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Curse of the Dead Gods (PS4, Switch, PC, Xbox One)


Talvalin
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A modern roguelike game that doesn't feature the dreaded words "pixel art", Curse of the Dead Gods is an isometric spin on the genre that features some interesting mechanics such as taking more damage in darkness (you carry a torch that can be used to light braziers or enemies, but you can't use your weapons at the same time), traps within the temple that can be used to damage enemies and the titular curse(s) that you incur as you accumulate corruption passing through each room in the temple.

 

CDG_Screenshot_07-Logo.jpg

 

cursedeadgods_3081713b.jpg?sid=94e191700

 

https://www.focus-home.com/en-us/games/curse-of-the-dead-gods

 

 

I assume that I'm not the only one on the forum playing this game, but I couldn't find a thread for it so here we go. I've played about 10 hours so far, and have completed the first two exploration tiers and the third tier of the Temple of the Jaguar. I was at the last but one room of the Temple of the Eagle before getting a curse where you take 50% extra damage until you kill 30 enemies and I got obliterated. Meh.

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It's a very good game, but it doesn't really do anything exceptionally enough or uniquely enough to drag fans of the genre away from their usual tipples. The curses never feel severe enough to impede you. If you haven't got owt in the go like this is definitely worth your time though.

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I gave this a go when it was released on Gamepass last week and it seems like a good game. What I didn't like about it, though, is that the curses doesn't seem like much of a deal, like @moosegrinder mentions above, and the progress seems to be more down to luck based on the weapons/skills/items you find on each run rather than pure skill. A very skilled player will probably be able to overcome every challenge with the most basic setup (as often the case in these kind of games) but from the approx 2 hours I spent on it I felt each run was very hit or miss depending on the cards I was dealt. 

Another thing, I felt the game has a lack of a certain flow. The best rogue likes (Binding of Isaac, Dead Cells, Hades etc) all have a really nice flow to them, but this seems a bit sluggish, it's hard to explain. I might just need to spend more time with it before writing it off. 

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It certainly flows differently compared to Dead Cells (haven't played Hades and won't be playing it any time soon until I get my hands on a Series X which is proving nigh-on impossible in Japan for some reason), but I will admit that the weapon variety isn't anywhere near on the same level. I think that even skilled players would have trouble with base level equipment on the harder difficulties, and one thing that you can do with your crystal skulls is to both unlock more weapon altars in the starting room (up to 4) and upgrade the quality of the weapons that you have, so that you're more likely to get weapons with additional abilities that will help you do more damage from the outset.

 

Regarding curses, I can see what you're both saying. At the same time, getting a bunch of different curses stacked on top of one another can be absolutely punishing. The one I mentioned where you take 50% extra damage until you kill 30 enemies (not sure if that resets at any point) wiped me out both times that I got it, or another one where some braziers cannot be lit but burn instead with a dark light was a pain as it meant that there was a larger area in which I could take increased damage. I also managed to get the Final Curse on my first run because I had no idea what was going on (not to mention that I was using blood offerings to get better weapons/relics/attributes) and that reduces your health down to 1HP over time which ended that run pretty soon lol.

 

@Rayn I think it starts picking up once you've unlocked a couple of altars to give you a better choice of starting weapons. There's still RNG as to what you get and whether it suits your play style, but I've been having a lot of fun with it. Not sure I'll manage the grind of defeating each of the Elite and boss enemies multiple times without taking any damage, but I plan to get to the end of the Normal explorations at the very least. At some point, runs include rooms from all three temples and I think you have to fight all three of the temple's bosses plus a final boss, with the three temples' Champions included along the way as optional fights depending on the route you choose.

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I'm just a bit further behind @Talvalin and haven't managed to clear any temple all the way through yet. But I've put a fair few hours in and enjoyed my time with it so far. 

 

However, I have no played Hades so think my time with this is now paused. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, cassidy said:

I'm just a bit further behind @Talvalin and haven't managed to clear any temple all the way through yet. But I've put a fair few hours in and enjoyed my time with it so far. 

 

However, I have no played Hades so think my time with this is now paused. 

 

 

 

Much as I'm enjoying the game, I've been waiting for an Xbox version of Hades for so long that if I were in possession of a Series X, I would be doing exactly the same. Given what I've read elsewhere, it's probably for the best that I'm playing the games in this order. :)

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Not to be pedantic, but this is a rogue ‘lite’, not ‘like’.

 

Ok, that might be a bit pedantic, but y’know?

 

Anyway, I’m quite enjoying this in a fairly mindless sort of way. It looks nice and the animation is cool. I’ve not played Hades yet so look forward to comparing the two. 
 

However, it looks like one of those games where you’ll inevitably beat it if you play for long enough due to the persistent boosts and upgrades, which I’m not a particular fan of for this style of game.

