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Default RPGWatch - Eschalon: Book III Review

March 12th, 2014, 05:25
Corwin played Eschalon: Book III and shares his opinion on the game.
We're told that good things often come in three's, so after enjoying the first two Eschalon iterations from small Indie developer Basilisk Games I was eager to play this third instalment. I'm pleased to say I was not disappointed. Was it a perfect experience? Of course not, but it was certainly a very enjoyable one.
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March 12th, 2014, 05:25
Thanks for the review Corwin - another game I still have to play.

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March 12th, 2014, 06:16
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Thanks for the review Corwin - another game I still have to play.
Yeah, same, great review and nice to see after that horribly written nonsense on strategy informer.

I have this game on my wish list but I'm way too overloaded with games right now (and keep buying them anyways).
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March 12th, 2014, 06:29
Yep, thanks for the review, added to the list…
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March 12th, 2014, 07:12
Nice review Corwin!

I'll get this one!
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March 12th, 2014, 10:54
Corwin, OMG. Where are exclamation marks in that review, what were you thinking?!
Shame on you!!


Nice review. The major "flaw" is that the game is definetly too short. As a standalone game or beginning of a franchise I wouldn't care for that, but as a final part of a trilogy…

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March 12th, 2014, 11:02
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Corwin, OMG. Where are exclamation marks in that review, what were you thinking?!
Shame on you!!


"Multiple exclamation marks,'"he went on, shaking his head, "are a sure sign of a diseased mind."
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March 12th, 2014, 11:03
A really good review for an excellent indie game ! Thanks Corwin, for that and for quoting "Eye of the Beholder" too
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March 12th, 2014, 12:07
Glad the trilogy is finished, played the complete set, there was no real challenge, there was too much casual oriented storyline hand holding, there was no engrossing immersion, no great gaming magnetic pull.

Finished Eschalon:B3 as an ranger with max bow skills, max dagger (piercing weapons) as back up, used no magics whatsoever, with all resources enabled the game was a walk in the park.
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March 12th, 2014, 13:01
Welcome back, Wulf - keep in mind that our difficulty perception differs from CRPG newbies.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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March 12th, 2014, 19:00
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Glad the trilogy is finished, played the complete set, there was no real challenge, there was too much casual oriented storyline hand holding, there was no engrossing immersion, no great gaming magnetic pull.

Finished Eschalon:B3 as an ranger with max bow skills, max dagger (piercing weapons) as back up, used no magics whatsoever, with all resources enabled the game was a walk in the park.
How about posting a couple screenies showing your end stats and score? If you posted it at BW's site, a link would be cool.

Thanks!

'nut
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March 12th, 2014, 20:41
I enjoyed every minute of the game. It took me about 20 hrs (food/water turned off, found 22/30 secret areas). The only negative is I felt the ending was a bit too easy. Maybe because I played as a mage. I don't think it's short, just sad it's over as suddenly as a good book.
Hope the game is a financial success and Basilisk continue making great games.
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March 12th, 2014, 23:22
Great review! Nicely written.
Finished the game today with a warrior on the second run, was a mage before that.
As a warrior the game was more fun for me.
As a pure mage it was less so, somehow dull.
Started to play as rouge for the third time.
I liked all the previous EB and this one is no exception.
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March 13th, 2014, 09:51
Noob question: can I play this game as a standalone?

Mind you, I'm a story junkie, so if the game refers to the prequels *way too much*, then I think I'll pass (nb: played the first one for a few hours, abandoned it due to its much too generic story&setting — I am more akin to Spiderweb's Avernum/Geneforge games in this term)
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March 13th, 2014, 10:16
Cheers Corwin, as usual a solid review, good to read.

A few more questions and comments though for further clarification! (I haven't bought it yet, too busy with other games - at the moment it's Avadon 2)

1. Some more general comparisons to the second game would be interesting to hear about…for example, I largely preferred the dungeon crawling from the first game to the dungeons from the second, which save for the Dwarven mines and maybe a section under the Ironpool dam, weren't quite as much fun to explore (at least for me…)

2. Has the emptiness to content ratio improved from Book 2? One criticism I had of the second game is that there are too many maps with relatively empty space and open areas lacking any really unique features or interesting encounters. This results in a feeling of much filler combat. The journey to the final fortress on the island was especially irritating in this way.

3. Are there any interesting choices to be made from a role-playing perspective? Book 2 had a couple of neat quests which had some of these. The Werewolf quest certainly comes to mind.

I don't see these games as especially hardcore to be honest - in fact, I play them rather casually for a couple of hours at a time on weekends, which is probably why it takes me longer as a whole to complete them. If you build a character intelligently without serious risk by spreading too thinly, one should be able to find adequate resources to finish without too much fuss or grinding.

I have to concur regarding the balancing issue as well: I found my melee specialist from the second game to be a much more challenging character to build and play than my original mage from the first game. Interesting to read that issues of balancing still exist in Book 3.

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March 13th, 2014, 11:57
I much preferred the dungeons and the maps in Book 3 over Book 2. Not sure about RP choices, none come to mind.

@duerer, NO, you don't need to have played the previous games, there is a 'recap', but it does help in understanding how the 'game' works.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 13th, 2014, 13:42
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
@duerer, NO, you don't need to have played the previous games, there is a 'recap', but it does help in understanding how the 'game' works.
Thanks, I'll give it a whirl then.
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March 13th, 2014, 17:09
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Noob question: can I play this game as a standalone?

Mind you, I'm a story junkie, so if the game refers to the prequels *way too much*, then I think I'll pass (nb: played the first one for a few hours, abandoned it due to its much too generic story&setting I am more akin to Spiderweb's Avernum/Geneforge games in this term)
If I remember correctly, the plot doesn't become any denser in II and III compared to the first one. It's pretty evenly spread across all three games. Guess you could try Book 3 and if you don't like it any better than the first, well.. But if you do, you're likely to enjoy starting the trilogy from the beginning.
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March 13th, 2014, 17:25
Originally Posted by Nikus View Post
If I remember correctly, the plot doesn't become any denser in II and III compared to the first one. … But if you do, you're likely to enjoy starting the trilogy from the beginning.
Hmm, still planning on trying out E3, but I'd like to avoid returning back to E1.
During my inital play, I've found a very annoying "bug" with a matchingly annoying workaround - and this (plus the generic setting) killed me the game by then. (I know, Arcanum was buggy as hell too, but the oh so lovely ambiance helped to counter the frustration)

FYI, the "bug" was the extreme randomness of the attack rolls: at the beginning, in the first dungeon, I was either got killed by the bats, OR had flawless victories - almost nothing in between. Must be some error in the calculation of the critical hits and misses…
So I figured out that saving before each round and reloading at will would allow me to win practically all encounters, regardless of my character stats.
Not sure if this was remedied in a patch though (I think there were quite a lot of patches for E1)
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March 14th, 2014, 13:24
For people who still want to play this it would be good to know that an expansion is planned for this game, like there was for Eschalon Book II. I assume it will be free for owners of the game as well.
This could make it a more rounded and better game, so you might want to hold off playing until the expansion is there…
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