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April 7th, 2007, 06:19
Finished the demo once already. The demo ended when you talk to mullog. I'm now playing on the second time, try a different path to see is there any big differences between different characters and good and evil.

The game does not lag, but instead it's very slow, seems like the game is playing at slow motion. The interface is quite good, although the inventory is not large enough. The inventory has only one row, displaying only 10 items, so I need to scroll left and right often. There is still plenty of space left, the inventory should be bigger. Clicking on an object not easy at all, especially on enemy. It's quite often to miss the target. It could be quite annoying sometimes. Fortunately the pathfinding is not bad, so the character not easy to be stuck. The map are good, important characters and locations are shown by different colors, and the name are shown too.

When killing fast, a sword with blood comes out on the left of the screen. A number shown at the top of the sword, counting down to zero. When you kill more, the number will increase. I don't know what does it do, the highest I can get is just about 50.

The focus of combat in this game is magic. Magics are divided into 12 schools, each school have 8 spells, some are active and some are passive. When leveled up, spell points are gained. But spells can be learnt by only when you have the corresponding scrolls. If you don't have the scrolls of that spell, you can't increase it. Scrolls can be bought, loot from enemy and chest, or made from alchemy. There is a spell combination system. You can place one spell in the primary slot, another in the secondary slot. Different combination make different effects. For example, you can place fireball on the primary, lighting on the secondary, then when the fireball hits an enemy, a lighting will strike on the enemy at the same time. Or you can place fire mastery on the secondary to enhance fire damage of the fireball, or placing earth mastery to knockback enemy when hit. Although not every spells can be placed in each slot, some only can be placed at primary, some at secondary, there is still so many combination can be made. Magic influence is quite a interesting thing. The appearances of the character will change due to different levels of different spells. Horns, wings, tails, spikes, etc. will grow out from the body. You may see some of them from the screenshot below:
These things does not only affect the appearances, they will also affect the stats of the character.

Besides magics, there is also skills. Such as enchantment, crafting, repair, armor mastery, weapon mastery, trade, etc. Most of them does not affect combat, but help in many ways throughout the game. Skill points are also gained from level up. This time you can just add the points on skills, no need to have scrolls or anything else. Skills' name are self-explained, saying what they do. However, I think I should point out the trade skill. This skill does not only affect the price when you trade, it can also summon a merchant for trading and storing items. It saves a lot of time on traveling back and forth from the wilds to town. Although the selling price is just about 1/10 of normal merchant when trading is at level 1, you need to level up the skill to get higher price.

Rune word is also an interesting thing needed to point out. Rune can be enchanted to weapons and armor. And by adding runes on specific orders, extra effects can be gained. For example, by adding rune "ac" at first, then rune "id", the item can gain extra poison damage. Rune word can be collected, or you may just try it by luck.

Most of missions are just killing someone, protecting someone, collecting something, delivering something to somebody. You don't have much choices, either do it or not. I don't like the one who give mission saying "You can earn more stats/skills points by repeating this mission." It's indicated on the journal is already enough. By saying that, it makes me feel that the npc is not part of the game.

The game is good, many things to keep players busy and retry several times. But I can't see it's own style. I feel that there are many things alike to other games, such as Dungeon Siege 2, Spellforce, Dungeon Lords, Neverwinter Nights. Although that, it still worth a try.
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