Avencast - Review @ Gamersinfo.net
Gamersinfo.net has reviewed the new action rpg from Clockstone Software and Lighthouse Interactive, Avencast:Rise of the Mage. The format is scoreless, but the reviewer gives the game high marks for originality and gameplay:
Avencast maintains a very strong story through the entire game, and often weaves video sequences nicely into long periods of combat, mini-quests, puzzles (and boy can they be tough), and a variety of dialog...[The game] is definitely a different breed then the standard hack n' slash or "Action RPG" games out there. Instead of coming up with a ranged class, a mage, and a warrior - you know, the typical set up - they have decided to just focus on making the mage very playable.
..Combat is not an aspect I normally concentrate on when reviewing a title because I love the RPG element far more. However, in Avencast, it is quite spectacularly designed, so I'll delve a little deeper. As the combat focuses heavily on magic, it may begin to feel as if you are going to be playing a standard slow mana regenerating style mage. Nothing could be further from the truth. Combat in Avencast is FAST! You do not slaughter thousands and thousands of enemies, because the enemies you do fight are not fodder for you to blast away; they will dodge your attacks, and counter when you are weak; or even outflank you while you are engaged by others. Some will have immunities to your knock back skills, and resistances to different degrees of freeze, etc. Your mana regenerates quite quickly, allowing you to evade, retreat, find quick cover for a couple of seconds and then attack again. I found myself too often in the middle of a 5 or 6 enemies as a soul based mage not capable of taking damage, diving and dodging, then throwing out whatever freezes and blast waves to push back my enemies...
...Avencast: Rise of the Mage is quite possibly the best Action RPG I have ever played. It combines a very strong main story line with accents via puzzles, quests, riddles and lots of fast paced action. Quite incredibly, it has actually done what it intended to - it connects RPG and action - giving you both in a healthy dose. If you combine the very respectable play length with the chance to play as the other (or a mixed) combat class then this game is a good deal for your dollar. While the controls take a bit of time to get used to, the combat is skillful and fun to play once you get into it... now I think I'm heading back to finish my blood mage character.
Genre: Hack & Slash