So after a conversation on my comment section of the original review I posted, I had some time to think and realized that the original review came off too abrasive towards Trainwiz (unfairly so). So I’m re-writing it for the sake of clarity and peace.
Things I liked about Wheels of Lull
- Item design – items were nicely designed, balanced and very unique. Animations were great and really add something
- NPCs – fabricant NPC’s were amazing, unique, and diverse in their appearance even among themselves.
- Lore and Story – The setting and lore of WoL is great. The story is pretty neat and the setting concerning the wheel of creation, the towers of Mundus, the connections with Sotha Sil and more were very cool, and interestingly enough connect well with Odyssey’s storyline
- Boss Battles – very unique as they all had their own music, own mechanics and there is nothing like them in most other mods. I greatly enjoy mods that offer a unique mechanical approach to major boss battles.
- Dungeons – While I didn’t care for the specific layout design choices, I love the diversity of styles in the dungeons.
Things I hated about Wheels of Lull
- Whitehorn Pass: The scenario is frustrating. You end up imprisoned and have to run around defenseless through a gauntlet of invincible enemies through various passages that lead to unpredictable spots in the cell to try and find a clue before escaping and finding your gear.
- Thalmor Mutants: I am just not a fan of Trainwiz’s warped models. His equipment and architecture is great but the character models are highly disturbing. The key thing with these guys is they are literally invincible which I find really stupid. Later in the mod it’s explained why, but it would be better to explain it sooner I feel, especially since the gauntlet scenario is such a pain
- Level Layout: The dungeons are very nice and very diverse but they are a bit too expansive in some places and certain areas require you to platform all over the place multiple times before you find what you need. It gets very tiresome
- No markers: I am not one to generally USE the quest markers, but I do like to have them for when I finally give up and can’t figure it out. With a place as large as the Wheels of Lull, it’s really a pain to me. I could get past that fact were it not for the fact that the mod likes to seemingly randomly kill you in certain places.
- Exploration is a pain: I like to explore areas, but between the repetitive level design and the lack of markers, coupled with insta-death present in a couple areas when you wander off the marked path, really stomp the explorer spirit.
- Music: specifically in the last area of lava caves leading to Snow Throat there is god awful muzak playing… enough said.
- Thomas the Tank Engine story book: this “reward” is a disturbing story (as the NPC states when he gifts it to you) which forces an audio read through of it. I just was totally turned off by the entire idea of it. I honestly don’t understand his morbid fascination with slamming Thomas. I mean I HATE Thomas, but I don’t define every one of my gags around it.
- Player Death Traps: There are several places where the mod will just outright kill you; wandering off a path, falling a very short distance into a bad zone, taking a transporter to the wrong spot and getting run over by a mine cart, etc. These types of traps are good for a playstation horror suspense exploration game, but they just feel really out of place here.
So… in closing I will say that I don’t care for some of TW’s style choices, but that’s cool, there are plenty of folks who do, to each their own. I do respect his talent and skills which are obviously vast but Wheels of Lull just isn’t for me. I don’t think I can suffer playing through it again, I just found it too frustrating.