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Monday, November 19, 2007
Delving Into The Dungeons Of Eschalon: Book 1
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

RPG Watch has conjured up a hands-on preview of Eschalon: Book 1, Basilisk Games upcoming RPG inspired by classic games in the genre. Among other things the preview examines the game's character generation system, environment, and unique combat system.

The first thing that strikes you is the production values – this is a beautifully crafted game that doesn’t just set a new benchmark for indie CRPGs, it would be perfectly at home on retail shelves if it wasn’t for the fact that 2D games have been long abandoned. From the main menu on, the presentation is stellar, with a crisp and elegant interface that’s both easy to use and attractive, clean graphics and solid sound. It’s clear considerable thought has been put into the interface and controlling the game and there are many AAA projects that don’t do anywhere near as well. The only downside is the disappointing resolution, which is fixed at 800x600 – although you can play in a window.

Character creation is a key part of the game, despite only being able to play a human male. There are eight primary attributes, divided into physical (strength, dexterity, endurance, speed) and mental (intelligence, wisdom, perception, concentration). A starting set of stats is rolled and a further 15 points can be distributed. There are also five origins, as well as five axioms and five classes to choose from.

The origins confer different attribute bonuses (Nor’landers, for example, are hardy folk and gain +2 Endurance and +1 Concentration), while axioms are essentially belief systems, such as “Atheistic” or “Virtuous”. Eschalon has an interesting approach with axioms – virtuous characters automatically receive the bless spell without requiring the normal divination skill but they are more susceptible to evil curses. Atheists, on the other hand, don’t believe in supernatural bunk so they are immune to curses but also miss out on bless and healing from a friendly priest.
The PC version of Eschalon: Book 1 is available now, with a Mac version currently planned to reach gamers before the end of the Year.

From the Basilisk Forums:

I can tell you that the Mac version is basically done. We will get a few people to test the Mac version this next week and we should have it ready to go before Christmas (remember, the Mac version shares 99.9% the same code base, so any bugs fixed during the PC test were fixed on the Mac as well). The Linux demo will be out soon too.
Click over to the links below to read the rest of the preview and learn more about the game.

RPGWatch: Eschalon Book 1 Preview
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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