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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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Eschalon: Book I Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

My Game Company has posted a new review of Eschalon: Book I, Basilisk Games old school single player RPG. The game is inspired by classic role-playing games of the past and sends players across massive outdoor environments and deep into dozens of sprawling dungeons in a quest to uncover the mystery of their character's identity.

The story in this game is really something. You begin with no memory of who you are, where you are, or how you came to be there. This means you will be learning about the world of Eschalon along with your character, which adds a lot of realism to the adventure. The only clue you have regarding your past is contained in the sealed note shown in the screenshot above. This note provides the guidance and direction you need to get started. As you play through the game, you will discover that things aren't always what they seem. I was surprised by a number of clever plot twists that I didn't see coming. The story is epic in scope and very well-written indeed.

The game itself is largely non-linear. You can play along with the story, or you can go off on your own adventure. The game world is massive, with lots of places to explore and things to do. You have the freedom to travel in any direction, although you have to be careful you don't wander into places that require a more experienced adventurer. I sometimes stumbled into situations where I was hopelessly outnumbered or confronted with an enemy who was much too powerful for me, and had to beat a hasty retreat. The nice thing, though, is that your character grows and develops as you gain experience, so you can always return later and try again.

One of the many things I really enjoyed about this game was all the attention to detail. I could tell that this game was a labor of love on the part of the developer. There were a lot of little features and minor details that resulted in some pleasantly surprising and very satisfying gameplay. For example, I was looking for a place called Bordertown, and as I was getting closer, I ran across a group of bandits. I was outnumbered with only partial health and no healing potions, so I decided to run. The bandits pursued. I ran in the direction I was already going, hoping to find the town and a shop I could duck into to buy some healing potions. As I approached the town, I was surprised to see the townspeople rush out to intercept the bandits and start fighting them! In some games, the townspeople would just stand there while you were being killed, oblivious to what was happening. But not this game! This little detail made the game world feel so much more real and immersive. And I've had lots of other experiences like that too, where the game world just seems to come alive!
Head over to the link below to read the rest.

My Game Company: Eschalon Book I Review
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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