Written by  :  Icarus Lytton (23)
Written on  :  Oct 07, 2012
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars

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Surprisingly engaging

The Good

There's many things to like about this game. For starters, combat is very involved and deep due to the wide range of spells to be used. Since you'll nearly always be attacked by mobs, the right combination of spells can do great amounts of damage which is very satisfying. The ability to reposition your characters is great as well

Exploring and finding hidden items is always pleasing as is the ability to pick pocket, shoplift, trade, ask NPCs about a whole range of subjects and many other elements that enhance the game.

There's also loads of stats which is refreshing after many years of "dumbing down" of RPGs - stats which actually make sense and aren't too hard to keep track of. It's clear what they do and every stat has its use in the world.

The Bad

Despite the positives, there's also several negatives:

- the mini map doesn't show anything except dots for items and enemies so you have to check your map a great deal

- the game only renders a fraction of the world ahead of you which makes it very easy to get lost or to get confused in towns.

- there's waaaay too much respawning going on - you quickly get "battle fatigue" because there's simply too much of it.

- once you figure out the best combat tactics, it becomes a case of "rinse & repeat" - levelling slows down quickly as well meaning you won't get many new spells after a while, leading to the game becoming rather repetitive.

- the world isn't very detailed and lacks interaction

- there's definitely auto-levelling going on here where enemies become stronger as you level up. I'm not fond of this - especially when you go back to old areas to find them crawling with tough monsters.

The Bottom Line

All in all, it's a good PC game with plenty of stats, engaging and satisfying combat with a proper loot system. Partly old-school, partly modern RPG. If it wasn't for the constant respawning (which forces you in combat all the time) and the rather bare world, this would be a true classic like Baldur's Gate and Morrowind. As it stands, it focuses too much on combat which is a mistake once you figure out the ideal spells - then it becomes a matter of repeating things over and over. I'd still recommend it, especially if you don't mind lots of combat, but if you look at the best RPGs out there (Ultima VII, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, etc.), they had a good balance between combat and story/roleplaying and this game lacks the latter.