Today I have a GUEST POST!! WooHoo! The reader who submitted this game review requested to remain anonymous… so thank you to anonymous reader. This game sounds awesome and I will have to check it out. Also, with the religious theme it is quite fitting for Easter season! Now for the review:
Five Guardians of David is a great game!
Take away the Biblical backstory and you have a solid, isometric ARPG from first-time developer, Kingdom Games, that is both engaging and provides innovative mechanics to a familiar genre. Then put back the Biblical origin and you’re given something else, something more—historicity and a brave exploration in meshing religion with gaming.
It’s not that story-driven video games lack religion, just not real-world ones. Often developers create religions for the worlds they design. But take an existing religion and make a game based on one of its more iconic heroes (in this case David, of “David & Goliath” fame), and, furthermore, lace its narrative and mechanics with religious themes, and you’re in for trouble. It’s like handing a magnifying glass to the overly-critical gaming community and begging them to rip your game apart.
However, the game is solid. The level design and backgrounds are lush and gorgeous. The pacing is consistent. The loot and risk-reward system are passable. The music is excellent. If a gamer, unfamiliar with any modern religion, was handed a copy of Grim Dawn and Five Guardians, she would be hard-pressed to select the better game since both have excellent features and limited flaws.
Beyond the objective view, the game should be praised for the way it handles religion, not in spite of it. There’s never a moment where it feels preachy. It’s educational. The outfits, weapons, and landscapes are historical. Where magic is used in fantasy games, Five Guardians uses miracles. Heroism is portrayed by selfless sacrifice rather than the rags-to-riches/pauper-to-prince motif. All actual Bible verses are confined to caches, like developer’s notes, scattered throughout the game, but remain separate from the story and gameplay. In other words, the game lets the player choose how much religion they’re exposed to.
The bottom line is, the game is fun. It’s well worth the price point and no one is trying to convert you. Except me…because I think you should play this game.