the game, and I’m both impressed by some of its unique turns (such as the little campsites across the landscape, the selection of a class based on how you play) and disappointed by the clunky UI and dodgy regurgitation of so many grindy RPG mechanisms. Not that it isn’t fun and even fairly pretty in places, but the beating on wolves and spiders that lurk just outside the village gates would make even MMOs from five years ago look a little red in the face. It looks like it escalates rather pleasingly, however, so for that price you’re probably not going to curse it.

Oddly, the developer doesn’t seem to have a link to the demo on their homepage, but it can be found on Steam. So that’s that.

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28 Comments »

  1. WJonathan says:

    Wow. You know what? No puns for a month, Jim.

  2. DeepSleeper says:

    Numen is an elaborate practical joke on people who came looking for Titan Quest and accidentally got this instead.
    What I’m saying is, if you don’t have it, buy Titan Quest.
    And if you do have it, maybe buy Sacred 2, or Loki, or anything but Numen.

    At least, that’s my advice. It’s so… -stiff- and awkward and no-fun. My opinion of course.

    • Oneironaut says:

      I pretty much agree with this. I got it on sale for around $1.99, but even at that price I didn’t really enjoy it. The combat felt too grindy and repetitive, without being as rewarding as Diablo or Titan Quest manage to be.

    • captain fitz says:

      People. This is not a hack ‘n slash.

    • Kdansky says:

      Could is appeal to someone who thinks that Titan Quest and Sacred are horrible abominations?

      Seriously: Limiting my hotkeys by level? Who comes up with shit like that?!

  3. Tei says:

    I got this very cheap months ago. I really enjoyed the game until a game breaking bug. I tried everything, even tryiing to contact the game devs, nothing.
    It was (is?) a tecnically very flawed game. But, we are not we all like that now and then?

  4. Zogtee says:

    Now I want a Gary Numan videogame. It’s a fucking crime that there isn’t one already.

  5. Navagon says:

    From what I’ve played it’s not bad at all, but very grindy which is not something I personally find very compelling.

  6. trjp says:

    I bought this in one of the Steam cheapie moments and I enjoyed it quite a bit – it has some original ideas but it does also have a LOT of grind.

    I wasn’t too impressed with the arena bit either – it seems horrible random and designed to piss you off.

    I lost interest completely when I ran into a bug which stranded me on an island (the guy I needed to talk to to return was missing) – I tried reloading and retrying that bit, same thing happened – in the end I just gave up altogether.

    With some polish and a BIT less grind it would have been much better.

  7. Malkara says:

    This game is mocked to the same degree as Bad Rats, on SA. I wouldn’t recommend ti toa nyone.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      While I personally agree with the “I wouldn’t recommend it” assessment, I’m not sure Something Awful is really the reference we should be turning to for judgement on video games.
      “SA doesn’t like it” is, I assume, a pretty broad field.

    • Dominic White says:

      While there are a higher-than-should-be-normal number of grumpy goons, to get the same level of derision and mockery as Bad Rats is the mark of an especially bad game. There’s a reason why Numen is almost perpetually on sale: Nobody would buy it otherwise.

    • trjp says:

      As someone already said, taking the opinion of SA on anything above a picture of a cock is taking a big risk – it’s like asking your 9-year-old about the finer points of Shakespeare.

      The fact you seem to base your ‘non recommendation’ on it is mind-blowing – you recommend people don’t play a game because someone else did – wtg there…

      Numen isn’t amazing but there are FAR FAR worse games – there are FAR worse action-RPGs – there are MUCH worse narratives to follow and so on. It has a decent story, it tries a few new ideas and some bits work/some bits don’t – simple as.

      As for it being perpetually on-sale – digital distribution all about sales and the PC marketplace has always thrown-up a wide range of prices and a pretty-quick slide into budgetdom for most titles – again it’s no indication of quality…

      Meanwhile, in the real world, I’m hoping people make up their own minds and refer to sources who’s opinion is based on some personal experience and not just from drawing pictures of cocks on stuff…

    • Dominic White says:

      SA has one of the biggest and most active games forums on the internet. Approximately a hojillion big-name developers post there, and plenty of indies, too. Dismissing it offhand is very short-sighted.

    • Zogtee says:

      “Numen isn’t amazing but there are FAR FAR worse games…”

      Stonking recommendation there. Put that on the box.

    • cocoleche says:

      SA might get a lot of Flak for being the grand-daddy of 4chan and co., but it is also one of the best places on the web to have a civilised, well-informed discussion on any given topic. The moderators are doing a hell of a job, and consequently there’s a “no bullshit” vibe permeating every thread. Well, most of the times, anyway. Would pay $50 to join, TBH.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      I’m willing to admit they might enjoy more things than I previously realized over there.

    • trjp says:

      @zogtee – I’m not really trying to recommend it – I’m no game reviewer – I just played it for quite a while and enjoyed it for the (small amount) of cash I paid.

      It has some original ideas, the story is quite well done (this separates it from 99% of games like this which have no story worth telling) BUT it does make you grind and that will drive a lot of people away (if that doesn’t – the bugs might!!).

      Malkara appears to be saying “some people took the piss out of it so don’t buy it’ which is cretinous – speak from your own experience or say nothing eh?? The Internet is jam-packed with people who can’t stop spouting WHAT YOU SHOULD DO – re-iterating that is like amplifying the smell of shit…

  8. Matt says:

    Relax folks, it’s better than Hazen: The Dark Whispers… which is yet another Strategy First money-swindling venture.

    • trjp says:

      I get the impression that’s one of those “the developer was bust/almost bust so we took their game for pennies and milked it” situations – that happens quite a bit…

      Some of these games have some quite original ideas (for people new to gaming, that’s stuff most big releases don’t bother with!!) – sometimes it’s worth dropping the derisory sums these things go in sales for just to see something which is not ‘another Diablo’ or whatever…

      If we all just played the games that Malkara et al told us too – the world would be a bloody dull place…

    • trjp says:

      p.s. and you don’t have to dig into obscure games to see this – look at Gothic 4, and that was a full-price release!!

    • DeepSleeper says:

      You’re right. Advice is bad, and no one should give it. You’ve solved the world’s critic problem. Congratulations.

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  10. matt@cinemax says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback even if it was not always positive. Making of Numen was long and crazy (to make the story really short) and we are basically glad that we succesfully finished the development. We think that you can find quite a good story and quests in the game and we tried to build game mechanics in a way that gamer needs to think about it – gameplay is quite different for each character, there is unusual combat system, different magic, arena minigame etc. Try the demo, you may like it. We really care about our gamers as you can see from Steam forums where we try to help everyone even after year from the release. Also, we just released latest patch with lot of fixes.

    And BTW, except our small DSiWare and iPhone games, we are developing new UDK engine game Gyro 13, which is quite different from Numen. See the trailer at gyro13.com. It will be released for iOS and PC in Q2!

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    • Navagon says:

      You certainly know how to handle criticism better than most developers. The industry could use more of that. Gyro 13 looks promising too. Although it looks like the game’s fate will hinge on just how well the ‘copter handles given the situations you’re going to be faced with.

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