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Avernum 5 - All News

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Thursday - January 21, 2016
Monday - June 08, 2009
Wednesday - May 14, 2008
Wednesday - April 23, 2008
Saturday - April 05, 2008
Thursday - April 03, 2008
Sunday - March 30, 2008
Thursday - March 27, 2008
Wednesday - March 26, 2008
Friday - March 21, 2008
Tuesday - March 04, 2008
Monday - February 18, 2008
Saturday - February 09, 2008
Wednesday - February 06, 2008
Wednesday - December 19, 2007
Thursday - November 29, 2007
Wednesday - November 21, 2007
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
Thursday - October 25, 2007
Wednesday - October 10, 2007
Friday - September 07, 2007
Friday - August 24, 2007
Thursday - June 28, 2007
Sunday - April 29, 2007
Thursday - March 22, 2007
Box Art

Thursday - January 21, 2016

Avernum 5 - The Morality of Cheating

by Myrthos, 13:22

Rachel Presser asks herself the question about the morality of cheating when she felt it was the only thing left to do when she went through Avernum 5.

And it made me think. In a majority of video game worlds, you truly get ahead based on merit. You can grind your stats until you’re strong enough to get past a certain area or fight that boss battle, as well as do enough looting and questing to afford the supplies and training you need for these battles. That’s honestly how a lot of Spiderweb games are: you don’t need to cheat but it’s a lot harder if you don’t do it. In previous Avernum games, it was difficult to beat them but not totally undoable.

This time? This shit was straight up impossible. How was I supposed to both find the right route as well as clobber all these Darkside Loyalists plus all their warped wolves then eventually their wizard and worse yet, dervish, when I had but one potion left?!

There was no way I was going to get past this part of the game, let alone beat it, unless I typed in cheat commands to replenish my health and spell points and get 1337 powerups before battles, plus send me back to Blackchasm Outpost if I really got in a jam I where I couldn’t leave the workshop the way I came (barely doable in the sentinel workshop based on the layout, but literally impossible by design to do in the Anama Lands once the Darkside Loyalists invade.)

I could finally stop cheating when I made it to the Azure Gallery and was able to find potions plus go back and forth to town to heal between battles, but warily kept my fingers on Shift-D in case I needed it again just because I wanted to move forward with the story and not spend hours fighting when I have two businesses and a social life to get back to in the real world. While I did comment to myself numerous times that there were no way I could’ve won these battles without cheating, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Avernum 5.

But it begs the question: is it wrong to cheat when life gets hard? Or flat out impossible?

Monday - June 08, 2009

Avernum 5 - Review @ JiG

by Dhruin, 23:30

Indie site Jay is Games has reviewed Avernum 5, with a score of 4.5/5:

I'm not gonna yank your chain— if you're not even the slightest fan of this genre and you never have been, there's a better chance you'll get struck by lightning than enjoy this game. It's old-school R-P-to-the-G all the way; micro-managing, drawn-out reward progression and all. Avernum 5 is a bit less action-centric than many RPGs of its kind. But it excels at the other end of the spectrum, in strategy, character-building and story presentation. That's not to say you won't get anything more out of the experience than pulling out an old tabletop dungeon-runner; there's plenty of fun to be had here, and the game is decently polished. But it's one game that's definitely made for a specific audience, and I think that's exactly what the developer had in mind.

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

RPGWatch Feature: Avernum V Review

by Dhruin, 13:06

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.

Read it all here

Wednesday - April 23, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 00:36

Brother None has penned a review of Avernum V for GameBanshee, generally finding the design tighter but the length a bit wearing for the content.  The score is 7/10 and here's a snip:

The first thing you're bound to notice is the addition of "battle disciplines", a new combat element exclusive to fighter classes. These can be used to invoke short-lasting buffs, enhance single attacks, temporarily lower an opponent's defenses, and more. It's a solid idea, but unfortunately they feel a bit unpolished. There's no real sense of progression in battle disciplines, as you never have to learn them (they're added automatically as you add to your weapon skill) and you don't pick between skills but instead are presented with a fairly linear progression that lacks a significant tactical element. At the end of the game, you'll always be using “the best one” rather than having a variety of choices to make as magic users do.

