Few days ago I got my hands on this title, which interested me as it looked like a nice RPG with some new features for this kind of fantasy game. (Basically, TURNING INTO DRAGON :D! ) Once I started playing, I realised the graphic isn’t all great (which was expected), yet the world is somehow nice and comfy to travel, as the Hero runs damn fast. Soon enough I entered the first village just to realise that I’m on my way to become a DRAGON SLAYER O_O!… And all it took was a short scene when they made my eyes look white and gave me mindread ability. Yes, you heard me, MINDREADING ABILITY , damn that’s cool, it’s like being Jedi in a friggin’ fantasy RPG. How does it work? It’s quite simple, you talk with someone and to the left you got option ‘Mindread’ and for some amount of experience you can see what someone’s got on mind. Usually it’s needed for quests, sometimes to learn about hidden boxes, treasures and passwords, or even skills/attributes boost.
So what about the plot ? Heck, I’d like to know, but reading all these tiresome dialogues is just a torment. All I know, is that I started as some sort of Novice which just finished his training, just to get ready for combat skills removal (Hero wasn’t appearently familiar with this mind-rape thing they were about to give him after the training). A woman says that the training was meant to prepare us for Dragon Memories that she’s gonna give us, that’s where Shiny-White Eyes came from. (And Mindreading! :D). As we were wiped, they told us to choose one of the class we gonna start with (It just depends on the weapon and first free skill they give). There are three, totally orginal, you won’t guess. A Mage! Never heard of it? Me neither, surprisingly that one has ability to throw FIREBALLS, I mean seriously, they’re like.. Balls.. On fire.. Wow. They even give you a mace to fight while your spell is on cooldown. Next one is … A Warrior! Okay.. Let’s not lie here, it’s fucking boring slash-based class we see everywhere. And last one – Archer! You think it’s all about bow and arrows? Damn, you’re clever, but not smart enough to realise that Archers have INFINITE ARROWS AND AIMBOT! Sounds easy? Yeah, see you against 2 archers. Even though I picked Archer I was planning to go into Mage a little bit, to make it funny total-rape ranged class. They let you go to a goblin-respawning area so you can test all of these and pick whichever you like the most.. Which obviously is not Mage, as it’s damn boring to hit once for 10s with a fireball and then run after the enemy to hit it. Nevermind that, once you picked your class, you go back where your journey began, so they can transport you to another island, finally leaving this newbie-area behind. And now here’s a surprise, you’re not being a spit-in-the-face guy who at the end becomes the hero, you’re actually The Hero right now and everyone is going like ‘Oh Dragon Slayer, can I touch you?!’. The plot goes on, as you learn about a dragon being seen around here, so your fellow Dragon Slayers go for hunting while you’re getting the hard job of asking local people where they’ve seen it. That’s the beginning of a main quest, therefore I will leave the rest of the plot for later, and continue going on about gameplay.
While getting quests in the village (non-newbie one that I got transported to) I realised that the world is made quite splendidly, NPCs are funny to talk with, also their behaviour varies depending on the class they represent. For example, Mages will act all poetic and crazy, making rhymes and laughing at your stupidity, while priests are all nice and understanding… Oh, also whining about someone confessing to them about boring stuff over and over (In their minds, which I CAN READ! HAH!). Knights are obviously noble and depending on how paladinish they look, they may seem to be more or less gay. Other than that, you meet Necromancers, which are TOTALLY NUTS, talking about killing, bodies and animating dead or even poisoning their fellow necromancers. You realise that they’re not kind of animal-lovers who get into necromancy to get more animal friends. Apart from them, you meet just simply crazy people, even one with two minds and one having a chicken soul/mind/or whatever. So all I can say about NPCs – they’re interesting and unique. The thing about orders, classes, bandits is also nicely made, you can see different behaviour in every different one, same with looks. Like in Gothic series, talking has here an important role, which decides the further actions you need to take, too bad, that Mindreading and learning something new about someone, won’t let you say something ‘new’ though. Nevertheless, dialogues which aren’t all about plot and history of someone are really fun to read. Sometimes they can make you laugh, sometimes you can be impressed by how poetic it is. Example of a talk with some random bandit at the end of a dungeon:
Bandit: You ! Your money or your life!
Hero: An interesting proposition. One’s life may be worth more than money, but what is the value of a life without money ? I s a life of poverty a life worth leading and is therefore putting life before money the better choice?
Hero: Then again, life is life, and I must ballance carefully whether I shall risk the pleasures of this earth for the – in comparison – meagre price of gold. Of course, as is obvious, many of those pleasures do come at the price of the gold in question, which brings us back to our orginal dilenma.
Bandit: Stop! No more talking! Hurts Hallorn’s head! Ooohh… I…I’ll kill you!
Just look at this puppy, he’s trying so hard to understand.
Ok leaving dialogue and NPCs behind, comes the talk about the combat. For leveling you get +1 skill point and few attributes points (Just obvious stuff, vitality, strength, dexterity, spirit… Increasing your hp/mana or just enabling you to use better weapons).How does the fighting look like? Check youtube, it’s quite flexible, with fast movement of hero and useful jump, rolls. But as I said already, arrows have auto-aim, so the only way to avoid being hit, is being off-range or hiding behind something. That was a problem when I had to fight boss which needed two shots to kill me, luckily he changed weapon when I got close. Then comes melee/close combat weapons – you can just spam attacks on the ground, jump attack, or use skills.
Apart from the obvious hit + roll stuff, you have quite awesome list of skills that you can get with every level(Actually one level of that skill, there are few of each, and every next one is avaible on different level). Examples for Ranger: Split arrow, Exploding Arrow, Ranger’s Strength, Poison Arrow, Stun Arrow. It’s easy to imagine what they do, but the good part is – you can learn skills from ANY class, no matter what you picked at the beginning. So you can for instance get Magic Missile or Summon Ghost (Priest – not avaible to pick at the beginning of the game). I went Ranger/Priest, as I thought that having a healer Ghost would be nice, but appearently it wasn’t, as the summoned Ghost is stupid as hell, and it loves to DPS first and then heal your corpse. But no matter, later on you get to restart your skills and I took self-heal mage spell, which proves to be better. Apart from Priest/Mage/Warrior/Archer skill list, you also have Dragon Slayer tab, where you can pick stuff like ‘1h Weapon Expertise‘, ‘Mindreading‘, ‘Wisdom‘ or ‘Lockpicking’ etc. In the case of Mindreading it just makes it cheaper (Costs experience to use), lockpicking – harder boxes, and the first – better dmg increase. So you get a lot to choose from. Interesting part of the combat is tactical pause, when you can pick something to eat/drink(+hp/+mp) or set skills on your skillbar. And the bad side? Teaming-up with someone, NPCs are damn annoying, they’re immortal and can block all of your attacks, not to mention that enemies NEVER focus on them, and simply jump on you, so they’re neither shield or a good DPS, just an obstacle mostly.
Okay, that’s the end of the first part of my review, which was about the beginning of the game, classes, NPCs, Combat, later I will write about the Music, Continuation of the plot, Dungeons, Quests, Riddles, Enemies and Dragon Form.