For all the planets I have destroyed, lives I’ve taken, civilizations I have enslaved, I knew that karma would pay me back one day and, that day has come… In the form of The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse… Literally, the worst game I have ever, in my entire billion year (read: 20 something) existence, played.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he story follows Elisabeth, a strong, independent, young woman (who don’t need no man) as she sets out to find her brothers after her seemingly evil, tyrannical father dies — because how dare he keep her from the dangers and monsters of the danger-filled and monster-ridden world? How DARE he?! The swine!
Along the way, she meets a plethora of colourful characters, some of who join her on her quest and as they adventure through the mythical land of wherever the hell The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse takes place, they encounter many friend and foe, fighting off dark creatures such as wolves! And tree… vine… snake.. things! And more wolves! And bandits! And badly designed mythical-whatevers — as well as completing many a boring, monotonous quest for many a boring, monotonous people.
The story is just… Boring. Maybe some great voice acting could have saved it, but the game is essentially an exercise in reading, mainly because — I’m assuming — there was no money to hire voice actors and most of the funding went to the team’s alcohol fund, which was used to numb them throughout the game’s development.
I won’t be completely unfair, the story does have its moments, with some of the interactions between characters being somewhat amusing (depending on your level of intoxication) and there is a mild level of intrigue as the story unfolds, but it’s essentially as if you were being mauled by a bear and Leonardo DiCaprio showed up to try and help you by beating that bear up, but then it mauls him as well before returning to maul you. But then he gets an Oscar and you just get a mauling story. And maybe rabies.
“Gameplay” (Doctor Evil air quote), if one was to call it that, is just ridiculously simple. Offensively so. The game makes use of turn-based combat and each round, you’ll have access to cards from a deck which will allow you to attack, heal, buff or debuff. Each victory will earn you XP and earn enough XP and you’ll level up and get points to increase various parks like your speed and “hand size.” You can also earn loot to help customise your characters and unlock further attacks and perks.
If you think the story was the worst part, well, think again! The gameplay is worse, with the characters simply making badly animated movements instead of clashing or interacting in any manner, like, say, the utterly brilliant South Park: The Stick of Truth. They just stand there. And flail. It’s ridiculous — and don’t even get me started on the attacks and abilities, which are as creative as a bag full of 6-month-old yellow Smarties.
The biggest WTF of The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse is the whole card aspect. These cards are literally just normal attacks and abilities labeled as cards and they are just insipidly simple. You could have removed the entire mechanic and you’d literally have the same, boring game. So why is it there?
Graphically, The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse makes use of a storybook-like art style, but it looks like it was drawn by a 14-year-old girl who is way into Twilight and found those How to Draw Fantasy creature books during a break at school. I recently played Stick it to the Man, which uses a similar style drawn style, but there, the art is so unique and quirky that it looks amazing in action — but this game tries its best to not stick out and it just ends up looking like fancy fan-fiction.
On the audio side of things, the limited voice acting there is is acceptable, the ambient sounds are stock and there’s nothing which sticks out. Just another side to this vanilla cake.
For those 2 or 3 who know me, they’ll know my reviews are usually lengthy, but honestly, there is so little this game offers and it was a painful exercise trying to play through it. The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse is just… It’s just a bad game. And if time travel is even invented, I will go back and stop myself from experiencing this… Whatever this was. I would like to think there is an alternative earth — earth 22 — where I didn’t spend my time playing this game… A man can dream… A man can dream.