Avadon - Review @ Gear Diary
Mike 'txa1265' Anderson has the first Avadon review we know of, obviously based on the Mac release. There's no score but Mike clearly enjoyed it a great deal:
Role playing is expensive – this has been documented. For every branch that a developer throws into a dialogue tree they need to flesh out the entire plot ramifications, fill out the characters and dialogue and everything else. As a result there are two methods typically used – phantom branching and short-term branching. In short term branching you get to make choices, see their effect within a small section of the game and potentially have some mention of them later on, but ultimately all paths lead back to the same final battle with the same binary choice.
Phantom Branching is very common and simply fills your experience with choices you can make that seem to build out the type of character you are – you can make harsh statements or generous ones, greedy choices or selfless acts. But these games are built for a single playthrough and therefore even within that same quest everything always turns out the same. At most you’ll get some mention of the actions, but these are simply ‘fill in the blank’ statements with no far reaching impact.
So it is a breath of fresh air that you truly make changes and choices in Avadon. Make no mistake, since the main quest-line is linear as I said earlier you are headed on the same path to the same final confrontation, but as you make more and more choices in one direction or the other they add up, your reputation is altered and the world before you subtly shifts. It is wonderful to have a game so focused on your experience as a gamer.