Saturday - April 05, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review @ CVG

by Dhruin, 23:42

This is the second review of Avernum 5 from a bigger site in week, although the score at GameZone is a lowly 5.9/10 in spite of the reasonably positive comments.  The breakdown at the end shows gameplay at 7/10, so the graphics and sound have dragged down the overall score:

Like so many other games of this vein, you will roll into areas/towns and discover that the good people of the underground kingdom could sure use a hero to help out with the problems that plague the locals. There is an absolute ton of sub missions and side quests to find and complete in your overall quest and during those adventures some new abilities can be discovered as well as more powerful weapons. I can't say that the game really came up with anything that I haven't played a 100 times before, but I will give credit for a bit better of a realized plot. There is no arguing that the graphics on this game are waaaaaayyyy old and the game could probably be played on that computer you put up in the attic six years ago. So in that sense, while the game doesn't suffer from the dated graphics, I believe most players will be turned off by the appearance and visuals the game has.

Thursday - April 03, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review @ Jolt

by Dhruin, 22:06

Avernum V has been reviewed at Jolt in a short article that doesn't really give much insight into the gameplay but does award a reasonable 7.5/10:

Actual novels aside, it seems like a very long time indeed that we’ve been required to imagine the world around us based on some descriptive prose. Fortunately doing so is like riding a bike, and it doesn’t take long at all for the latest game in the series to immerse you in its dual world, occupied on the surface by a peaceful if stuffy empire and in the depths by altogether shadier peoples and creatures.

Sunday - March 30, 2008

Avernum 5 - v1.01 Update

by Dhruin, 22:16

Avernum V has been updated with v1.01 for Windows and 1.04 for the Mac fixing "several scripting errors, including a very rare but unpleasant problem with the Lysstak the Beast fight".  Grab the new full version and install over the top of your existing game.

Thursday - March 27, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review @ Applelinks

by Dhruin, 21:05

A site called Applelinks has a short review of Avernum V, with a score of 4/5:

Avernum 5 is a sterling example of what role-playing games can and should be. It has all of the qualities that pull you into the game for hours and hours, such as a fully customizable party with control over how the members develop, being rewarded for exploring (and there's a lot of land to explore), quests with rewards and experience, a story that reveals itself bit by bit until you're forced to make a decision as to where your loyalties lie, characters with actual personalities, and a turn-based combat system which requires strategy to do well.

Wednesday - March 26, 2008

Avernum 5 - Wrap Report @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:16

Jeff Vogel has penned an Avernum V wrap report for RPG Vault.  Here's a snip on the strengths:

Avernum 5's greatest strength, I can say with some confidence, is its storyline. From the very first few minutes of play, the game creates an atmosphere of danger and paranoia. The hunt for the assassin is always part of what is going on, and his constant attempts to kill you add a lot of excitement and interest.

I am also very happy with the game's encounter and dungeon design. Avernum 5 has no generic dungeons. There is always something cool going on, and the enemies are unique and unpredictable.

Finally, I think that the game system has reached a level of detail and polish that I am very happy with. The game plays very well. It introduces a battle discipline for warriors and archers, giving them a variety of interesting tactical options. The game system is deep enough to give a lot party building and strategic options, but it's not overwhelmingly complex.

And the weaknesses bit that follows immediately after says the next group of games (presumably after GF5 and AV6, which wrap up the two current series) will use new OpenGL engines.

Friday - March 21, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review by Scorpia

by Dhruin, 23:20

Scorpia has reviewed Avernum 5, finding a number of faults but obviously enough entertainment to want to play through a second time.  Here's a bit on moral choices:

The contention for land is especially fierce, epitomized by the squabble between Highground and Muck. Highground is a closed town, allowing no new settlers, and claiming all the areas in the vicinity as its own. They’re even willing to pay the giants to attack Muck to get rid of the people holed up there.

Highground wants you to be the go-between, making the offer to the giants. Muck would rather you kill the giant Queen instead, making them safer. This is one of a number of “ethical” situations in the game. Which side do you help? Or do you just ignore both and go your way?

The main choice, however, is between staying loyal to the Empress and hunting down Dorikas, or switching sides and joining the Dark Loyalists. That decision leads to one of the two endings and an epilogue.

