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Reviewed: Drakan: Order of the Flame
Product Type:Game
Price: ~$40
Overall Rating:
Author: Jeff 'Obsidian' Klein       Date: September 1st 1999

The first thing you will notice about Drakan's graphics is, they are, in a word, awesome! The first thing to notice is the landscapes - they are beautifly rendered, and use huge open out-door areas. Drakan has its own engine - no other engine does outdoor areas very well. My only complaint here is the "fog" that keeps the landscape from going all the way to the horizon - this is done to keep the frame rates high - and it works nicely. On my celery 450/tnt2 system, I experienced no lag whatsoever at 1024*768*32. And, the fog doens't look out of place - in fact, it weren't just done to keep the frame rates up it might have looked nice anyway.

The second thing to notice about the graphics is the models. They use a new technology (the buzzword slips my mind) that wraps the "skin" around the "skeletin". This gives all of the charactors a very life-like look. You can actually see their skin move when they do. I did notice two weak points in the models, however. One, some of the textures are kind of odd, especially on your enemies - sometimes their face will look painted on, kind of like your opponents in the light sabre battles in Jedi Knight. Your dragon sports transparent wings - and a very cool head that watches you when you are around. As for Rynn, well, let's just say she's more of a woman then Lara Croft (in the graphical quality sense, of course). She looks rounder and more human, without the polygonal look of charactors from other games, including new ones like Quake 3 (at least so far). My second "compliant" point is her hands - it looks almost as though they were never finished, as they are very squarish and ugly.

The third thing to notice about Drakan's graphics are the special effects. Rain, snow, lighting, fireballs, huge rings of fire, lava, ice, and other various magical spells are sights to behold when cast. Think of the opening level of Half Life - and then imagine it ten times better and more varied, and repeated all the time. Overall, the graphics of Drakan are impeccable.

The sound is a bit more average. You hear ambiant sounds, such as wind and echos, and the usual grunting and slicing sounds that come from fighting. A little common adventure music is thrown in. A3D and EAX are supported, but overall the sound was just about average - not bad, but not good.

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Added:  Wednesday, September 01, 1999
Reviewer:  Jeff Klein
Page: 2/4

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