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Reviewed: Revenant
Author: Chris Kim       Date: January 1st 2000
Page: 2

In the past, most action RPG's pretty much share a lot of the same characteristics. A majority of them have little storyline, plot, character development, and combat mainly consists of simply clicking on enemies. Revenant is out to change all these assumptions and create a whole new world of more involving combat, good storylines, and deep character development. Of course, what games often aim for is not easily accomplished. Many games in history have claimed to deliver the goods of giving a very immersive gaming experience but failed to accomplish these goals.

As the name suggests, the player assumes the role of a revenant, a man raised from the dead and hired as a soldier to accomplish a task. He's raise from the grave, brought back from hell, and then assigned to save the world from the destruction of an evil cult called the Children. Tendrick is the king of the kingdom, and his daughter has been captured by the cult, the revenant's job is to go and save the daughter. Pretty common and simple storyline for the most part.

Nice Castle
Sword Smack
Quick Zombie

Unlike most action RPG games, Revenant sets out to really accomplish a real feel of being set in a traditional RPG setting while also maintaining the playability and maintain wide attention spans as other action RPG games do. Having similar characteristics of traditional RPG's, there are many different NPC characters littered throughout the whole world that gamers can interact with to continue on the adventure. As with most RPG's, the player will find himself continually just fighting, buying, selling, fighting, buying, selling over and over again to complete the game. Very similar to how Diablo and Darkstone work, there is only one main town in the game where most of the interaction between characters and other NPC's happen. Similar to these games, there is a weapon shop, armor shop, magic shop, item shop, library, bar, and some other unique locations. This little interaction is enough to actually classify Revenant as an RPG game, but very loosely as a majority of the game is spent in combat which functions a lot like it does in some other 3rd person shooter or even a fighting game. Where most of the appeal of the game lies is the unique combat system.

However, despite the intentions of trying to be a complete RPG game, Revenant fails at being what it could have been. Revenant really lacks the deep and moving plot that many gamers consider to make up a solid RPG game. The character development of the main character, Locke, is decent, but nothing as thorough or deep as other RPG games. Character development occurs very gradually and slowly as Locke gains power, he will start to uncover slowly his past life. One of the most disappointing parts of the game, however, must be that the story seems to be very prematurely undeveloped. As Locke explores Misthaven, he will encounter many NPC characters that show major interest in working in a team with Locke, but never end up joining, leaving them hanging without conclusion.

Level Up
Get Off My Sword
Cool Tornado Spell

Easily the most innovative feature about Revenant is the very unique and involving combat system. Instead of the player simply clicking on the enemy to perform an attack of some sort, the player will actually be down in the heat of battle mashing buttons like crazy. In fact, the combat system is so unique, it even integrates cool little combo moves like in fighting games that can deal a fairly strong amount of damage to an enemy. There are three basic combat moves, a thrust, swing, and chop. With different variations, the weapons combat trainer Jong can teach Locke some very interesting combinations and special moves as he starts to level up. Some charging thrust combinations, jump chops, or 360 swinging circular swing. These combinations can be used in combination to make some extremely lethal moves to use. with the moves, the player will have to fend off enemies in mass amounts, with various types of attacks of the sort, rolling around, using strafe moves, and blocking all in good measure. Simply standing in one spot and just hacking away will not accomplish much, in fact, the player will most likely die swinging in the spot if they choose not to move. For players that prefer not to use this combat system, they have the choice of just using the mouse to attack, a random attack will be assigned to Locke to attack, but this is not nearly as fun or complete experience as Revenant was ment to deliver.

Leveling up is obviously one of the most important aspects of RPG's, in Revenant it also proves crucial. As players increase levels, they will have the ability to allocate two experience points to six different pools, each which effect Locke's ability to combat. The obvious focus of this level up system was to limit the player's horizons, but the system isn't too one sided and is rather balanced, as the player can be very strong in all areas of combat. Being both a powerful magic user and combat fighter is not too difficult. Shifting player status in middle flight is not difficult at all.

Fire Breath
Arena Combat
Fatal Swing

Enemies play a fairly important role in RPG's, but the enemies in Revenant are very under whelming. None of the enemies are especially fierce or strong looking, nor do they deliver any very strong feeling of being scared. One of the more unique things that each of the enemies do own, however, is that there are fatalities to each enemy with a certain weapon. Yes, fatalities, like the ones that were in the Mortal Kombat fighting games. There is a final blow move that is very gruesomely gory and bloody. Of course, without the proper equipment, this would not be possible. Players will usually find various weapons and armor in the dungeons and caves of combat. Other times, players will have to buy equipment. This is not a problem, however, as money is extremely abundant, even stupid spiders have bunches of gold on them.

Magic is another very important part of RPG's, this is one area where Revenant really shines, the game uses a fairly large array of spells totaling to fifty different spells. The spells are very cool with great effects and vast damage effects. The spells are very intimidating as some of them have very large power and strength as to the damage they can deal.

Puzzles are a very important element in most RPG games, however, Revenant has next to none. The game follows a very linear design, even though it claims to have a non-linear design. The game revolves around one single mission, with several other smaller side "quests" as they could be called. However, the quests that are involved are nothing complex and simply involve putting an item in a certain location or rescuing another person that was captured. Even though the game doesn't have many if any puzzles, it does contain a fairly lengthy and complex map design. Most of the time, the map is very simple and easy to follow with clues leading the player in directions, but other times, there are just mazes which often just leave the player completely clueless as where to go and what to do. The most annoying thing is that enemies will respawn in various areas and start beating up on the player immediately again when the player just killed that same enemy just a minute ago.

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Added:  Saturday, January 01, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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