|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
September 24, 2013 | Ted Bade
Ravensword offers a magic system which is not very complex. You will acquire runes that give you certain magical abilities, like fire (does fire damage) and ice (freezes things). If a rune is equipped, you can affect the world with it’s magic. Mostly these items are needed to get past some barrier in the game, and not really for combat. For instance the Ice rune can put out fires blocking your way. However, you can use them to assist combat, for instance the Ice rune will freeze a monster, allowing you to beat on it without it fighting back. You will definitely need most of the runes to complete the game.
There are six “quick” slots giving easy access to important items in your inventory. I used them mainly to quickly switch from my crossbow to the sword, and as a way to access healing potions. As far as I can tell there is no way to use an item, other than a piece of combat gear or magic rune that is equipped, except by using the quick slot. So those other items you need like potions and the item that calls your mount, need a quick slot.
The graphics in this game are nicely done and often quite stunning. In towns there are buildings to visit, often containing vendors or quest givers. Outside the city there are a variety of landscapes, from plains to grassy knolls, to frozen vistas. There are also a number of caverns that need to be visited. Animals and monsters roam about, most of the time they are growling, alerting you to there presence. Rivers and brooks babble along, feeding ponds and lakes. There is even a coastline with the obligatory giant crabs. Parts of this game are quite pretty to view.
Although the graphic engine is nicely done, there were a couple of issues. I followed a path in a cave that lead to a dead end. I wasn’t sure if this was an unmarked access point to a different zone, so I continued onward, and accidentally walked out of the designated spaces of the game, and fell into a zone without any graphics. Luckily, I died and was able to continue at the last save point.
Borders between two zones aren’t marked very well. In a city you might find a closed gate. Walking into it will move you to the zone beyond. You don’t get a door opening graphic or anything else. In the world outside, it is even worse. Most of the time it appears you are walking into a rock wall. The in play mini-map does give some indication of this access point, but you need to remember to turn it on. This is only an issue the first time you visit an area. After that, you are more likely to use the game’s teleport feature.
Death can happen. Ravensword allows you to save at any point. When you die, it will return you to the last saved point, or if you forgot to save, a point in the recent past. It’s a good idea to save often, especially after you find some cool piece of gear or are moving through a difficult sequence.
Game music and sounds were okay. The music tends to become repetitive, but it wasn’t that bad. Audio clues are well used. Monsters tend to growl once they decide to attack, so this helps alert players. Environmental sounds were appropriate for their areas and didn’t seem out of place.
The adventure itself was pretty easy to follow. My biggest complaint was that it felt a bit hollow. There is the main quest line which is the most important. At each point of this quest you get general instructions as to which way to go. Side quests generally are designed to provide the player with experience, and are important to complete. The quests are pretty basic, get some of this, kill some of those, and so forth. Everything is pretty linear. It was only toward the end of the game that you need to think, a bit, to get to the final scene.
Overall, Ravensword Shadowland is fun enough. It’s not very complex or thought provoking, but it is well done and entertaining. Definitely, this is a casual game. Players of almost any skill level will easily be able to play and complete it. If you are looking for a fun, easy adventure/FPS, then consider Ravensword Shadowlands.
• Easy to use interface
• Nice graphics
• Some issues with the graphics engine
• This game might be too simple for the regular FPS crowd
Other considerations: Game contains battles with creatures and humanoids. No blood splatter or gore is shown. Dead monsters evaporate once looted.