Avencast - Previews @ HookedGamers, Jolt
Avencast: Rise of the Mage has been previewed at Hooked Gamers. Here's a summary snip:
Diablo. Need I say more? Avencast undoubtedly possesses the same presence as the old Diablo, which itself was based mainly on even older Rogue-like games (Hack, Nethack, Rogue). You move around in similar dungeons, battling various enemies, performing quests, seeking the main villain etc. etc. However, since Avencast focuses more on player skill rather than character stats, it also reminds me of the old arcade fantasy-themed hack'n'slashes, Gauntlet and Gauntlet II, where you roamed dungeons alone or with friends, killing monsters and picking up treasures. Avencast may be deeper than these old classics, but definitely shares some similarities with them. Thus, it is surprising that Avencast does not offer multiplayer features out of the box. However, the developers have hinted at the possibility of an add-on that would introduce such features and perhaps allow you to play the game in co-op mode.
...and Jolt is informative on the positioning:
Clearly Avencast is aiming to appeal to action gamers with an interest in RPGs, probably more so than RPG gamers with an interest in action games. Certainly there isn’t a huge amount of originality in the characters, environments and spells on offer, but the game does have some unique qualities. We’ll have to wait until next month to see whether or not the game’s depth makes up for the lack of breadth normally found in such games.
Genre: Hack & Slash