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I played it long enough to beat all the tier 3 temples earlier in the year, but haven't been back since to attempt the final run. I found it to be a very well balanced roguelike, with all the meaningful micro-decisions we expect from that sort of thing, and some tactically interesting combat - slower and more methodical than Hades, sure, but it has a good rhythm to it, and constantly pushes you to the edge with your stamina management.

 

But exactly as @moosegrinder says, in the end it's 'just' a well-made one of those and doesn't really have a thing of its own to make it stand out. The curses should do the job, but they are a bit mild, so as not to upset the fine balance, and because of that you don't get those kind of overpowered or wildly varied runs you get with other roguelikes. 

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25 hours later, and I'm still playing this game. I've managed to get to the final boss (of the Normal expeditions anyway) a couple of times now, and I'm got the knack of the Champions and Bosses (although the Jaguar boss can fucking do one. He's an utter ball-ache to deal with).

 

First time around, I got there without enough money and got absolutely wasted by the punishments that are inflicted on you if you cannot provide sufficient gold to each of the three gods. Second time around, I got there with enough gold but my Constitution was a bit low (2000 health) and I managed to lose half of that in the first phase of the final boss, so I was buggered in the second phase. I was on track for my third run with excellent weapons, relics and DPS via a high Dexterity, but got the Final Curse two rooms before the third boss and got absolutely smashed.

 

Apparently after this, there are Hard explorations where you have to do variations of the final Normal exploration, but with less healing rooms and more corruption (the hardest one starts you with a curse as soon as you start lol).

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Finally beat the Champion of Death last night and unlocked Hard explorations which lives up to its name by being pretty brutal.

 

There are less healing rooms, plus enemies hit a lot harder and so trying to tank hits, especially in the third part of a temple is impossible. I've managed to accumulate more health than I had for the final boss battle in Normal and I'm still getting trounced due to poor dodging/parrying skills.

 

Not sure if I'll manage to complete the Bestiary (since that requires a grind of no-hit boss battles) but I do intend to try and complete all of the Hard explorations as well That said, I think this will necessitate taking absolutely minimal damage - I can finally do the first Jaguar temple champion without getting hit so it might just be possible.

 

I could be a while but Halo Infinite (and the mere prospect of owning a Series X) are months off so I've got time. :)

 

EDIT: Cleared the Hard Jaguar temple! The Eagle temple is going to be a ball ache because the Eagle Avatar boss is probably the worst of the three, but I reckon if I go all in with Constitution I can do it.

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(am I really the only person still playing this game on rllmuk? 😢 )


After six attempts at it, I finally managed to clear the Hard Serpent Temple. On two previous occasions, I reached the third set of rooms with almost 3000 health and a good weapon set before getting so comprehensively smashed in the last couple of rooms before the boss that I went in the fight with only 500 health. Needless to say, those attempts did not go well, which was frustrating because both times I'd been doing really well up until those last few rooms. Titan Skulls can fuck right off. Every time I see one, I focus on them first because of those spinning projectiles they spit out, which means I tend to lose track of other enemies who then batter the fuck out of me. Apparently you can parry those projectiles which I might have to try as dodging repeatedly leaves you with too little stamina to attack and then dodge away again. Next I'm trying the Hard Eagle Temple (I've made it to the third set of rooms a few times, but haven't survived long) before the last three properly nails explorations.

 

As a result of playing on Hard, I'm getting better at dodging/parrying the various champions, and finally beat the first Eagle temple champion without getting hit. I reckon I can do the second one as well if I don't get greedy with attacks, and I almost did the second Jaguar temple guardian too when playing one of the special events (mistimed a parry from the flaming whip twin, but otherwise didn't get hit). The second Serpent Temple champion can get to fuck though. Fast attacks, doesn't really staggered/stunned by two-handed swords or hammers, so you have to be very good at dodging or very good at parrying. The second part of its combo attack is delayed, so I always fuck up the timing and then the spinning attack requires you to hit parry three times in succession. I just spam the key but it only works if you get the first parry right. Meh.

 

Speaking of special events, during the Death and the X special event where you're running against a clock (starts at 60s) and only increases when you defeat enemies, I got to the bosses twice so that might actually be achievable. My tactic has been to get a good two-handed weapon, load up on Constitution and then just tank my way through any mandatory fights and avoiding other enemies whenever possible. When I did this on the Serpent temple, I went into the boss fight with only a minute on the clock which was utterly doomed (I reckon another 30 seconds would have done it). When I tried again on the Jaguar temple, I had 2.5 minutes which was almost enough but I took too many hits and panicked at the very end with 20 seconds to go, went in swinging when the floor was on fire and got myself killed. Bah. Next time I'll have him for sure. Maybe....

