PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements
OS: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, OSX 10.2 CPU: Pentium 700Mhz, 350mhz for mac RAM: 128MB HDD: 1 GB VIDEO: 32MB TNT 2 or better Direct 3D Direct X 8.1 Compatible SOUND: 16 bit Direct X 8.1 Compatible Age: Teen
Brace yourself for the ultimate challenge in online gaming. After a millennium of strife, toil, and struggle, the world of Aerynth suffered a massive catastrophe from which it has yet to recover. You must choose how to survive in this new and treacherous land. Whether the path is to quest alone, build a city, rule an empire or siege enemy kingdoms, you are empowered to follow your calling. Only in Shadowbane, can you truly change your world.*

What race can I be?

There are many different races you can choose from. Some are gender specific. You have the typical elves, dwarves, half-giants, and humans and even combinations thereof (Aelfborn). There are also Irekai: dessert dwellers, and Aracoix: avian humanoids. There\'s a little mythology here as well as you can be a minotaur or a centaur too! There\'s a dark race called Shade who are living dead and a tad on the dark side. Each race has some strengths and weaknesses. Some have immunities. Humans are the only exception, as they don\'t get anything. Some races unlock after you\'ve been a subscriber for a certain amount of time.
How do I build my character up?
There are different classes and Traits/Talents you can apply to increase your base attributes. You can be a Fighter, Rogue, Healer, or a Mage. When you level up from fighting you will gain experience points and can train up various skills with trainers. Here are a few traits you can give yourself if you want to assign custom attributes:

Talents & Traits

* Ambidexterity * Agile * Brawler * Bruiser * Changeling * Clever * Eyes of an eagle * Healthy as an ox * Increased Spirit * Lightning Reflexes

I got my character, now what?

There are many islands and lands for you to explore. Search for enemies to gain levels and get some cash. In the newbie areas you will encounter spiders, snakes, cheetahs, bears and big ants etc. You can do quests, join a guild, build your own town or siege one, crush empires or start your own. This game has a dynamic world model, allowing you to physically affect the terrain, buildings and politics.

Do I have to fight other players?

Although this game is big on Player vs Player, there are some safe haven towns where you can safely level up to level 20 without any conflicts. In order to succeed and conquer it will be a necessary skill to practice and use.

Buggy?

I only played the beta so I can\'t dock it too much on stability. Many glitches have probably been fixed in the final release. Player navigation could be annoying at times. When I would click to have my character automatically go to a certain spot, they would get stuck behind trees. The AI is not smart enough to move around objects. Finally, I don\'t know how I did it but I managed to drag my characters arm armor box to the lower part of the interface. I couldn\'t fix that. That is probably a beta glitch though. Being that I am stuck with 56K, this game ran pretty decent most of the time. It did suffer from lag at times but overall was quite playable.

Appropriate?

From a Christian perspective this game has violence. You will definitely have to kill various monsters and later on, other players. There are blood and profanity filters which is nice. Magic use is prevalent in this game. Again you don\'t have to use it, but it will be used on you. Let\'s not forget to mention the undead race and all their weird attributes.

Overall experienceEase of use

This game is easy to install and play. There is a radar and map for easy navigation. To move around you use the WASD keys and the mouse to look. I was disappointed with the graphics. They are really nothing to write home about. Especially after being spoiled by Asheron\'s Call 2. There is some 3D rendering but hardly any detail outside of towns. The underwater effects are dismal. But the reflections are okay. The sound on the other hand was okay. The background music reminded me of the music from Diablo (when I used to play it). At times it could be eerie and other times not noticeable. Not much voice acting except in towns, and the creature sound effects were so-so. If you like online games and are searching for empire building, player crushing adventures, than perhaps this game is right up your ally. I certainly wasn\'t impressed with the storyline, graphics, or sound effects. Maybe that\'s why it ran okay on 56K?

Final Ratings

Graphics C Game play C Sound C+ Interface B Stability N/A Offensive Content C

Overall 72% C

*taken from www.shadowbane.com

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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