Written by  :  tbuteler (3156)
Written on  :  Jan 10, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.29 Stars2.29 Stars2.29 Stars2.29 Stars2.29 Stars

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Design and code flaws ruin yet another Troika RPG

The Good

The graphics are quite nicely rendered, and very colorful. The idea of mixing rendered backgrounds for jaw-dropping scenes with 3D animated character models for life-like animations is very well implemented.

The game also has the advantange of being licensed from the AD&D 3rd Edition rules, which are well designed and balanced, and make for great hardcore role-playing. Some conversion ideas are also well implemented, like the ability to use skills during conversation (for persuasion, i.e.) and the different storylines for different alignments.

The Bad

Aside from the endless and shameful bugs, and the fact that performance is really bad most of the time, the design also seems rushed out of the door.

The game simply lacks polish and variety. While the alignment storylines could make for excellent replayability, it is so vaguely implemented that it practically makes no difference in the progression of the game. The main story in itself is vaguely implemented, and makes you feel like the game was made for someone who already knows the pen-and-paper TOEE module, which is absurd. You can play almost the entire game without even having a clue what you're supposed to be doing, which is good for open-ended games like The Elder Scrolls series, but utterly absurd in this overly linear RPG.

Variety is lacking both in weapons and items as it is on locales. The idea of spending an entire module in a temple might be good for pen-and-paper, but in computer games it simply wears out too quickly.

In the end, the game strikes out to me as a pityful attempt to copy design elements from Bioware's Neverwinter Night series, but falling ridiculously short.

Frankly, after having played Arcanum and being a bit disappointed (again both in code and design) I expected Troika to make up for those mistakes. Instead, it delivered a much inferior game, leaving little hope for future endeavors.

The Bottom Line

A below average RPG, interesting only to nostalgic Greyhawk pen-and-paper players. Go play Neverwinter Nights instead.