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The Hard Eagle temple is properly nails to the point where it feels unbalanced compared to the other temples. I'm getting absolutely battered by even non-Elite enemies doing 200+ damage in a single hit which seems off but really it's still just a case of git gud and learning how to deal with these enemies. In this case, it's the electric babies (ahem, Dreadful Offspring) and the Blademasters that give me the most trouble.

 

Tanking damage is not an option, even with a shit tonne of Constitution so I've just got to improve my dodging (or start parrying the Blademasters, who can lunge about halfway across the screen in a single swipe - ugh) otherwise I'll never make it. I mean, I was on full health (1900+) after the second Champion, managed to lose 1000 health in a single room after suffering a few hits  and died soon after. Bah.

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Hard Eagle temple done! I managed to get a Ceremonial Dagger, upgraded it a few times and went all out on Perception to the point where it would do critical damage on an off-hand combo (basically, all I did was X then Y over and over again on enemies) and it was doing 400-500 damage!

 

The Eagle Avatar went down in less than a minute and if I hadn't gotten greedy at the end, it would have been a no-hit win as well. Seriously, look at this shit:

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Flush with victory joy, I tried the first Hard mixed temple exploration (Clovis's Trial) and was doing well,  beating the first two bosses reasonably easily before panicking when Titan Skulls started appearing in the third part and buggered it all up a few rooms before the Serpent Avatar and then the Champion of Death. Tried again and didn't even make it past the first boss. It was late by that point so I called it a day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After banging my head against the first Hard mixed exploration (Clovis' Trial) and 25 attempts (some of which failed at the Champion of Death despite being loaded up on health and a wicked Ceremonial Dagger), I managed it and then the second mixed Hard exploration on the third attempt last night (had relics that gave me health on killing burning enemies and some bonuses, so used the mobs during the final boss fight to stock up on health and tanked the Champion of Death in his second phase).

 

I was within a hairsbreadth of doing the final exploration as well, despite having finishing with 9000 gold and thus needing to make some calculated decisions for my final offerings before the Champion of Death, but took too many hits during the third mob of enemies and then completely mistimed some key dodges and parries right at the end. I think I got him down to less than 25% health, and that was with a Ceremonial Dagger that had no special attributes attached (on previous explorations, I've had +30% damage against bosses and champions, but the best one is off-hit combos do critical damage. You literally just have to do X -> Y over and over again and the dagger absolutely ruins enemies, providing you have enough Perception to scale its damage up).

 

Anyway. The end is in sight and I reckon it's do-able, given a decent weapon set and relics. I doubt I'll get anything as indestructible as the build I had for the second Hard mixed temple, but then that is the joy/pain/frustration of rogue-lites. I saw one guy who had a Stinger Lash (poisoned whip) that was doing 700+ damage and I have no idea how he managed that unless I watch a 45 minute video. Ugh....

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And done! Had another go at the final Hard exploration and got a middling Ceremonial Dagger, and nothing special in terms of Relics, but upgraded the dagger to level 5, got up to 70 Perception and collected enough gold to level everything up at the very end that I would have been able to tank Clovis if I needed to.

 

Got lucky with the mobs during the fight with Clovis, and this time during his second phase, I stayed well clear when he was wielding a hammer and only got hit a few times during one of his claw combos, unlike the previous night when I got caught by his hammer ground pound a few times which basically buggered what had been an otherwise excellent run.

 

That said, I still took about 2000 damage though, so I'm going to have to work on that if I want to have a prayer of beating this exploration twice in a row for the Bestiary entry and the final achievement, but for now I'm happy that I managed to beat what is a pretty damn challenging game.

 

I certainly got my money's worth out from this as a GamePass game, and I was happy to buy the game to send some money to the devs. I'm hoping for DLC but if not, then I still plan keep an eye out for what this developer gets up to next. :)

 

 

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Not knowing when to actually stop, I've decided that I'm going for the final achievement of beating all the Elite enemies (each one 50 times), champions (all 6, 10 times each) and bosses (Avatars 10 times each, the Champion of Death 5 times) without getting hit, plus beating the final Hard exploration twice in a row and lastly defeating the Champion of Death after having suffered the Final Curse (where your HP reduces over time until it reaches 1).


So far I've done the last two challenges and I've done most of the Elite enemies without being hit, as well as a fair number of the champions multiple times without getting hit, but this is still going to be a grind to do the champions (2 out of 6 I haven't managed to beat even once without getting hit). Lastly, beating the Champion of Death without getting hit is going to be fun as you have to do an entire mixed temple before you can even get to him. That said, given a ceremonial dagger and a good set of claws (managed to get poison claws with a 1% modifier for each point of Perception, which was excellent), then I can consistently finish the normal mixed temple without much trouble.

 

Well, fuck it. If I can beat the game at its hardest, I should be able to do this. My next update will no doubt be at the end of the year where I've played nothing but this game and hate it, but so far it's still fun to play.


More content (a new temple or something) would be amazing though. :D

 

 

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