Reviews for Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves

50

Great concept, pretty bad execution

Maxmetpt | July 16, 2015 | See all Maxmetpt's reviews »

Sang-froid is a great game, in concept! The translation of the idea into a videogame is also done well, mechanics-wise. The big problem, for me, is how unpolished and frustrating the execution has been, especially for a 15€ game. The game feels dated in almost every respect. Graphics, story-telling, how the combat and guns work, transitions, item system, etc. etc. Everything is very imperfect and takes way more time than it should. I don't want to make a full blown review, so I'll try to very briefly state the most glaring problems. I've played the game twice. Once on Easy Mode, once on Hard Mode. Easy Mode was very uninteresting. Combat over strategy. Hard Mode was infuriating, since, while strategy was the focus, the combat was still very much required to a great degree, while your character was clearly very underpowered. As a result, almost every mission required multiple tries, even [b]after[/b] I had the strategy laid and should have worked. I completely ignored the story and all of the other aspects aside from mechanics in the second playthrough. Why? Because it's terrible. Honestly. The story is fairly cool, especially since I do like fairy-tale and folk stories, in general. The problem is how the story is delivered. It's... mind boggling to me. The story is told exclusively through "cutscenes" that are merely characters talking to one another. Nothing fancy. The problems are: the writing isn't good, coupled with horrible voice-acting. I don't think the actors were in the same room at all. Each line feels completely disconnected from the situation at hand, and the tone is completely off. It just doesn't deliver. Then, there's the fact that, visually, they use some pretty bad 3D models, just because. The animations aren't all that great either. Nothing justifies the choice for these "cutscenes". A simple 2D conversation, with little animation and no voice-acting could have been much more polished without half of the work. Not to mention that this had nothing to do with the game. Yet, it's one of the main elements of the product, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. It's really, really, bad. I don't understand this choice at all. I could understand a sub-par execution, if it was a new idea, or something. This brings nothing new, nothing impressive. On the contrary, it's glaringly bad... The game itself, for those of you not aware, is like Orcs Must Die, although the tower and combat phases are completely separated. First, you place the traps you can. Then, you fight each wave successively, with combat. That's fine, although it can be kind of annoying when you don't know exactly what will come at you (they tell you which enemies and where, but there are nuances...) and you have no chance to fix mistakes without restarting. You'll get a plethora of different traps that you can later upgrade, but some of them are mostly useless or situational. Still, they fit the setting, and some combinations were fun to use. You can also buy potions and weapons in the town. Potions are useless, except from the health ones. The others are burnt money, unless you're on the last missions. Why? Because you barely get any money to upgrade. So, why waste it on consumables? You gain so little money that you'll take until the last few missions to be able to get a decent combination of weapons. Especially on hard mode. Far too long. The upgrade system is cool, although you can completely lock yourself if you use your points in the wrong place. You can "undo", but only when you choose where to put them. If you "confirm",you're stuck with them. Ok, what's next? Graphically, it's a PS2 era game. If that. You can't see 7 meters in front of you, and I'm not sure if it's a design decision, or a performance choice. Then, the game suffers from fps problems when there are too many enemies active. And I have a 3.4Gz quad-core. There's no justification that I can think of, really. The combat is extremely clunky. That could be fine, since you're not supposed to use it a lot. Except... that you need to, since traps are very limited. So except lots of restarts. The game has a lock-on system that will often change targets when you least want to. There are some enemies that will go underground to heal when they're low on HP. So, you want to kill them asap. The problem is: when there are several characters, the game may very well choose to target someone else. Well, crap... The gun suffers a similar problem with the auto-aim. It "snaps" to the closest target... sometimes. Sometimes it also seems to lag, and suddenly aims completely off, leading to a failed shot. You also take a loooong time to reload, which is cool. Bullets are also fairly expensive, so the point is to hold on to them. Which is infuriating when the game throws your aim off! Here's another thing: the game rewards you for using less traps. You can use Actions Points to cut trees, instead of placing traps. This further encourages combat, rather than strategy. Encourages the clunkiest system... And unbalances the game has a result, a bit. On Hard Mode, where you want to maximize traps, you end up getting way less money, making it even harder to upgrade, thus making the future missions even harder. There's a bit of a snowball effect, here... and not a good one. Then, there are various other problems. The interface is big and full of boxes, and still manages to miss several very important aspects... You take far too long to navigate from the stores to the village and your home. It's the clicking, but there are way too many. There's also a lot of information missing, leading to even more time wasted... There's no plain restart button that starts you exactly at the level you were in. You always have to go to the strategy screen, and then click like 3 or 4 times to confirm textboxes before you go into the level. It doesn't help that there's always a load screen between transitions. So, except 2 loading screens every time you make a mistake and want to restart. Or simply die... I realize this review is a bit toxic. I apologize for that. The game isn't terrible. The game itself, if I ignore everything else, can be fun and challenging, at times. The problem is that the game has way too many issues in too many different places, and it results in a very frustrating experience, overall. It tries to do a lot more than the game itself, but it doesn't know how. Seems like a lot of wasted work. I just can't understand the people claiming it to be a "masterpiece". In concept, it's great. Execution... not really. Orcs Must Die is a far more enjoyable game (both of them, in my opinion) and they provide more content than this, for a lower or equal price. And undoubtedly more finely tuned and polished.

