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FIVE: Guardians of David

is an expansive action-RPG set in the ancient lands of Canaan and the story of King David during ancient biblical times. read more

6.8

Five: Guardians of David Review

Author: Brian Grete
27-Jun-2016

Category: Review

Ever thought of a story in the Bible being turned into a Video Game? Then come check it out. It is made for both Christians and fellow gamers. Explore the world at the time of Israel's early Kingdom hood. Follow David, the rightfully anointed king of Israel, as his five most trusted warriors and friends. Together, under God, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Five: Guardians of David

Intro

It’s pretty exciting to see this sort of resources being used in the video game culture. Many may not think about the Bible being exciting, or filled with adventures stories, but it does. Kingdom Games came up with “Five: Guardians of David”. These five are mentioned in the Bible, according to the books of First and Second Samuel, and Kings. These books of the Bible describe the life of David. Ya! David as in “David and Goliath.”  “Five” depicts the story of David in an ARPG “Diablo” similar style, telling how David is secretly anointed as King; since Israel’s king ,Saul, has disobeyed God to the point where God’s presence left Saul to guide David, the future king. As David hides from Saul and defends Israel when Saul won’t, David builds a relationship with five warriors who are his generals, defenders, blessed soldiers, and best friends.

Five: Guardians of David can be found on Steam for $19.99 USD or $24.99 USD for the Deluxe Edition.


Graphics

Decent to a point where many gamer rigs can run at a smooth pace. There is no complex particle system that stresses computers to process. Characters are viewed from a third-person view from above. So character features are not extremely detailed in texture, but the game does have, sort of, an MMO customization for your characters. So as you pick up armor and weapons, you can put them on, and depending what kind of armor and weapon they are, as well as to what nationality they came from, they will give your warrior a new dress up looks.

There sometimes can be a few graphical bugs, but nothing too much for concern. A few times I would see a shadow of a looming building that I can't particularly see, but in its shadow, you can sometimes tell that some pieces of the structure are not exactly stitched together. Having a shadowed look where there are pieces just hovering from the base structure. I’ve only noticed this once or twice, and not enough to cause a complaint.

Sometimes, when you fight big bosses, and you defeat them, they will fall over to their death, but then pop right back up, just simply standing in place. This is a result due to script errors where the players have set in motion the death animation, but may also have interrupted the animation with a special attack, therefore, since the NPC is still active in its animation, the AI gets confused as to whether the NPC boss should stand up, or lay down dead. Either way, the boss is not going to do anything.

Concept art of Goliath of Gath
Settings

As for how you can change the details on what graphics you want your computer to render, it’s not too difficult or uncommon these settings are. You have your normal resolution settings, texture detail, shadow, anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and V-sync. Now, some people may be confused when it comes to the shadow settings. Players will find two settings that they may not know. Shadow Projection and Shadow Cascade. Shadow projection just means on how the shadows to act. As your camera moves, usually shadows would move too. What this setting does is gives you the option for shadows to be stationary or movable according to the perspective of the moving camera. Shadow cascade is basically another shadow quality option. I’m not able to pinpoint as to what exactly it is doing aside from the shadow quality option does, but essentially it is supposed to increase the quality of the shadow, the higher the cascades are. But be warned, the higher the setting, the more processing power it will be.

Audio settings are nothing really too hard. All it lets you do is set how high or how low you want individual sound settings to be. Music, environment, dialogue, and overall volume.

It also gives you the option to change keybindings on your keyboard. Something you usually see in every game.

Taking a peek at my inventory and character's equipment
Mechanics and Content

Like what I said at the beginning, it’s more of a Diablo style game. You view your characters from above, and you click on where you want your guys to go. There is no WASD movement in here. On the bottom of the screen, you will have your selection of special abilities, and your main attacks. You can either mouse click them to use them or more likely, use the keybindings. It’s a very simple mechanic.

There does seem to be some neglect on how the click style movement works. On the right of your HUD, you will have a faded mini map and a list of your objectives. Now, those HUD features do not have any clickable content so there is no need to click on them, but yet they do register as out game windows. It can be frustrating when you are trying to click on where your character has to go, and your game doesn't register your click because it is over the minimap and mission list. A change should have been made to where the player is able to click in that area to move his/her characters without trouble.

