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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

Like the graphics of Drakan, gameplay can be summed up in one word: Fun. And addicting. However, it's not done perfectly, and the game has several shortcomings in this area.

To start, the whole concept with the dragon is great, and a lot of fun. Roasting Wartoks from thirty feet in the air is ALMOST as fun as sniping your buddy in Half Life. Air combat is well done, and the AI dragons put up a worthy fight. Controlling the dragon is easy - basic FPS controls, except you use crouch and jump to move up and down. You can even do barrel rolls. Your dragons starts with fireballs, and eventually gets gas, ice, lava, amoung others, for his weapons. All of them have advantages and disadvantages, and each has an ideal time for use.

On ground combat is not done quite as well. It occurs when you are forced to leave your dragon to go into a cave (which happens an awful lot, it seems like everything cool is hidden in caves...). It reminds me of (*gasp*) Tomb Raider, but once you do it for a while you realize it's a lot more fun. It is more action packed, and there is very little booring hunting for objects/levers/keys. The fighting works well - you can do all the moves in a FSP, plus duck, roll, and flip. It would make for great combat, except for two things. One, the AI is a touch flaky - while they're not downright stupid, they're not terribly bright either - they don't come help their buddies, even when they see you, and you can sneak right up behind them. The other thing is, way too many of them seem shorter then you - you're always swinging over their heads! Even so, they put up a great fight, and most of them have sheilds that make them tough to hit. There is a huge selections of wartoks, mean little monsters, ogres, flaming swardsmen - you name it, and you can fight them. You also have a large weapon selection also, consisting of many different sized and differently enchanted swards, axes, and longbows. However, be ready to repeat some fight scenes over and over, as they are tough!

Overall the gameplay is a lot of fun, and not repetative. It has a way of constantly drawing you on to the next level. To me it seems just tough enough - right when I'm about to bite the dust I come across a health potion. The levels are varied and fun to explore. And you always have some mission or reason to be doing what you are doing. Also, you have the option of taking small side missions for larger weapons and such, which makes the game less linear. This gives the game a slightly RPG hint, although it's very faint.

The multiplayer, though slightly buggy in the first release of the game, is also pretty fun. It's a good change from the common FSP, although I didn't find it quite as addicting. Tha lack of health on maps tends to make one on one battles go back and forth, but it's more fun with many players. Connecting to a game, either LAN or internet is easy and well integrated.

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Added:  Wednesday, September 01, 1999
Reviewer:  Jeff Klein
Page: 3/4

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