Welcome to Dragon Age meets Splinter Cell meets creative dwarf lore! Things are not quite what you would expect from the name of this game, so if you have been thinking of giving this game a try, or have only just heard of it, approach this article with a fresh mind on the dwarf legends.
We Are The Dwarves is an Isometric Tactical Action Indie Game developed by Whale Rock Games, and was released on the 26th February 2016. The game mechanics felt kind of familiar and yet different, and the story is very unique, which I very much enjoyed. That is pretty much where the enjoyment stopped for me, but I knew I had to put my own personal dislikes aside to give the game a proper chance for it to show me what it had up its sleeves.
You play as a group of 3 dwarf astronauts who are searching for a new star to keep their race alive, as their own stars are busy dying. Each dwarf has an array of unique abilities of their own to aid in their journey. The universe is not as we know it to be, however. Picture in your minds this; Endless Stone and Cave systems instead of the dark unknown void of the universe as we know it. I found this pretty intriguing and different. It is still possible to fall off the edge into the unknown, which is why the dwarves are equipped with specialised, high-tech suits, capable of controlling gravity fields, and has 4 layers of armor with specialised devices and systems for each engineer’s proficiency. That said, during their expedition, their ship got destroyed, damaging their armor considerably, making the dwarves very susceptible to damage. Consumable gems called “Energy Ore” and “Star Crusts” can be used to repair the armor. These gems are scattered in different areas of every level. “Dwarf Stones” are a bit scarcer, and are used to upgrade abilities by placing these stones into the respective dwarf’s talent trees.
Despite the fact that these gems are able to do what they do, it seems it is not able to repair the actual “armor”, as you are still very susceptible to damage and can easily get brutally bombarded to death.
The game is mercilessly difficult even on normal difficulty. The game forces you to think tactically and make use of the “Active Pause” mechanic, which slows down time in the game for you to be able to observe your surroundings and formulate a logical plan. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the controls weren’t clumsy. There are even a few bugs that still needs to be worked on. I often needed to click multiple times on an object for there to be some sort of response, and it has not even always been the response I was looking for. My dwarf has gotten stuck in plants, which he, on other occasions, walked through with ease. There was also a time when I was in the Controls section of the Options menu and no matter where I clicked, it refused to take me back to the game. The game has even crashed a few occasions for no real apparent reason. And thus, I had a terrible time playing this game.
The language also requires work. My mind is still reeling from many grammatical and spellings errors. And for the record, the dwarves’ accents are not Scottish.
That said, the game is still very good. The challenge is something you don’t often find in games and requires you to really consider your next course of action carefully. There was even a comment on the Steam Community page where the user referred to the game as “Dwarf Souls”, referencing Dark Souls in relation to this game’s difficulty. The graphics are visually pleasing and the music is immersive. With a patch to fix some annoying bugs and even spelling errors, the game can be well on the way to achieving it’s goal.
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC (Windows, Mac)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG, Strategy
Age Rating: Teen
Publisher/Developer: Whale Rock Games
Estimated RRP: R199.00
Release Date: 26 Feb 2016
- Different aspect to dwarf lore.
- Bugs, bugs, bugs.
- Those rats won’t leave me alone!