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I read a review about Underrail and I'd like to know if its an accurate description of combat and lack of fast travel:

"Cons: -extremly hard, frustrating and partly flawed combat -no acceptable map feature (you will get lost a lot) -no fast travel option (while it is nice that you have to explore areas and stuff like that this can also be extremly frustrating and take a lot of time -only mediocre storytelling and dialogues, don't expect another fallout 2 -no companions
The main issue i have with this game is the combat. By far the most frustrating thing are enemies that can just keep stunning you forever while you have no chance to react at all. You also usually have to walk up to opponents just far enough so that the combat doesn't start automatically. Then you initiate combat on your own to be able to attack first, since usually you can't do anything if they start. I don't dislike hard games, i played this game on hard. But i dislike design flaws that simply make it frustrating instead of hard. This alongside the non-existance of a map made me decide to stop playing the game pretty far into the story because everything was just a little too much work for my personal taste and i simply had no idea where to go next."

There are three things of note there, in my opinion:

1) Combat is actually really good in Underrail. I've never found it frustrating, and I've never had a problem with constantly being stun-locked. It sounds like whoever wrote that needs to learn how to play better. This is not to say that combat is easy, necessarily. It can be quite hard. You need to decide on the kind of combat build you want and stick to your character's strengths. That said, there's no fundamental egregious flaw in it that I can see. You can be stunned, and being stunned can get you killed, but if that happens it's more than likely your own fault.

2) You can get lost, but this is by design. When's the last time you played a game and literally got lost in it? Before Underrail the last time I got lost in a game was probably one of the hardcore dungeon crawlers from the 1980s or early 1990s.

There is a form of fast travel because you can take boats from location to location, but there's no fast travel as in "push a button and go where you want instantly." You have to walk to the docks to find a barge captain for hire.

3) Although it's been improved with recent patches (and may be improved further in the future), walking speed is still quite slow. You can adjust it in the game now, but I've still heard of people using Cheat Engine to jack it up to ten times normal. There's simply a lot of walking back and forth in Underrail, and that's probably it's biggest flaw. Frankly it's not a huge problem most of the time, but in certain city areas you have to cross three screens to get from one place-you-often-go to another place-you-often-go. That's where fast travel would be nice. Maybe that's what your reviewer was talking about.

All-in-all, I think Underrail is a really, really good game. It's one of the best new cRPGs I've played over the past several years. I don't regret buying it at all.
Post edited September 12, 2016 by UniversalWolf
Overall game is not that hard, except final part (only on first run, once you know what to do and where to go it's much easier). Storytelling is fine, but you have to dig out information by yourself.

1. Combat system sufficiently complex, all encounters requires tactical approach (heavily depends of your char). As for your problem with stunners - kill them first from distance, you don't need to get close for starting combat ( for example -sniper fire), lure them on trap (lay them near your position) and burn them in ash with molotov coctail, cast Rage or throw flashbang at enemy group, then kill'em all, burn . See? There is plenty of opportunities but you have to think your actions over before attack.
2. Boat rides and trains available. Lack of map in this game never bothered me, have no problem this orientation there, YMMV though.
3.Walking speed can be improved with clothing (for ex: tabi boots). Game is slowpaced, but it's matter of player perception and personal taste.
Post edited September 15, 2016 by Sten_MkIIs
Combat is indeed flawed and can be very frustrating. This game is basically all about creating a min/max build and dominating everyone with special ability abuse.

The OP is right about stunlocking -- if you don't stunlock your enemies, they will stunlock you and then you have to reload a save. I find this as a very lame design choice, because you're basically turning your character in a one-man-army-superhero, and I don't really undertand that kind of approach in a game that deems itself as 'tactical'.

E.g. I'm playing a Xbow/sniper kinda-stealthy character and for most enemy packs I shoot shock bolts/flashbangs to divide multiple enemies into manageable groups. Then I use grenades, knee shots and special bolts to kill everyone before they have a chance to stunlock me. Rinse, repeat. I don't get how is this tactical, to me it's just metagaming, and eventually it gets repetetive and boring. There's no clever positioning, no cover system, no companions to command -- it's just about either you dominating your enemy or them dominating you. Add cooldowns to the mix, and you see where this is going.

Another thing is that there are HUGE line of fire (LoF) issues. For example, you might be standing in a spot where you can see an enemy and the crosshair shows a nice chance to hit. But when you initiate the combat it suddenly turns out that you cannot shoot that enemy from your position because there's no LoF, and you have to spend 70+ movement points to get into position where you can actually shoot an enemy. But that position also turns out to be just 4 tiles away from a pack of 4 enemies. And they, for some reason, don't have any issues with shooting you. So much for clever positioning. Oh, and also forget about lobbing a grenade over a wall or any kind of obstacle -- it doesn't work that way. Probably because it's not hardcore enough to attack your enemy from behind cover.

TL;DR: the general rule to avoid games developed & narrated & designed & drawn by the same single guy still stands. I actually find it funny that the game forces you to focus on a few areas of expertise when it's creator does completely the opposite.