Garshasp: The Monster Slayer
|Garshasp: The Monster Slayer|
Garshasp: The Monster Slayer cover art as shown on GamersGate
|Developer(s)||Fanafzar Sharif Co.
Dead Mage Inc.
|Publisher(s)||Loh Zarrin Nikan (Iran)
Just A Game (Outside Iran)
|Programmer(s)||Amir-Hossein Fassihi (lead)
|Artist(s)||Soheil Danesh-Eshraghi (lead)
|Engine||In-House (build on top of OGRE 3D, PhysX, OpenAL)|
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
May 8, 2011 (Download)
May 31, 2011 (Retail)
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, hack and slash|
|Distribution||Optical disc, Digital Download|
Garshasp: The Monster Slayer is a third person action-adventure video game developed by Dead Mage Inc. for Microsoft Windows and Linux. The story and the game are based on the adventures of the mythological Persian monster-slayer Garshasp. It was developed by Dead Mage based on an earlier project by the now defunct Fanafzar Sharif Game Studios.
Garshasp was released for Windows independently online on May 8, 2011, and was released through the Steam and GamersGate services a day later. Upon release the game received mixed reviews, although it was consistently praised as an ambitious endeavor for an independent developer. Dead Mage are currently in the process of porting the game to Linux.
Garshasp: The Monster Slayer is a third person action-adventure game, taking place in mythological ancient Persia, in a world occupied by monsters and Deevs. The game focuses mainly on combat with large weapons and heavy combo moves. Platforming and puzzle solving also play a major role in the game play style.
Garshasp has the ability to jump, double jump, and dodge as well as perform light and heavy attacks. These attacks can be executed in certain orders allowing for several different maneuvers which vary in combat strength and character animation. As the game progresses Garshasp can also accumulate further levels of experience which can further unlock new attacks.
The more attacks the player engages in also subsequently raises Garshasp's Rage meter, enabling the player to execute stronger combos. Garshasp can also dispatch weaker enemies through an action resulting in an instant kill, which is useful for dispatching large amounts of enemies. Stronger foes can also be felled in this manner, although they first must be weakened by conventional attacks.
Damage to the player may be healed by various blue orbs mounted on pedestals that are scattered throughout the game environment. There are also red orbs that can grant the player experience boosts. The game offers no external control of the camera view, with the game itself programmed to orient the world based on the current action or event taking place.
The games puzzle solving element mostly consists of the player opening new areas by hitting switches or levers as well as several environmental challenges, including several scenes where Garshasp must use his sword to assist in a controlled descent down a vertical surface, as well as more traditional platformer elements.
Years after the confinement of Azhi Dahaka (Zahhak) by Fereydun in Mount Damavand, the evil Deevs who were the commanders in the army of darkness led by Azhi Dahaka rose again in different parts of the ancient lands of Khunirath and rebelled against the humans who were celebrating the victory of the army of light. Each Deev formed a colony of its own and continued on bringing suffering to the human race.
Hitasp, the Golden Crown, who possessed numerous deadly magical skills, was among these Deevs and was seeking to build up its empire in the rocky lands of Faranbagh in Hara Berezaiti. Siavoshgard, the legendary village that had been the home of many Pahlavans was raided by Hitasp and his followers and in the battle, Garshasp’s brother, Oroxia, was killed while defending his ancestral home.
Garshasp, the monster slayer and a grand son of Jamshid, starts out pursuing revenge for his brother’s blood by a journey towards the Hitasp's stronghold only to find out that something much more important has been taken in the raid of Siavoshgard and Garshasp’s bravery is to play a big role in the destiny of the world...
Development on the game took place over three years originally by a team of Iranian developers under the name of Fanafzar Sharif Game Studios. Fanafzar used mainly free software tools to develop Garshasp, including the OGRE engine, OpenAL library, Boost C++ Libraries, and WxWidgets. Development on the game was later moved out of Iran, with the game being completed by the Texan studio Dead Mage. The game was unveiled with its new title, Garshasp: The Monster Slayer, in April 2011. The game was released online for Microsoft Windows on May 8, 2011 and was made available through the Steam and GamersGate services on May 9, 2011. The developers are currently porting the game to Linux, and are also considering a port to the XBox Live Arcade. A retail version is going to be made available on May 31, 2011 by the German publisher Just A Game.
Garshasp: The Monster Slayer received a rating of 6.5/10 from Default Prime. While the reviewer praised it as a competent God of War clone, he thought that the game was too easy and had a few rough edges, stating in conclusion that "imitating a great game does not make a great game". He did however note that it "does succeed in raising the bar on what an independent development studio is capable of delivering." GameSpot gave the game a mediocre rating of only 5.0, stating that the game demonstrates "impressive feats for a $19.99 independent release" but also commenting that it's "price is attached to a four-hour game that only partially makes good on its potential." Rock, Paper, Shotgun commented that Dead Mage had "obviously worked hard to get the game to this level" and that they "like the way the game is themed and presented", but also complained that it is "the kind of game that ends up looking weak by comparison to its high-budget peers."
Player Affinity gave the game only a 4.0/10 score, defending the low rating by stating that the game is "an excellent first try from an up-and-coming studio, but it also manages to fall short on several key aspects. These problems, unfortunately, mortally handicap what could have been a moderately enjoyable experience." ZTGD rated the game with a slightly more optimistic 5.5/10 score, mostly complaining about gameplay and performance bugs, but also noted that Dead Mage were working on a patch to hopefully solve some of these issues. HalfBeard's HUD gave the game 3 out of 5 stars, stating that "Garshasp is a more than adequate representation of character action games and while it may not be anything special if you’re a fan of this genre you’ll get some enjoyment out of it.
Cross Platform Gamers described the game by saying that it was "an entertaining game even though some parts of the game made me want to toss it out the window." Digitally Downloaded enjoyed the game, but stressed the need for a gamepad or similar console styled controller, saying that it "really deserves to be played on a format that this kind of game was custom built for." Mobile Computing News decided that the game has "lots of potential, but only provides four hours of fun which can be hindered by some annoying glitches." Cheat Code Central gave the game a rating of 2.7/5, although it did make a point of commenting that it is "a credit to Dead Mage Inc. that with a tiny staff and big ambitions, they created a $20 product that in some ways rivals big-budget hack-and-slash games." NoobFeed gave the game a rating of 65/100, warning about a few annoying aspects but also adding that "what Garshasp lacks in execution, at least it makes up for in gusto." In summing up, the reviewer also stated that he had high hopes for the game's developer, stating that "the real intrigue lays with the anticipation of Dead Mage Studio’s next game. Garshasp showed the world what they’re capable of, one can only imagine what that may result in time, with a lot more resources and effort put into it.
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