First Impressions - Driftmoon

Hahaha little graveyard humour there...

Once again, here's another "First Impressions" article for a pretty old game (well, get used to it since there's going to be a lot of these over the coming months :)). This time it's for an indie RPG called Driftmoon.

I'm not quite sure how I ended up learning about Driftmoon - I believe the first time I saw it was when it was advertised on Good Old Games. The game's got a pretty good rating from the community on GOG (4.5/5 stars) and a rating of 73 on Metacritic. The only thing that prevented me from buying it was that the price seemed a bit steep to gamble on an RPG by a team I've never heard of before ($15). Thankfully, I managed to score a free copy from a generous Steam friend (Mix-Master again I believe) so now that the hurdle of price is out of the way, I can give the game a shot and see what the fuss is about.

What I like

  • Mods: While I haven't actually played with any mods yet, you can tell this game was built from the ground up to accommodate them (if the main menu is anything to go by). I had a look at a few of the mods and some are quite superficial while others I assume are quite involved (e.g. one that makes the character for the main campaign female - I would imagine a lot of text would need changing!). I've mentioned this as a good thing (since it is) but I must confess that I'm not one to usually mod games which is a reason I haven't touched the feature yet.
  • Relatively easy to pick up: Usually traditional CRPGs (especially Dungeons & Dragons based ones) aren't very forgiving for newcomers and you can quite easily make stupid mistakes like investing in Intelligence points for a Sorceror (not that I've ever done that... *whistles*). Driftmoon has a basic stats system and the skills are straightforward enough - adopting a skill tree similar to action RPGs like Diablo or Torchlight, yet still employing the hybrid turn-based/real-time combat of games like Baldur's Gate.

What I don't like

  • Generic fantasy plot: My opinion on this may change as I progress further into the game but at the moment the plot seems like your typical generic fantasy plot. A great evil has reawakened and it's up to you to stop it!
  • Graphics: Graphics don't maketh the game and while the graphics in Driftmoon aren't bad they do seem about 10 years old and employ a mostly top-down view of characters (Ultima VI and VII style). I guess one advantage to this though is it would make it easier for modders since you wouldn't need to invest as much time on the graphics.
  • No classes: While the game does have a skill tree for your main character there doesn't appear to be any distinct classes for you to follow - which is unusual for a traditional RPG which this game emulates for the most part.
  • Lots of reading: This isn't much of a problem for old codgers such as myself who grew up with games like Baldur's Gate but it might be an issue for the younger crowd or for those who simply don't like too much reading in their games


Driftmoon seems like an okay RPG but it still hasn't managed to grab my attention enough to keep me glued to the screen for hours on end. I will still give it a bit more time to see if the plot improves as I progress through the game since that will be the deal breaker if it doesn't. The game needs something to make it stand out from the many indie RPGs available out there and while I like what they've done with the mods, it's not a feature I usually get excited about.

[ LINK: Official Driftmoon website ]