PAX 2008 hands-on: Demigod

Kyle Horner
K. Horner|08.31.08

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PAX 2008 hands-on: Demigod

Following an interview with Gas Powered Games at PAX 2008, we got some hands on time with their newest creation, Demigod. The first thing we noticed while watching it running on glowing, envy-inducing PCs was how deliberate much of it looked. Everything from the unit/map design to the ease-of-use control scheme oozed hours of careful consideration on developer GPG's part. While the concept of Demigod tends to bewilder many who hear it -- ourselves included -- understanding the idea only took us a few minutes of playing the atypical strategy game.

Players only control their Demigod and its set of abilities. Our time was spent with the RPG-style Torchbearer, a Norse flavored character that can switch between ice and fire modes. We were digging his armored-burn-victim look, which just so happened to feature more armor and less burn. The Torchbearer is all about freezing everything before switching to fire and watching the screen light up as your enemies burn. Our magical offensive certainly got us some kills, but it wasn't moving the battlefront at all. Once we began to work more attentively with our AI-controlled troops of the non-Skynet variety, the battle quickly shifted to our favor.

Our actions in-game where peppered by murmurs of, "Oh, whoa." and "I want this game, now" from various onlookers behind us. We were starting to agree with this sentiment. It surprised us to find out that the game is actually running on a version of the Supreme Commander engine, as we saw more visual variety in 30 minutes with Demigod than we ever did playing hours of SupCom. GPG assured us that the system requirements are designed to include low-end machines, which is very much due to the fact that Demigod doesn't try to do a thousand things at once on-screen while you play it. (our wallets say thanks) Looking at the game, it was fairly hard to imagine that the harpy-like creatures and wiggling death-plant-things were living in the same engine that featured angular robot-spiders and hover tanks that bogged down our computers just a year and half ago. All in all, Demigod looks like it's going to steal away our precious personal time when it eventually ships on Stardock's Impulse service next year.

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