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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Avernum V Review

Default RPGWatch Feature: Avernum V Review

May 14th, 2008, 20:43
Our latest review takes a look at Spiderweb's penultimate journey down into the depths of Avernum. Here's a sample:
It's a pretty straightforward story but it works well to set up the gameplay. These northern lands are real frontier territory, far from the civilised and familiar parts of Avernum, so it makes sense to find dangerous lands full of pioneers looking for unsettled land and despots looking to oppress them. It also allows Spiderweb to avoid the well-travelled areas we've seen in past Avernum games and effectively change the atmosphere. Resources are tight this far from the major towns and the air of desperation adds a credibility to some of the simple fetch quests, while effectively underscoring the bigger scenarios. If you are looking for a tightly woven story with a big plot twist mid-game, this isn't it. It's more like the story in Fallout, where the simple premise overarches and ties together the party's travels.
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May 14th, 2008, 20:44
Very nice review Dhruin…

I haven't played 5 yet, because I recently finished Geneforge 1 and wanted to take a a short Spiderweb break (playing Might and Magic 7 right now). But I am anxious to play A5. I'm a pretty big Spiderweb fan, so I'm sure I will enjoy the game very much.

Your statement:
In fact, with one particular game, the graphical fidelity meant I really struggled to accept some silly, minor issues that broke “the third wall”, while Avernum's minimal animations and evocative text let my imagination roam free.
really rings true for me. I think it's why I enjoy playing older games so much more. Since I grew up during the infancy of computer gaming I was forced to use my imagination in every game I played, and that leads to a much more personal a powerful experience (for me anyway).

Geneforge 1 (and all of Jeff's other games) was really good at that. Even though the graphics are minimal in this day of "super duper 3D engines", the atmosphere conveyed by the narrative allowed me to picture the world I was in using my imagination. That made it much more powerful than looking at Oblivion's beautiful landscapes and having no choice but to view it the way the developers made it look.

Anyway… nice review. I can't wait to play A5!

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May 15th, 2008, 11:13
Ive played Avernum V and i can tell you it is better then the average rpg out there!
Had alot of fun playing this game. As a matter of fact i was so overjoyed that iam now playing all jeff vogel games!
And yes the graphics are like 1996 but still the atmosphere is alot better then modern games.

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May 15th, 2008, 11:33
Thanks, narpet. I'm sure you'll enjoy AV5.

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May 15th, 2008, 12:27
Originally Posted by narpet View Post
Your statement: really rings true for me. I think it's why I enjoy playing older games so much more. Since I grew up during the infancy of computer gaming I was forced to use my imagination in every game I played, and that leads to a much more personal a powerful experience (for me anyway).
Seconded, in some ways modern graphics actually detract from the game. It's similar to the oft-cited difference between reading a book and watching a movie. In the latter the artist's vision completely drives the audience experience but in the former it's a collaborative effort between artist and reader.
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May 26th, 2008, 19:06
I'm playing Avernum 3 now and loving it, even if most cities don't have much content, which was of course a conscious design decision. Nice review, Dhruin! I have a question: maybe I missed it in your text, but is the "map mode" back? I read somewhere that Avernum 4 didn't include it, and unlike the previous trilogy there was only the "town mode". Maybe I'm completely wrong about this, though, just asking out of curiosity since I really enjoy exploring Avernum's worlds in the map mode.
Last edited by Elwro; May 26th, 2008 at 23:53. Reason: typos
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May 26th, 2008, 23:05
It's all in "town mode". I have mixed feelings on this but this engine is evolved from Geneforge as is improved from AV4 - no different modes.

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May 26th, 2008, 23:53
Thanks for the info!
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