Dementium: The Ward Review
Dementium: The Ward is one of a few first-person shooters on Nintendo’s handheld system. It’s surprising that there are so few FPSs on the DS because the control scheme is great. Yes, your hands might get a little cramped, but it’s a really immerse experience overall. The problem with other games in the genre (the Call of Duty franchise comes to mind) is that the DS isn’t the most powerful system out there. As a result, such games sport a generally low framerate. When a game runs at a low framerate, it can be pretty awful to play. However, developer Renegade Kid has perfected a mind-blowing engine for Dementium: The Ward. It runs at a solid 60 frames-per-second and features a really impressive lighting system.
The graphics aren’t all that makes Dementium: The Ward great. The game is incredibly immersive and atmospheric. I could wander the halls of Redmoor Hospital all day and never get bored. The lightening, thunder, creepy music, bloody walls - it all adds up to a terrifying package. The creature designs aren’t that dynamic… and shooting isn’t as satisfying as in other games. But regardless, the game isn’t about shooting. It’s about atmosphere and Dementium: The Ward nails it.
There are problems with the game: the save system can be frustrating, the maps are confusing, and you can’t dual-wield a flashlight and a weapon (a style choice I personally don’t mind). However, there is no denying the sheer brilliance of the game. The flaws aren’t enough to hinder the experience (although some disagree, bashing the save system). Dementium: The Ward is a technical masterpiece, filled with a dark and oppressive atmosphere. There really is nothing else like it on the Nintendo DS. That alone makes it special.
The reason I’m replaying the game (and the reason I’m writing this post) is because in two months, Dementium II will be hitting shelves. I can’t wait for the game and it’s looking better than the original (I mean, just look at that creepy box art!)
The sequel promises a ton of upgrades: better graphics, more diverse landscapes, an improved save system, terrifying bosses, the ability to dual-wield weapons, the ability to jump/crouch, an inventory system, easier maps, and more.
I hope that if you’re reading this, you preorder Dementium II or give the first game a try. I really want Renegade Kid to succeed because they’re such a small development team - they are proof that huge budgets and a large staff are not necessary to make a good game.
I’m already hoping for a Dementium III.