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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

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Eschalon Book I Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Linuxforums.org has published a new review of Eschalon: Book I, the first in Basilisk Games' new "old school" focused RPG series. Inspired by classic role-playing games of the past Book I sends players on a quest to uncover the mystery of their character's identity. Linuxforums.org recommended the game to fans of turn-based role playing games.

From the review:

The rules of playing Eschalon resemble those in real life: you get hurt, you have to rest. At night you can't see well enough without a torch or some other source of light. To get things you have to either pay for them or look for them in treasure chests and barrels.
You must interact with some NPC's in the game. NPC's are Non-Playable Characters and all they do is talk with you, sell you items or buy stuff from you. The bartender will let you sleep at it's inn, sell you torches, lock picks and some food. The village magician can sell you health potions, mana potions and other items that will help you in your quest. At the armory you'll be able to acquire weapons and armor. Some NPC's can also teach you the art of sword fighting, help you learn Cartography or enhance your magic skills. All for a price of course.
You'll find money on the way, either hidden, either in the form of bags being dropped by some of your slain enemies. Some NPC's will ask you to do quests for them. Retrieve items, find missing people, assassinate enemies - all will pay off in some way upon completion, in the form of money or experience points.
There's an Experience bar in the main screen of the game. When that bar fills up you'll be allowed to add extra points to your skills and further calibrate your character. You can gain experience by killing creatures and other types of enemies or by completing the aforementioned quests.

As you go deeper into the game you'll be able to buy better weapons and amour, find new and interesting items and reveal even more of the surrounding territories. You can carry items with you, but there's a limit to just how much you can store. Your Encumbrance bar will tell you just how many pounds you are wearing and how many more you'll be able to carry.
The purpose of the whole game is to find and return the Crux of Ages to it's rightful place. The Crux is a large gem that everyone wants and it is also the only thing standing in the way of total war. To get to it you'll have to cross several maps filled with various types of enemies, solve puzzles, use lock picks to open doors, disarm traps and walk a lot in woods and barren lands.

The random factor of the game is also interesting. For example, if you check a treasure chest for items then reload a saved game and check the chest again, you won't find the same stuff in there. Same goes for the enemy creatures. While sleeping, you might be woken up by three salamanders or by two thugs. Might be four spiders or the dreaded Taurax minotaurs. You never know what to expect next. This give a plus to the re-playability side of the game as you can begin a new game with a different character and not have that familiar feeling of "I know what's coming now".
Click over to the link below to read the full review.

Linuxforums.org: Eschalon Book I Review
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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