Lugaru HD Review
Posted May 9, 2010 by Jallen (241)
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed I (along with the rest of the internet) have been plugging Wolfire’s Humble Indie Bundle, which was a collection of five Indie games which you could pay whatever you wanted for, seeing as I’ve previously reviewed two of the games in the bundle, in the Massive Indie Review, I thought it fair (and cheap) to review the three new games I’ve got to play. In this case it’s Lugaru HD, Wolfire’s own game.
Lugaru is set on a small island where anthropomorphic rabbits and wolves populate it in a classic case of prey and predator. The Wolves have been raiding rabbit villages (warrens?) and the rabbit king doesn’t seem that concerned. At the start the game wolves attack the lead character’s home killing his family; so you go on a quest of revenge. Throughout the story you’ll uncover a sinister plot and there is some betrayal from the NPC’s right at the start of the game. Also there are some amusing references to Watership Down and a certain cereal that is only for kids. Ultimately though the plot is wafer thin and the dialogue is pretty awful.
The game is over 5 years old now so it’ll be a bit harsh of me to complain about the graphics, it does look like a late PS1 game. That’s not a bad thing really; it’s impressive that an indie developer has attempted to go for a more realistic look, I’m use to games looking like they would be right at home on the SNES or Genesis. You don’t have a HUD so damage to you and your enemies is represented through scratches and cuts. Slice an opponent with a sword and it’ll have a nice cut across the belly while if a wolf manages to hit you you’ll have a bloody nose. Weapons get coated with blood and drips on the ground and blood gets smeared all other the place in particularly brutal combat…in short I like the blood in this game.
You’ll notice the ‘HD’ thrown on the end of the title, that’s because this is a more visually impressive version than the original but honestly the difference is marginal unless you happen to be Wolfire themselves. The game uses Ragdoll physics; it’s been a while since I’ve needed to mention that in a review. So perform an attack and your enemies might fall down semi-realistically or they may go flying in the sky team-rocket-style. Basically it looks like previous games when they first incorporated Ragdoll physics, glitchy but very funny.
Gameplay is split into two sections stealth and combat. Stealth is pretty easy to explain but there is a surprising about of detail to it, you can sneak up behind enemies by crouching and then when you’re right behind them you instantly kill them, depending on the weapon you’re either break their neck, stab them through the throat or run-em-through with a sword. The surprising detail I mentioned is that wolves are very sensitive so in-order to sneak on them you’ve got to pay attention to air moments and approach from downwind; if you don’t and if you have any blood on your weapon the wolves will smell you. You won’t really have too much of a chance to do stealth outside of the early levels as your sneaking just isn’t fast enough to keep pace of a walking enemy.
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