77

Fun but a bit clunky at times.

JURGMANDR | July 28, 2014 | See all JURGMANDR's reviews »

Let me just say that the overall concept of the game is fun but the controls are a bit clunky. The tower defense portion of the game makes it much more interesting than trying to play it as an action game imo (in part because the action parts like melee are somewhat clunky). The ambiance and lore create an interesting world filled with all kinds of evil to kill. TLDR: the voice acting is meh, the soundtrack is excellent, combat is kind of clunky, traps ftw, great atmosphere, great story.

80

Another nice mix of Tower Defense and other genres!

Furrek | June 8, 2014 | See all Furrek's reviews »

At begin I need to say if you have played Sanctum 2, Orc Must Die or Dungeon Defenders, and if you enjoyed at least one of those games, you must play Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves. Those games are really similar, just have different settings. So about Sang-Froid, mostly your enemies will be, you can guess it, werewolves. I don't want to spoil anything for new players, so let's leave it this way. And you are trying to protect your house and few more building from those creatures. To do that, you can simply fight them head to head, or place traps. There are plenty of ways to kill your enemies or just fool them. For example, you can place a bait food for them, but there is also a special skill for poisoning food. So while they will be eating bait, not only they will stop trying to attack your buildings, but also it will kill them. There are much more creative ways to kill your enemies, it depend only on your imagination. Sadly, game is not so long, but there are two difficult levels. If you are fan of those TD mixes games, get it. If not, well, check the trailer on website. I never heard before about this game and this trailer (especially music!) made me buy this game. I don't regret it.

89

A strategy game, with an RPG aspect

XGpredator | Dec. 31, 2013 | See all XGpredator's reviews »

Sang-Froid is a beautiful tale of werewolves, which transports us brilliantly in the icy atmosphere of Quebec, thanks to its audio. Soft and playful: with its open world and its evolutionary character, it offers multiple strategies. Then of course, all is not perfect but for a first project, the result is convincing! The game only costs 15 dollars, and its worth it.

90

Great Mix of TD, RPG and Old-Timey Werewolf Lore

P_Sherman | Dec. 27, 2013 | See all P_Sherman's reviews »

And by "TD" I mean "Trap Defence". The nature of the traps require a different kind of strategy than that of your usual TD. You spend your daylight hours (literally) and gold placing traps via a map interface, then move to 3rd-person for the second phase- nighttime. Generally speaking, traps are single use and many require to be triggered manually. This means your strategy must take into account not only your resources and trap placement but which traps you can get to to activate. Just a couple of gripes: The wide variety of traps and tools are introduced at one per level, so it takes a while to be able to really play around with strategies. The voice-acting is atrocious. And... that's it, really. Seriously. The music is fantastic and keeping in theme, the story delivers heaps of lore and enough reason to slay 'wolves until morning, the graphics are perfectly serviceable, especially for an indie, the RPG elements are robust enough to encourage multiple playthroughs, all of the games mechanics have an in-world explanation for being there... If you're not convinced by now, well, I tried- and it's your loss.

