PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues

System Requirements CPU: 1GHz RAM: 256MB HDD: 4GB of freespace OS: Windows XP Video: ATI 7000/Nvidia GeForce or better Internet: Broadband required for online play ESRB: Rated Mature for blood, gore, violence

Story:

In the first age there was an evil ruler named Zaramoth who forged a sword of great power. Azunai was against his dark reign and had a shield crafted in hopes of defeating him. When the sword and shield met in battle, they had destinies of their own and brought unbalance to the planet as the souls of all those in battle were ripped from their bodies and flooded the river or souls. This brought an end to the first age and even a thousand years later magic still hasn?t quite recovered. Worse yet, Zaramoth?s sword has now found a new owner: Valdis. He seeks to control the world and is devastating each town he comes across as he searches for the fragments of Azunai's shield. You must collect all the pieces of the shield and stop Valdis at all costs!

How do I get started?

There is a good tutorial in the beginning that teaches you basic fighting and introduces your character as a mercenary. You will lean how to use the sword and bow, as well as nature and combat magic. You can also choose your race (human, elf, dryad, or half giant). Once you choose a class stick with it! You will be penalized for trying to become a jack of all trades. When you gain levels you will earn skill points that can allow you to further specialize in your class. For example a warrior can learn to wield two weapons, or a combat mage can specialize in fire, lightning, or necromancy magic.

Do I get help?

The number of people in your party depends on the level of difficulty of the game. You have to start off as a mercenary and in order to get to the next level you have to beat the game at the previous level. Although you can have up to six party members you can only have four as a mercenary. Pets are also available in this game. They will grow with you and have special abilities. It?s a good idea to keep a balanced party since a particular class can only unlock certain rooms. If you ever disband someone from your party you can retrieve them again from any inn. The party members are more interactive and many have their own side quests you can unlock. Unfortunately the added dialogue with the party members often gets cut off if an enemy attacks when they're in the middle of talking. Hopefully a patch will fix this, since the dialogue is pretty good (but not worth re-loading for in many cases). Another drawback to the party members is that often when I would come across people willing to join my group; my current party members were a few levels above them and not worth trading out. Needless to say I kept my original crew throughout the game.

Enemies

There are lots of enemies to be reckoned with. It can be especially painful if they swarm you. Overall the enemies are not that difficult. There's a color coded scheme letting you know when your fighting a below level, just about right and you better run now enemy. There are lots of mini-bosses with a golden circle around them. The mini-bosses usually drop some good loot. As for the major bosses, they're pretty easy. I had the most difficulty with the mages. Often times my mages would die off and my archer and I would finish off the boss. I beat Valdis on my first attempt. Overall I think this game is a bit easy.

Bugs

There are some serious bugs that need to be addressed in an upcoming patch. I had to restart my level 10 character because of a dialogue glitch that prevented me from leaving the first town. You can ruin quests or your whole game if you do not conduct or exit out of a conversation properly.

Multiplayer


You can import your whole party into multiplayer games. There are many portals and games to choose from. One gripe I have is that you cannot tell if a game is password protected or not, so it may take a few tries to find one you can join. My biggest gripe is that if you are behind a router, your chances of hosting or joining a game are slim. I updated the firmware (I have a D-link DI-524), enabled gaming mode, UPNP, DMZ and allowed all the necessary ports to no avail. Your best bet is to plug directly into your cable or DSL modem as unsecured as that is. There are many complaints about this in the planetdungeonsiege.com forum.

Game Play (16/20)

As I mentioned before I feel that this game is tad a too easy and the character balancing is disappointing. I miss the ability to change the difficulty on the fly. I don?t really feel like playing the game over three times. The actual fighting is click and kill and you have to hold down your mouse to keep attacking. Fortunately there are some DS1 options you can set to auto attack etc. The game save system is a bit limiting. You have only one save and a backup. That?s it. The story and character immersion is great. Multiplayer seems promising if you can get into the games. I look forward to what the modding community will offer.

Sound (9/10)

Just the like the original the sound does not disappoint. The voice acting is great and the music is just as good. You get to hear the familiar theme occasionally. The monsters have their own sounds and the magic spells sound good too.

Graphics (8/10)

The graphics are not bad but not as good as I hoped. There is more detail than the first game and the monster models and worlds look great. Everything else hasn?t changed much.

Stability (3/5)

The game ran great and alt-tabs just fine. I just hate restarting my game and I hope these issues are patched soon. ( I was running 2.1.0)

Controls/Interface (3/5)

Some of the controls are hard to figure out, this game can use some tweaking. It takes a minute to figure out how to disband a party member. Having more options like continuous attack and the ability to see password-protected games would be nice. Game Play score 39/50

Appropriateness

This game is much darker than the original. There's lots of blood and violence (-5.5) which cannot be disabled. There's some minor language (-2), and other races are often called names (-2.5). There?s magic which is pretty much impossible to avoid. It doesn?t have to be your character that uses the magic but it will be used on you. There is mention of ley lines, undead and restless spirits. The combat mages can use necromancy magic. (-8) There are incantation shrines where you can chant phrases and temporarily gain or raise powers. I'm happy to report that there are no occult symbols used in this game. Even though you're trying to save the planet, other members are in your party purely for revenge. Finally the woman's armor is a bit tight fitting, but at least it covers the stomach area. (-1.5) Appropriateness score 30.5/50

Final Score 70%

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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