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Reviewed: Revenant
Author: Chris Kim       Date: January 1st 2000
Page: 3

Multiplayer really doesn't feel like it was all it was ment out to be. Originally, there is only support for up to four players in a deathmatch arena. Because of how fast and powerful the players gain power and new equipment, it isn't long before the deathmatch turns into a sloppy mess. There is no cooperative mode to go through the dungeons and work together at beating the game. This crippled and incomplete multiplayer game really feels awkward. Fortunately, there is a patch out that adds some cooperative play and additional features to the extremely buggy multiplayer.

Being an action based game played in real time, the game should have some good intelligence right? Somewhat true, the game does an effective job of creating a monster environment that should challenge players. This for the most part is true, monsters will usually attack each other in hate and disgust of supreme power and rulership, and some of these battles are even downright funny to watch. But, the problem is that most of enemies are way too over powering or extremely under powered. Some enemies have the ability to kill Locke in only a few hits while others are extremely weak. The balance is very off, and these enemies often appear on the same level when Locke is at the same level. Enemies usually don't have the intelligence to do what is right and the path finding of the enemies are often horrible. They never find their way around obstacles, Locke can just bash at enemies from a cliff above as the enemy tries to go through the wall. The game itself isn't too hard, but it can be extremely frustrating at times. Most gamers should be able to beat the game in under a week with about two or three hours of gameplay everyday.

Warp Portal
Deadly Arts
Meteor Storm

Entering into the world of Revenant can be quite painful, but also quite pain free at the same time. For those gamers with a gamepad, the conversion should be relatively painless as the game really feels though as the gamepad was the input device of choice when the developers were making the game. For the most part, a gamepad really fulfills the task of controlling Locke. Combination moves are easily performed and combination keys are used quite easily, only problem is that some of the combinations of several button keystrokes are confusing and several buttons will be assigned to the keyboard, making keyboard reaches from the two handed gamepad somewhat troublesome. For the keyboard and mouse input, the control is a lot less desirable and control is often clunkier and more tedious and troublesome to use. Keyboard has a default layout of keys, which is somewhat similar to the gamepad layout, which isn't too bad. Mouse control is very awful though, instead of using clicks as movement, a totally separate cursor must be imposed to use, the player must right click and in the made he can do nothing but move. Then click again to get back into the interaction mode.

With all these buttons and everything, summoning objects, spells, and talking to people for the most part is pretty hassle free. The interface for the pretty much is pretty simple to use, but it isn't nearly as refined and clean as the interface in Darkstone was used. There are no helpful pop-up menus or help icons in the game, but to help speed up the process, a right click on items automatically equips armor and weapons. But for the most part, the inventory system gets so cluttered up with items that it becomes a huge hassle to maintain and keep the inventory organized. There are no banks or extra places to carry items. One of the largest gripes about Revenant are the extremely long loading times associated with maps. The game divides each of the game into several sectors and loads these at specific times when Locke crosses a point. So sometimes while in the heat of battle, it can be interrupted for a map load, this is extremely annoying considering that the load times are also fairly lengthy.

Thanks to Ice Arrows
Queen's Crypt
Deadly Fire Traps

One of the most appealing and pleasing aspects about Revenant are the graphics. Not all of the graphics are so nice, but the most impressive features are the extraordinary lighting and special effects. Taking a look at the spells and the dungeon light segments, one can see that a lot of work went into creating one of the prettiest and good looking games in a long time. All of the spells in the game are simply extraordinary, one of the best looking spells is easily the tornado spell, which creates a huge blue vortex that spins with such force and bright emanating color that the spell could easily captivate some extreme flare within one's eyes.

Animating the characters in the game was another very large part of the graphics, all the animations and movements in the game were motion captured, and this is quite obvious with the silky smooth movement and sharp looking characters. The special moves and attacks all look quite well done with a realistic feeling as to Locke really performing these or these attacks really being that of being actually able to perform in real life. There are a few sluggish and choppy animations, however. The character models are all fairly detailed with several different skin types. As the game progresses on, several different armor types and skins can be molded on Locke, creating a more unique appearance.

Despite all the cool graphics, there are a few low points. Easily one of the most crucial factors is that many textures used in the game are extremely grainy and washed out. One very good example is the grass texture, instead of realistic looking grass, most of the grass just looks like washed out green paint. But, that does not reflect poorly upon other textures, most graphics are super with excellent looking textures for hard wood, stone, and dirt. The game is also a fairly strong performance hog, without a computer that far exceeds the recommended system specifications, one will be looking at a really slow slide show.

I Wish for a Castle
Once Powerful
Pray to the Gods

Mainly consisting of marginal sound effects, music, and voice acting, Revenant never delivers a very convincing or involving atmosphere. For a musical score the game consists of several MP3's playing in the background, none of the music files really create an engaging feeling to the player even when the action gets hot. The music is delivered in a bit of an uneven sense as sometimes music can really be heard, but most of the time, the music really doesn't even play a factor in the game as the action gets much deeper and involving to even consider hearing the music.

Woosh, slash, whack, and bam are all the common sound effects in the game. Weapon whacks and landing blows mainly fill the air as the player ventures through the caves and dungeons. Most of the sounds do provide a nice power for the ears to enjoy, that is if one enjoys listening to constant blams and smashing sounds. "Special" sound effects that come from spells sound a bit better and more unique, but still sound very uninspired.

Being a role playing game, speech and voice acting of the characters is one of the most important aspects of the game. One of the most disappointing parts of the speech is the very lackluster and mediocre voice acting. Rather than providing convincing speech and dialog, the scripts plays more of a filler role with very uninspired speech from each of the characters and NPC's. Locke's voice is decent, but it sounds as if he spent a little too much time in hell...

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Added:  Saturday, January 01, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/5

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