86

Strategy Fans Rejoice

Wiesler | Nov. 18, 2013 | See all Wiesler's reviews »

Sang-Froid is another mix of 3rd person action with trap/tower building, similar to Orcs Must Die. The game has a unique Canadian setting and centers around an original werewolf story penned by a fairly well known author. This game is quite ambitious in how much it focuses on the lore and narrative of the game, and it delivers for the most part. The art style fits the game for the most part, though the cutscenes may have came out better through illustrations. The game is fun to play, and can offer some challenge. The two brothers you can choose from play differently: one is a nice mix of 3rd person action and trap building; the other brother is relies heavily on traps. The game offers an RPG mechanic through equipment and skill trees that works well to reward the player. The progression of your character can be felt, which is exactly what an RPG mechanic should do. Despite a few very minor shortcomings, this game offers a unique setting and some great gameplay.

90

Exciting mixture of third person action and strategy

commanderhavoc | Sept. 28, 2013 | See all commanderhavoc's reviews »

This is one of those little undiscovered indie game gems that does an outstanding job at mixing two different genres together. Taking place in the middle of the 19th century, you play as one of two lumberjack brothers, Jacques "Jacky" and Joseph "Josy" O'Carrol, whose sister, Joséphine, fallen victim to a very nasty case of fever while running away from the town of Wolvesvale with Joseph following an attempt from the village priest to seduce her, which she rejected. This lead to a brief struggle which lead to parts of the church burning down and the priest blames Joséphine for it all, calling her a witch, which the superstitious people of Wolvesvale believes and it is only thanks to Joseph's intervention that they escape the village and up to Jacques' cabin, where the two brothers aren't so happy to see each other. But soon, they're attacked by wolves that aren't acting as normal and Joséphine begins having premonitions of the attacks on the cabin, which is something that she inherited from her Innu mother Mani-Uapikuan. And what's worse is that there is a great evil lurking in the shadows that has its eyes dead set on taking Joséphine and it will stop at nothing to get her. At the start of each day, after the tutorials, you have the option to place down traps and bonfires that will help you during the night sieges, which will get progressively tougher and tougher as more supernatural beasts enter the fray. You can place an infinite number of traps however, it takes time to place these traps and you have to carefully consider where you should place the traps with the help of Joséphine's premonitions that show what path each wave of enemies will be taking, some traps also cost money which you earn by killing the wolves and other beasts that attack during the night There is also the important factor of fear, the wolves can become very afraid of you when you unleash a shout in the game or stand near a bonfire, the more scared they are of you, the more time you have to prepare either your rifle if you've already used a bullet or charge in with the axe you have at hand. I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes these types of mixtures as well as engaging storylines and memorable characters.

88

Must try for strategy lovers!

Quiles | July 20, 2013 | See all Quiles's reviews »

An amazing game combining extremely careful planning and melee combat. Each night you really have to plan out your tactics - where am I going to be when and how do I get to where I need to go in time. Graphics are mediocre (cutscenes especially so) but makes up for it with amazing gameplay which kept me going "just one more night, I'm already seeing a plan in my head". Don't expect an easy ride - even on the "easier" character as you will still have to make skillful use of traps and distractions to eliminate all enemies before they get to your fragile, fragile buildings but overall is a great challenge. My only complaint is the length (only about 15 levels) but I'm hoping there will be more to come!

85

An Undiscovered Gem

ctp94wakko | June 10, 2013 | See all ctp94wakko's reviews »

A strategy game for the science fiction gamers out there. Strategy and WEREWOLVES clash in this Canadian strategy game with so much character that it oozes at its pores. While the graphics are certainly the weakest aspect of Sang-Froid, they are not subpar to say the least. Game play requires a top down strategy during the day and executing that strategy at night in a third-person melee way. The mechanics are great for what they are. You play as a lumberjack, and because of that melee is nothing like God of War. The combat is simple, but reasonable for what it is. The story really draws you into Canada during the 1800's which I did not expect. Sang-Froid is a hidden gem that executes everything perfectly for what it is. While the production quality is not that of AAA games, Sang-Froid makes up for quality with originality and is a must buy, or at least a must try!