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

Avernum 5 - v1.03 Mac Update

by Dhruin, 22:55

The Mac version of Avernum V has been updated to v1.03 to fix a couple of minor bugs.

Monday - February 18, 2008

Avernum 5 - PC Version Released

by Dhruin, 20:53

Spiderweb has released the PC version of Avernum V. The game received considerable praise from the Mac community so head over and grab the demo. Here's a feature list as a reminder:

The latest game in the award-winning Avernum series. Travel into the strange underworld of Avernum, a land full of misfits, bandits, and barely civilized monsters. Hunt the villain who tried to kill your Empress, and keep him from assassinating you first.

As you wander the gigantic world of Avernum, you will experience:

* An enormous world. Hundreds of quests, dozens of dungeons and enemy fortresses, and multitudes of characters.
* Epic storyline. Hunt the assassin Dorikas, while his agents try to trick and waylay you at every turn.
* Many unique encounters. Not just mindless hack and slash. Many unusual enemies that will require clever tactics to defeat.
* Rich game system with over 50 spells and battle disciplines, many character building options, and powerful secret skills to unlock.
* Unique game world. Not just the same old elves and hobbits.
* Experience with previous Avernum games is completely unnecessary to enjoy Avernum 5.

Edit: Thanks to cubgrace who had sent this in earlier but it got temporarily overlooked with an email issue. 

Saturday - February 09, 2008

Avernum 5 - Review @ GamerDad

by Dhruin, 22:20

We have a pile of GamerDad reviews we'll slowly work our way through...this one is the first review of Avernum 5 we've seen, as usual in GamerDad's short format.  The score is 5/5 and here's a snip:

It is always easy to criticize Spiderweb games based on fairly simple graphics - this remains true, but everything here is done in higher resolution and looks better than any previous entry in the series. This is definitely one of the best role-playing games of the year, and is friendly to those new to the series as well as veterans. Hints that pop up as you play the early sections of the game get you immediately immersed, but there is depth of control and party management that defies mastery. You will find yourself pulled into extended 'one more battle' gaming sessions, yet the journal is clear enough that you can walk away for quite a while and then hop back into it effortlessly. It runs on just about any Mac or PC and is available as a small download from Spiderweb Software, making it easy to try out. As I have said before - what Avernum 5 lacks in visual presentation, it makes up with immersive story-telling and engaging gameplay.

Wednesday - February 06, 2008

Avernum 5 - v1.02 Mac Update

by Dhruin, 21:15

Spiderweb has released a small update for the Mac version of Avernum V, with 1.02 cleaning up a handful of minor bugs.

Wednesday - December 19, 2007

Avernum 5 - Podcast Review @ MacRadio

by Dhruin, 21:48

Have I mentioned I hate podcasts?  MacRadio's IGame Radio section has a review of Avernum 5 somewhere in their latest podcast.

Thursday - November 29, 2007

Avernum 5 - v1.01 Mac Update

by Dhruin, 22:24
An updated version of Avernum V for the Mac has been released, which "runs properly on the newest line of MacBooks and fixes a variety of minor bugs".

Wednesday - November 21, 2007

Avernum 5 - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:24

RPG Vault has an interview with Jeff Vogel about Avernum 5, with the Mac release behind them and the PC release coming in February:

Jonric: What's the basic structure? Is it more linear or open-ended, and is it possible to arrive at different endings?

Jeff Vogel: The game is mostly linear, but there are many side quests and interesting choices the player encounters while hinting the assassins. Also, they might attempt to recruit you. And, in typical Spiderweb Software fashion, switching sides and joining the rebels is a viable option. Because of this, there are quite a few possible endings.

Tuesday - November 13, 2007

Avernum 5 - Released for Mac!

by Dhruin, 22:14

Spiderweb has released Avernum V for the Mac, which means the PC version is around three months away.  As usual, a demo is available and here's part of the description:

The surface world is ruled by the Empire. Its power is absolute. Its control is unchallenged. And, as a soldier of the Empire, you have a good, comfortable life ahead of you. But then a rebel named Dorikas tried to assassinate the Empress, and everything went wrong for you.

The villain fled somewhere into Avernum, an underworld nation of eccentrics, misfits, and barely civilized monsters, most of whom hate the Empire. And that is where you are going. You must find Dorikas, while dealing with spies, betrayal, and assassins at every turn.

