Review by wolverinefan

"A bad game based on a bad movie based on a bad book"

Ah, Eragon, the classic fantasy novel written by a 17 year old whose parents have their own publishing company which allowed them to get their sons wonderful and original novel into stores. It quickly sparked interest and sold rather well. Now that the master piece of a movie is out and the third and sadly final novel is on its way all we have left to hope for are two more movies and two more wonderful games based on the movies to be released. How does this game based on a movie based on a book written by a 17 year old hold up? Read on.

Luke Skywalker is a young lad who lives on a farm. He keeps having dreams, or vision about a woman who is imprisoned. He ends up finding an egg and the egg hatches and it's a dragon. Our hero Luke and his old friend Obi-Wan must set out to save this girl. But what could all of this mean? Could an empire's future be dangling by a thread because of this farm boy? Oh wait, sorry I just confused Star Wars with Eragon. I mean, they are such polar opposites. Oh screw it; I can't continue to lie in this review. Eragon's plot is Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. Anybody can see that and sadly it doesn't do either series justice. If you liked the book or movie you'll enjoy this hodge podge plot of crap.

Graphic wise Eragon is a muddy looking game. The levels lack details and everything is rather murky. The water effects, which is something both Xbox systems have been able to do very well, look like PS2 water effects. Character models are bland and sort of look like their actor counterparts. The dragon looks worse here than in the movie, if that's possible.

Sound wise I am annoyed. The music is actually rather good, most likely taken from the soundtrack. The problem is it's rarely used and when it is used it sounds like it's the same two songs over and over. The voice work seems like it has been done by the actors but I could be wrong. Sound effects are terrible. I couldn't tell if I was hearing my attacks hitting or if they were being blocked. Didn't help that the enemies didn't react to either kind of attack so it makes the game feel like a random button masher where you might as well have your eyes closed.

Control in the game is pretty simple. You tend to learn a new move at the end of each level. I just hated that by the end you need to combo these different button holds together and then hit a specific button for a specific spell so one mistake and you'll have to run around and wait for your magic to refill. Not too bad of a thing since that's what you end up doing anyway. Moving around and attacking is easy. Some times I found myself trapped by enemies and unable to get out of corners of off the ground.

It seems that any fantasy movie that becomes a game must be a level based beat'em up. Eragon is no different but instead of varied missions you get two mission types. Run around and kill, sometimes needing to use magic to solve puzzles, that just require a quick magic use. Or there are flying missions on the dragon. Those would be cool but they are flawed also. One mission even has stealth but it doesn't mean anything as you can be detected and have no problems at all.

So, a basic stage is run, some enemies appear so keep hitting A over and over. Throwing in B for good measures. I found shooting arrows with the R trigger to work as well and most of the time they worked best. L trigger lets you activate your magic be it force (pushing away or pulling to) fire, shield or whatever. It's all simple, a little too simple. The enemy AI is rather bad but some of the guys just block, block, block and then attack so it's best to stand far enough away that they don't register you and take them out with arrows. You always have a partner so you can just run around while he takes care of business. Not sure if he can die but he has a life bar. He tends to handle himself rather well.

The flying levels are pretty lame. Shoot arrows and later you can breathe fire which doesn't work like it should and caused me much health lose. Eating doves refills life. The problem is it plays like a looping rail shooter so it feels like you're just repeating a circle over and over. You can branch off and do other loops if the need arises. The point of these is to kill enemies until the little enemy health bar is gone. Can we say boring?

Actually, the game is really boring. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get 2/3 through the game. That is way too short. I had also found a number of the hidden eggs which really weren't all that hidden. So the game is short, which could be a plus and its secrets are weak. Does it offer anything else? Well, it does have achievements if you really care about those but they just require you to beat levels and find the eggs.

Would I recommend this game? No, it's weak all around. Made only to cash in on a weak movie and book. The fighting is bland and uninspired. The graphics look far from next gen and the two different types of game play are just lackluster. I couldn't even recommend this as a rental, which is what it was for me. It's just so dull. Even the boss fights are boring since its dodge, wait for magic to refill, shoot and repeat. No real thought is required in this game.

Story - 4/10
Graphics - 3/10
Sound - 4/10
Control - 7/10
Game Play - 4/10
Replay Value - 3/10

Final Score: 4/10

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 01/10/07

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