Another issue I seem to have is with my range of vision. I felt like the abilities toolbar at the bottom was a bit clunky and decreased my view range and clickable area when moving my characters down. I believe Kingdom Games could have made it a bit smaller than it is. With that in the way, sometimes I also feel that the character AI is pretty dumb. When you click on an area for your character to go somewhere, that character is going to go to that point directly, and if there is a prop in the way in that direct path, your character will stop. You have to manually guide your character through all the turns and twists in order to get your character to the desired spot.

From earlier, I described the game as being a "Diablo" style game. This involves character customization with armor and weapons listed as common, uncommon, rare, and ultra-rare. Classes are restricted to the uniqueness of your five characters. With two of your warriors being ranged units, with the other three being melee units. As to how you use them effectively depends on the armor, weapons, and unique abilities you apply to your five guardians. In order to unlock your character's special abilities, you need to level up and to level up you need to gain points by defeating your enemies. The more enemy units you kill, the more points your characters get.

A comic piece of young David slaying Goliath
Also, for transitions in the game, instead of cinematics, it’s a comic with voice-overs. It is pretty neat and a nice look for the game. Showing parts of the story that will explain your objectives and continue the story.

In the game, you will come across these small rock pillars or alters with a glowing symbol called “Cache”. What theses do is tell you about the story according to your Bible. The Bible describes specific details in which you will be doing in the current mission. It will also explain what was added to “Five” that was not necessarily written in the Bible and only meant to continue the story.

Saving the game seemed a bit frustrating when I did not finish the mission and wanted to save. When you save your game, it will save all the collectibles you found, but you will be restarted at the beginning of the mission area no matter what. You will have to battle the same enemies and re-complete objectives you have already finished. So if you plan to save, try to finish the map area first and leave to where you are at the beginning of the next area, and then save.

As you progress through the map, you will find destructible items. You will see crates, pots, pans, pagan statues, etc… When you break them, you will have the chance that one or two of them will give you shekels (in-game currency). Sort of like “Link” in “The Legend of Zelda” got to smash all those pots.

Ready to fight in the dark of the night
Combat

Combat is cool. As you level up, you are able to select new abilities for your characters to use. Each character has their own unique set of abilities to choose from. There are also many different enemies. Some only unique to their nationality from where they came from. You will also be facing giants. Other giants, like Goliath, that have been mentioned in the Bible.  As you fight your enemies, they will sometimes drop shekels (in-game currency) or equipment, weapons and armor of the sort. You will be able to equip these from your inventory to upgrade your Defense, Damage, Stamina, Heal, Zeal, Vitality, and more…

Enemies are either present on the current map, or in specific respawn areas. They only respawn if you come across that specific area. Combat can seem a little repetitive since the fighting scheme does not really change. It’s a bit of a hack and slash to the objective. Of course, as you change out your equipment, and abilities, combat may seem different while at the same time, your enemies get stronger and tougher.

The game does not have much of a penalty for dying. When in combat with normal foes or a boss, there isn’t much of a challenge presented to either  winning or losing the fight. If you are in combat with all five warriors, if one dies, you will simply use what characters you have left, and the character, who has fallen, will respawn momentarily. Should all of your characters die, you will just respawn at the set checkpoints. You don’t lose anything. No health, no points, no equipment, none… And all the enemies will have the same amount of health that they had before you died. If you cut half of their health and died, they will still have half of health. There is no penalty for dying, so the player may not feel very challenged throughout the game.

Battling my way in FIVE: Guardians of David
Summary

The game is fun in some ways than not. It’s not overly complex, and with a story that is a part of a culture's history, if not everyone’s. I will say that the combat could have been a little different, but it does not take away the enjoyment either. With each mission taking an average of 20 minutes (If you are looking for collectibles and not organizing your inventory). The game does offer fun content but does not have a lot of replay value except to finish side objectives and finding all caches if you have not found them all in the first go around. There is also no multiplayer, only a single player campaign.

Thank you for reading. Did you like the review, could something be added, should something be changed? Then send a message to the author of this review or leave a comment below.

Thanks again for reading, and have a blessed day.

Pros
Cons
 + Smooth gameplay
 - No penalty for death
 + Character customization
 - Death animations
 + Interesting storyline
 - Small and clickable movement space
 + Mission diversity
 - Poor replay value


SCORE: 8.5/10

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