The enemy is waiting for you. You will only survive his attention with the help of these strange cave dwellers. If, of course, they don’t kill you first.

Thursday - October 25, 2007

Avernum 5 - Screenshot @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 00:25

Spiderweb has kicked up a single new Avernum 5 screen, which is a shot of the world map if I remember what was there previously.

Wednesday - October 10, 2007

Avernum 5 - Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 00:41

Spiderweb has released two more screens for Avernum 5 (at the bottom).

Friday - September 07, 2007

Avernum 5 - Mac Testers Needed

by Dhruin, 23:45

Spiderweb is calling for Mac beta testers for Avernum 5, which usually means the game is around 6 months away for PC owners.

Friday - August 24, 2007

Avernum 5 - New Screens

by Dhruin, 01:14

Spiderweb has kicked up two new screens for Avernum 5 (the top two), showing boats and a meeting with a key character.

Thursday - June 28, 2007

Avernum 5 - Officially Announced

by Dhruin, 23:57

We've talked about Avernum V a few times but Spiderweb has now officially unveiled the game with a page on their site and some screens:

The latest game in the award-winning Avernum series. Travel into the strange underworld of Avernum, a land full of misfits, bandits, and barely civilized monsters. Hunt the villain who tried to kill your Empress, and keep him from assassinating you first.

As you wander the gigantic world of Avernum, you will experience:

  • An enormous world. Hundreds of quests, dozens of dungeons and enemy fortresses, and multitudes of characters.
  • Epic storyline. Hunt the assassin Dorikas, while his agents try to trick and waylay you at every turn.
  • Many unique encounters. Not just mindless hack and slash. Many unusual enemies that will require clever tactics to defeat.
  • Rich game system with over 50 spells and battle disciplines, many character building options, and powerful secret skills to unlock.
  • Unique game world. Not just the same old elves and hobbits.
  • Experience with previous Avernum games is completely unnecessary to enjoy Avernum 5.

Thanks, Sandy!

Sunday - April 29, 2007

Avernum 5 - Update @ Official Forums

by Dhruin, 05:27

Jeff Vogel has posted an update on the progress of Avernum 5:

The lumbering beast has finally begun to move. I have completed the first section / town / adventure / tutorial. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it out much before Christmas, but it's certainly moving.

The tutorial section is much more of an adventure than before, with scripted events, actual fights, and it gets you involved in the plot. The plot, as promised, is very intricate, and the political intrigue begins pretty much immediately.

I'm having a bit more fun writing the dialogue, because the setup for this Avernum game is very different from the previous games. Your starting position is, it's safe to say, completely opposite from what it was before.

There are secret doors. But they work differently than they did before. (They'd really have to.) You will never have to find one to complete the game.

I am concentrating to cut down on the trash and have a smaller number of bigger fights. This will make the game more interesting for groups, but more punishing for single characters. I will do my best to make sure a singleton can still complete the game on the lower difficulty levels. One change ... smaller parties will get experience from creatures at higher levels than 4 person parties do.

- Jeff Vogel

Thursday - March 22, 2007

Avernum 5 - Update

by Dhruin, 01:14

Jeff Vogel has provided a March update on Avernum 5 on the Spiderweb forums:

 I've put in some hours on Avernum 5. Some more news.

i. Elevations are completely in the game. They look nice.

ii. There is now a system of battle disciplines. People with high combat skills will be able to use special abilities. Some of them are cool enough that some mages will be tempted to train in pole weapons.

iii. I have vastly expanded the keyboard shortcuts. You will now be able to target attacks and spells using only the keyboard. (This includes fireballs.)

iv. The plot is very elaborate and cool. I tried for a similar level of intricacy as Geneforge 4: Rebellion.

v. I have also borrowed the much less annoying action point system from Geneforge 4. And a ton of the nice graphical effects too.

vi. The most irritating thing left to be done engine-wise is boats. There will be a lot of water travel.

vii. The Anama are back. Solberg has a decently sized role. Rentar-Ihrno is still dead.

Source: RPG Codex

Information about

Avernum 5

Developer: Spiderweb Software

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Over 60 hours
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-02-18
· Publisher: Spiderweb Software