This game slipped under my radar. I don’t follow a lot of gaming blogs, nor sites, so do sparse research on what’s good and not; usually by talking to other gamers.
Not sure how this one slipped so far, though. This was one of the games my wife bought used, but damn it is good. It takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a D&D specific fantasy land that book readers are familiar with; a place of magic, monsters, and deep characters.
One book writer in particular, R.A. Salvatore, wrote the game’s storyline, proving any good writer can transition to game writing, which the game industry really needs.
This point, however, is key since he made some of the Realms most memoreable characters, and I own all of his books in the Drizzt Do’urden line.
You basically play 3 characters thrown together in an adventure to save the land. Each character has their speciality in fighting, and each is essential to winning the games levels.
The cons. From the title, I scoffed it off in the past. I didn’t like the writer’s storyline from that series he wrote, Demon Wars, and wrongly associated the title with that series. Secondly, the Forgotten Realms logo was soo small on the box and online ads, I didn’t associate it with that. The box does not show the best screenshots from the game, nor imply the gaming style really well. The game itself, at least for me, does not give enough need to block & defend against attacks, nor give you many moves to utilize when you are surrounded by a throng of vicious enemies. You basically hack and slash your way to a super move to break free. Any good gamer would call this game really short.
The pros. Wow, very good cinemtography. I felt the same way about the introduction of the game that I did about the Playstation 2 Medal of Honor port. Medal of Honor is a World War 2 game for PC that Steven Speilberg helped direct. He apparently point more of his touch on it for the Playstation 2 version because from the get go, you feel immersed and blown away. This game had that magical, epic introduction where you are literally thrown into the action, un-ready, ill-prepared, and fighting for your life. It exactly mirrors what is going on in the game so it gives you this feeling of “wow… holy $H$(*)&$E!” as you feveriously push buttons.
The graphics are great, and push the XBox to the limit. D&D never looked so good.
The characters in the game, those that are in books, are just like I’d expect them to be (my wife said that the same thing about those she knew), which is extremely risky to do; you can either do really well, or really bad thus ruining the game. They took the risk and won gloriously.
The party itself is cliche, which is really good; any good D&D party is cliche by having balanced races, complimentarely classes, and overall a good team. I usually find it hard to identify with some characters in games, namely the ignorant, ogrish brute in FarCry; while I did like him towards the end, that was just out of respect for the tribulations he had to go through.
Throughout the game you are exposed to each characters flaws, and learn of their history, and how they deal with it. It really adds the suction this game has at pulling you into the story.
Some monsters have a creative twist, while others are exact to the D&D book rules, giving you a really good feeling about how this game is unique. Buying equipment & skills to pimp your character out feels really cool.
Finally, they got Picard to do voices! There is one major surprise for Forgotten Realms fans I won’t spoil, but pretty much makes this game worth picking up and playing just for that 1 fact alone.
Overall, while short, the game rocked, and you can at least play the game again with all of your equipment and skills if you start over. Some of the camera angles get weird, but overall you can tell each level and battle was planned with good shots in advance making this a great weekend ride.