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“…a desirable title for RPG fans”

Avadon 2 is a top down RPG in the classic style of many an old adventure game, but one which feels as though it has been built from the minds of some very creative thinkers indeed. I am a fan of the RPG genre, however the worlds and workings of Avadon are some which had until now passed me by. The intrigue inspired by this game however has drawn me into giving this early version a try, and despite its visual simplicity this game is deep, and in RPG land deep is almost always good! If like me you are currently unfamiliar with Avadon and indeed this follow up game, Avadon 2, then you will appreciate also the overview which kicks the game off. In short, the lands in which the game is set are divided into several kingdoms; a traditional storyline in such games you may think, and so what comes next may not surprise you. These kingdoms are held from warring with each other by a pact, or the Pact as the case here seems to be. The Pact is overseen by the warriors of Avadon, a great black tower, however these warriors and their base of operations have recently been threatened and thus the warriors have become somewhat scattered. Your take up the role of one of these warriors, posted at the border between two rival kingdoms, investigating rebellious activity in the area. This is where your story in the game begins… I may have told a slight lie there, in that the initial overview is in fact the second feature of this game. First you must decide on the nature of your character. There are three factors which you must decide upon. Two of these are relatively generic; your name and your gender. The third however is the class of your character, which will go on to influence the way you play the rest of the game to follow. Avadon 2 offers you five classes from which to choose; Blademaster, Shadowwalker, Shaman, Sorcerer and Tinkermage. The first four of these options are, in essence, your standard RPG character classes. The Blademaster is the warrior class who manipulates heavy armour and weaponry in order to fight his or her cause. The Shadowwalker is the lighter-weight, stealth-style character. The Shaman is a supportive character as a healer, elementalist and animal summoner. The Sorcerer is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, and uses spells and magic to reach their desired ends. The Tinkermage however, the fifth available class, is a little more unusual to the others. The Tinkermage class might be likened to the Engineer in games such as Guild Wars 2 or Team Fortress 2. In essence the class is a mechanic who can create and use contraptions such as turrets and other machinery to aid them in battle, as well as having small thrown weapons to use alongside these. There is a class to suit almost any kind of RPG player in the game, and therefore also several different ways to play.

Once you have chosen your character and learned of the context in which your adventure is to take place you are provided with a quick tutorial. This does not drag on which is certainly a strong positive. This means players of the first game are provided with a friendly refresher while new players can learn the basics swiftly and easily. This begins in what, at least in my mind ten years or so after having played it, resembles the Runescape tutorial house before letting you loose on the surprisingly well drawn world for a top-down RPG adventure. The graphics are by no means

cutting edge, but they do not need to be in this instance for you to feel a pleasant attachment to them. They are basic, yes, but not unpleasant. After you have learned the basics of play you can continue on with your adventure, following the mission set out in the introductory scenes of the game.

I have already given some context to the nature of the game’s story, and being an RPG fan myself and knowing what it is like to know too much from the off I would prefer not to say too much else. What I will say however is that the interconnectedness of the things you are asked to do in the game do make it feel as though there is a worldwide situation at hand in the bigger picture. This is rare for some RPGs, which often leave you wondering why you have to trivially go and find someone’s lost book by a river and what real impact that will have on the bigger picture. While some small tasks are set before you, you are often reminded of the scale of what is really at hand and what your overarching quest really it; to protect the Pact which has fallen into this turmoil.

At this early stage Avadon 2 is really looking like it will be a very detailed game to play and a desirable title for RPG fans looking for a deep and meaningful adventure to engage themselves within. If there were one negative that I would point out at this point in development, it is that there is a lot of reading to do. I know this is not an uncommon feature in such games, and maybe this is a more personal factor than a genuine problem requiring a fix, but I recognise that some gamers are like myself and do not wish to have to read too much while they play. I personally prefer speech to text, but in a game of this style I can see why text might have been the preferred choice of the developers. As a whole the game seems to have a lot to offer to RPG fans and it will be interesting for them to see what they think once it reaches its final release. The Good – A deep storyline and an adventure which never makes you feel too far disconnected from the wider world and overarching task at hand. A short but sweet tutorial also acts as the perfect refresher for players of Avadon and a strong first-time guide to new players alike. The Bad – Some players may not be too fond of the amount of text to read in game.

http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/avadon2/index.html

Windows/Macintosh System Requirements:

  • • PC Running Windows XP or later or Macintosh running System 10.6 or later
    • 800 MhZ processor. Minimum 1.6 GhZ processor recommended.
    • Video card or processor with OpenGL support and 32 MB video RAM (64 MB recommended).
    • 512 MB RAM, and 200 MB hard disk space.
    • 1024×600 screen resolution with 32 bit color.

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