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Default Drakensang - Review @ IGN

February 24th, 2009, 11:20
IGN has posted a three-page review of Drakensang - the first major English site to do so. The execution is generally praised, although the reviewer found some aspects generic and the pause-based combat underwhelming:
Yes, it's unfortunate that the basic ideas are somewhat generic but the real disappointment is that they're used in a generic way. A scholarly wizard who accidentally causes a catastrophe because he's too focused on his studies? Yep, that's here. How about an overconfident rogue who constantly has to talk himself out of complicated situations with women and legal authorities? That's here too. When he's finally arrested for the one crime that he didn't commit, it's like, okay, I get it.
On the plus side, the story itself is well written, much more so than is usually the case with translated games. The situations are believable and handled in a way that engages your interest and encourages your sympathy. Whether you're simply offering a job to an old friend's servant or trying to soothe the anger of a vengeful and tortured elven spirit, there's a lot of emotional weight behind the quests and missions. You won't find quite as much freedom of choice as you would in, say Oblivion or Fable, but you do get a few chances here and there to pick sides or attitudes in a certain encounter.
Thanks, Avantenor!
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February 24th, 2009, 11:20
What's the deal with not putting up your own screenshots? Screenshots show the actual engine, but do either not include the user interface, or an old version of it (as evident by the old portraits). I wonder why IGN should decide to do that. It makes them less credible.
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February 24th, 2009, 11:22
One picture even says "location01" next to the map.
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February 24th, 2009, 11:25
Some old screenshots from the dtp press server.

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February 24th, 2009, 11:41
I'm not sure if IGN are feeling the credit crunch and got rid of all their copy editors but there are a number of typos and the author hasn't used their style guide (constant use of "I", for example). With that in mind, using old screens seems in keeping with the rest.

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February 24th, 2009, 12:23
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February 24th, 2009, 12:24
Other than that, I am surprised by the quality of the review. It is not just that it represents most of my views. It is just obvious that the reviewer put some thought into this. I agree with his point that he might not have criticised transparency if he had already known the pen&paper version, and mentioned D&D. I had no problems at all understanding what Drakensang is doing rule-wise, but for a long time, D&D games were not very clear to me.
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February 24th, 2009, 12:37
You do realize that this game is not about D&D but TDE instead ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 24th, 2009, 12:39
?

Of course.
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February 24th, 2009, 13:20
Ah okay, I get it. Let me rephrase:

"I agree with his point that he might not have criticised transparency if he had already known the pen&paper version of TDE. He also mentioned D&D games which he finds very transparent because he knows the pen&paper version.

I had no problems at all understanding what Drakensang is doing rule-wise, but for a long time, D&D games were not very clear to me."

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February 24th, 2009, 13:28
Honestly, I am a little bit surprised. But not on the negative side. He also could have easily dammned the whole thing totally. It's not difficult to find arguments against the game and ignore the good things. It depends a little bit on your attitude if you give it a thumbs up or down. Regarding that there is no TDE lobby on the international market and I think there is a slight difference in the roleplay mentality between US and GER, it's imho a positive result. There have been german games that had even worse results, without a real cause.

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February 24th, 2009, 17:14
7.6 is a bit too harsh IMO. Drakensang would have deserved an 8+ rating. I didnt find the combat so uncomfortable. You must know, they went quite a way ahead from the really detailled, slow paced pen and paper combat The Dark Eye has. Dark Eye is way less combat oriented as D&D, hence they just could not turn it entirely upside down. Most Dark Eye purists already found combat too action oriented for their sake, so its a very good balance between the original and the needs for a computer game. A review should have taken that into consideration.

Also, freedom… yeah sure Oblivion had more, but at the expense of story density. When I see what trash got a 7, I feel Drakensang easily would deserve an 8 rating.
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February 24th, 2009, 17:38
Drakensang ist good, sometimes very good. It is not a revelation or anything. 7.6 is a fair score. It is only unfair in comparison to some hype machine reviews out there. Some games simply did not deserve their high scores.
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February 24th, 2009, 18:02
I would also give an 8+. But I think 7.6 is the best, DraSa could get from a mainstream site like IGN. I guess Gamespot will not be so reluctant. It's simply personal taste. For germany, TDE is known to nearly all fantasy fans. If they didn't play it, at least they heart of it or know someone who played it. There are some nostalgic memories, and that's okay. It's a german product, just like The Witcher is polish and Nightwatch is russian. For the rest there is not that nostalgic element and they can only rate the facts. If you can't connect anything with TDE besides Realms of Arkania and do have games like NWN or Mass Effect in mind, the content of Drakensang is above average, but not overwhelming. It simply lacks some comfort and a little bit overall interaction, and if your not familiar with the game world the nostalgia doesn't work. Also there is a Zeitgeist, and that taste says "we want high epic fantasy, bombastic spell effects and various magic items a lot". TDE ignores that fact and therefor appears to be a little bit oldschool

Overall dtp / Radon Labs can call themselves lucky that they indeed got a review from IGN so close to the release. Sometimes IGN doesn't even care for foreign games. It's better to get any solid review and to be mentioned somewhere it really matters than having no review at all. That's an argument for investors to spend money and giving Radon Labs the chance make it even better the next time.

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February 24th, 2009, 18:06
See this is the sad state that both indie as well as foriegn rpg makers(aside from the witcher) face in a western dominated review by advertising budget….

I wonder if they had bought ads if the score would have gone up 1 point.
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February 24th, 2009, 18:55
I dunno, if I were to write a review based on the demo it would have been around the 7 to 8 area. Good visuals, interesting stat driven char dev (though I hear the conversation options are a little pointless), party based, somewhat tactical battles, but overall the combination of the above didn't wow me really. The character interaction for example seemed a little juvenile.

Hopefully the full version matures after the opening area you are just plopped into hehe.
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February 24th, 2009, 18:57
I heard that it does actually and the start is the wprst part.
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February 24th, 2009, 19:59
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I heard that it does actually and the start is the wprst part.
what do you mean?
After the beginning it gets better?

I sure gonne play this game, love this stuff !
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February 24th, 2009, 20:13
I was the one who spread this info, I think.
IMHO the game gets clearly better when the main story starts and you get your own house in the rich district in Ferdok. The beginning is too slow for me. Sort of like an overlong tutorial.
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February 24th, 2009, 20:14
Yes, at least thats what the german people who played it said….
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