Review by johnmgd
A GREAT "Good Ol" RPG!
I had to submit a quick review because all the other ones are WAY off! Apparently the other review writers are comparing this game directly to Oblivion. Stupid. This is a low to medium budget game, made by a medium size developer. And it's a great game.\
The graphics are more than adequate. They're certainly better than the original Everquest. The detail on things like armor, monsters, and npcs is actually very good. The outside world is not bad, the scenery and terrain are a little repetetive. Something obviously went wrong when they programmed bodies of water, as we all know, the surface of a lake does not have hills and valleys. It definitely made me do a double take, but it also made me chuckle. It doesn't affect gameplay. The dungeons are also a little repetitive, the textures aren't terribly detailed or unique, but they're not terrible. The overall appearance is pretty good.
The sound effects and music are good. Nothing special, you have your standard background noises, grunts, yells, screams in combat, clanging of weapons, etc. I enjoyed the voice acting, it was better than a lot of games and there is a lot of it.
The gameplay is thoroughly addictive. I played the game pretty much every night for a couple of hours, always wanting to kill a few more baddies and upgrade my character. The feature I really like is that you can spend advancement points as soon as you get enough to advance a skill or attribute rather than waiting until you get the next level. The one drawback is that in my opinion, they are a little TOO generous with the points. My character became very powerful about halfway through the game, but on the plus side, it really helped for the groups of weak enemies that pop up every minute or so.
Beginning the game is a little tricky. To get into Fargrove you have to battle your way through a rather large sewer level, then a large theatre. I died a lot, and I'm usually a cautious RPG player. In this game, you can revive yourself immediately, at the cost of one or two attribute points. There are a couple easy ways to avoid this though, first you can save often and just reload, or you can just put all your points into skills, because reviving only takes away attribute points. Maybe that's why this game got so many reviews, because players got frustrated at the beginning dungeons and just gave up.
You do have to spend a lot of time running between towns, that's probably what irked so many others. If you read one of the walkthroughs on this site, it tells you about moonstones and moon bridges (teleporters). You can access this handy feature as soon as you leave Fargrove, that will save lots of time. Also, by putting points into agility, you increase your run speed. I didn't learn this until almost halfway through the game. There are also many items that boost your speed.
I don't understand why the other reviews are crying about glitches and bugs, the only flaw I've encountered is that the game occasionally freezes, but only for a maximum of 3 seconds, usually only for 1 second or less. It's annoying, no doubt about that, but it doesn't make the game unplayable. Oh there's an arrow stuck in mid-air in Fargrove that has been there since the beginning of the game, that's the only other bug that I've experienced.
The story is a little confusing, to me anyways. You get a letter summoning you to some lord's manor, he wants you to find his daughter who ran away, then it goes off on all these tangents about evil druids and secret runes and relics of power. It all ties together, but I've never really cared a whole lot about story because they're all the same: good versus evil, fight your way to the main evil character and kill him and save the world. I've always focused on the gameplay. The quest log is not very detailed, it gives you very basic objectives, so you have to pay attention to the dialog or you will end up just running around, searching for what to do.
I'll say again, it looks like the other review writers are directly comparing this game to huge blockbuster hits like Oblivion and Half-Life 2, and since every aspect of the game doesn't compare to those games, they think that makes this one a flop. That's completely wrong. This is a very fun game, I was very addicted and had a great time playing it. I can definitely see myself playing through it at least one more time, as a different class and/or race. Remember, there's a reason you'll find this game in the bargain bin, and it's well worth the $10.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Dungeon Lords (US, 05/05/05)
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