Advantages Immersive environment, excellent graphics
Disadvantages Linear, and one-play only.
...and what scenery! In fact you'll notice I haven't written an op. for some time. Mostly due to a complete immersion in this and another similar game (Op. to follow... Eventually.)
RPG = Role Playing Game.You the player take the part of one or more fictional characters in a fictional world, populated (usually) by creatures from Tolkiens Middle-Earth.
In this case you are a lowly farmer (male or female) toiling in the land of Ehb, who is plunged into adversity as your village is burned to the ground by raiders, and picking up the pieces, taking revenge and saving the Kingdom falls to you and any hapless companions you meet on your journey.
In one word, "simple." ... Is that good or bad though?This is the first attempt by Gas Powered Games to enter into the RPG scene, they have an impressive though relatively short track record in the games market, and in this case they have used Microsoft as the publisher, which may well put some potential buyers off.
What they have tried to do is take the classic pen-and paper RPG, which has already been transferred to the PC by the likes of Black Isle, and bring it to the masses. In this, the interface they provide reigns supreme.Unfortunately it will probably not suit the hardened Role-Playing Gamer. Much of the complexity of character development has been removed, and replaced by a gradual self-development system, whereby the more you use a weapon or a type of magic, the more advanced you become in its use.
As you would expect of a Microsoft-sanctioned game, point-and-click reigns supreme.
This genre of game has developed rapidly over the last few years, and from its origins in pen-and paper, the representation of the fantasy environments has become an artform worth beholding.Full 3D in a 3rd person view which relocates from character to character as you select them. The camera positioning is easily controlled, and at the same time as an element of automatic behaviour so that you do not spend the whole time trying to see what is going on.
Unlike many attempts at presenting a useful in-game camera view, if the camera angle is deemed too obscured by the game, instead of presenting an unusable interface, it simply fades away some of the scenery until you can see what you should!The downside to this is that much of the scenery is not solid. For example, you rarely need to walk around trees, as they fade away and let you walk through them :-(
Simple progression, should allow RPG novices to enjoy this game, but it is overly repetitive and horribly linear.
You beat up progressively harder baddies, collect better armour, spells and weapons until you meet the big 'ol baddy. This is offset by a superb range of locations, technologies, magic, weapons and monsters.It is ridiculously gripping. Once I statred, I couldn't stop until I'd finished it, having said that, I will not play it again.
Not really worth the shop price of about £40, but check out www.play.com, or similar for prices as low as £25, which is excellent value, for a game not to be missed.
© 2002 S.Davies
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