Review: Valdis Story – Abyssal City (** stars) (Part 4)

Valdis Story just doesn’t know what it wants to be, and then doesn’t know how to be much of anything. Identity crisis strikes me every time it boots up; it just tries to achieve too many things at once, and ultimately fails at all of them in the most glorious ways possible. A Metroid game without exploration sucks all the life out, and a poor combat system doesn’t help either. I can’t help but say that I did want to like the game, but boy did it ever give me many reasons NOT to like it. It tries all these game design tropes without any sense as to how they should function, and that ultimately brings Valdis Story down.

I speculate that, sometime during development, Endlessfluff, had an identity crisis. They wanted to implement the best ideas from their most treasured games, but didn’t know why things fit as they did. When people challenged them on it (as Kickstarted backers and beta testers are wont to do), they just ended up included a giant hodge-podge of stuff without any real rhyme or reason. That, I think, ultimately brings Valdis Story down. Outside authorities questioned them, and they gave in. I encourage you to see the contrast with King Hezekiah and the forces of Assyria’s forceful attack on their way of life. You will see, unlike Endlessfluff, that they did not give in. We still remember Hezekiah as a good king; will we still remember Valdis Story as a good game? I doubt it.

17 Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the [a]fuller’s field.18 When they called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them.

19 Then Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What is this confidence that you [b]have? 20 You say (but they are [c]only empty words), ‘I have counsel and strength for the war.’ Now on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now behold, you [d]rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his [e]hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. 22 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?23 Now therefore, [f]come, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then can you [g]repulse one [h]official of the least of my master’s servants, and [i]rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Have I now come up [j]without the Lord’s approval against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we [k]understand it; and do not speak with us in [l]Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”27 But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall,doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in Judean, [m]saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you from [n]my hand; 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, “[o]Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live and not die.” But do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath andArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and [p]Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands[q]have delivered their land from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

2 Kings 2:17-37

About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.