DeProfundis Requiem is the bastard step child of the union between Torchlight and Diablo – two of the most popular action/RPG games in recent history. If you’ve played either of these games before, you know well the variety and depth required to make a hack’n slash loot fest something that’s both compelling and engaging. Given the amateurish nature of most games on the Android platform these days, a concept like DeProfundis is certainly a tall order to fill and a welcome change.
Right out of the gates, things will look awfully familiar to Diablo and Torchlight veterans. You’re given a handful of quests at the beginning of the game, each of which are completed by exploring deeper and deeper in the town’s single dungeon, with little to no context or cut scene to fill in the story. A gentle guitar solo strums away in the background (Diablo) while you tool around in the central town (Torchlight) buying new potions and selling the spoils from your last dungeon crawl. Items can even be enchanted using rare runes.
Flexible Skill System
Depending on the class you decide to play – Captain, Barbarian, Knight, or Sorceress – you’ll get a small starting primary stat buff before being plopped into town. DeProfundis follows a more “open” system of class skills, so you’ll never be bound to certain abilities or items tied to your class. As you gain experience and level, you can assign skill points to the usual stats that increase mana (MP), damage, health (HP), and resists. During your exploration, you’ll discover ability scrolls that you can “learn” in order to unlock or upgrade your skills. For example, my Captain decided to raise her MP in order to have enough mana to be able to cast armor buff spells and wield weapons that consume mana. As long as you meet the prerequisites for the skill scrolls, you can learn new skills. This flexible skill system keeps things fresh and interesting. Up to three of these skills can be mapped to the hot bar on the lower right side of the interface.
Everyone Loves Loot
Like Diablo and Torchlight, loot drops out of every mob you kill and every chest you unlock. Weapons, armor, and jewelry come in various rarities and styles – there is definitely no issue with item variety in DeProfundis. Unfortunately, there is a limit to your inventory so it becomes important to start tossing items that aren’t worth much gold. Scrolls, I discovered, were the most valuable items to collect for resale.
The single town dungeon sports 3 unique zones featuring new textures, effects, and mobs. Each zone is broken down into 4 stages as well, meaning you’ll be exploring 12 levels in all. It’s quite possible that you’ll get bored with the scenery rather quickly, and there isn’t a whole lot of variety with the mobs themselves. In fact, I’m assuming the main drive behind this game – like Diablo and Torchlight – is loot and playing with your new toys. Perhaps the scenery is secondary.
An Unreliable Interface
Action/RPGs require fast and precise controls in order to keep things moving, and sadly this is where DeProfundis breaks down. A d-pad control floats around the left side of the screen, and comes with all of the usual pain associated with using that type of control – “finger running off the screen” being my worst enemy. Quickly changing course to dodge ranged attacks, or to even get out of a stuck position during a battle, rarely works out as you’d expect. Furthermore, the hot bar on the right side of the screen seems to have a mind of its own. Tapping an ability icon triggers it (obviously) and the icon does a zoom out/in thing to represent the cool down period. Once you trigger a standard attack on a mob, you will continue swinging until one of you dies, but things get kind of glitch while auto-attacking making it hard to trigger other abilities, heal yourself with a spell, etc. I lost many battles repeatedly spamming my heal spell hoping it would trigger, all the while my life was slowly draining from being hit. Frustrating. Targeting mobs is also an awkward experience. The orange pentagram on the right side of the screen will switch between targets, but as with every other control on the screen, there’s a slight lag. The game tries its best to target what you want, but frequently misses the mark as it seems to simply pick whatever’s closest to you. This targeting issue makes it tricky to try and pick off ranged mobs before moving on to the melees. There is an option in the game’s settings to switch to a “tap to move” interface, but this just ended up being worse with my character auto-running with unstoppable fervor.
While the graphics are lovely and ran just fine in HD using my last-gen Nexus 7 tablet, the sound effects (or lack thereof) and in game text could use some help. Spelling and grammar errors are absolutely everywhere, making this otherwise pretty game seem a tad on the amateur side. Even the downloadable “compendium” – the game’s help file – is merely a cobbled together PDF, which is unfortunate since it’s necessary to understanding the game’s back story. English aside, the sound effects could really use some work.
DeProfundis Requiem does an admirable job in attempting to bring a Diablo/Torchlight hybrid to Android, but it needs some serious polishing. While the graphics and loot system are solid, the interface, in game text, and sound effects are amateurish at best. Once you’ve beaten the game, if you’re not sick of the lackluster combat mechanics by then, you can enter an “arena mode” to fight waves of baddies for prizes. For $2.49 on the Play store, you can unlock the full version which removes ads, adds 2 new character slots, lets you play as all 4 classes, and grants you access to the arena. Thankfully, the usual freemium trappings of mobile gaming are NOT present in this game (no energy/time limits). DeProfundis Requiem offers the promise of PC quality gaming on Android but ends up falling a bit flat in the delivery.