IMG Archives
Archives  Reviews  Summoner  



Publisher: GraphSim Entertainment    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Not Supported    CPU: G3 @ 300 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 800 MB    8x CD-ROM

July 1, 2001 | Chris Barylick

Click to enlarge
A point-and-click interface only makes learning combat easier. Players click where they want to go as well as what they want to attack. The game rewards players with additional damage against their enemies for sneaking up on their opponents and attacking them from the side or back, a skill which comes in handy later if your party is attacking an advanced enemy and fighting from all sides.

The combat system is a bit strange in the sense that it's not the Diablo II system that Mac users have become accustomed to. Yes, a lot of the melee combat is hack and slash, but there's a sense of reality at work here. Players can't simply have Joseph or his party members run up to an enemy, hit the mouse 528 times and expect to see the enemy hacked to pieces. The initial combat system is almost turn based, Joseph taking a swing, the enemy taking a swing, the game determining which unit landed a blow and who was able to dodge the attack. This is where the Chain Attack system comes into play, and for each successful link in the chain, a hot-item will appear over your character's head allowing you to choose the next attack if the first one landed successfully. This system becomes crucial as the game progresses and adds a cool new element to what would otherwise be fairly typical combat.

Party combat is another factor of the game and incorporates interesting tactics into the task of fighting opponents. Simply attack the enemy and the other members of your party will join the attack. Summoner allows players to easily switch between party members, something that leads to new options. For example, a few party members can directly engage the enemy at close range while others reposition themselves to attack more vulnerable parts or use distance attacks/magic spells to make the battle go more smoothly.

Spell casting in Summoner is both easy to learn and nothing short of beautiful. Simply click on the Cast icon at the bottom of the screen, choose your magic spell and highlight the character or enemy you want to effect. Even mundane low-level spells such as Heal and Cure spells are beautiful while higher-end spells such as creature summoning are nothing short of breathtaking. Summon a Golem or creature of your choice and just sit back to watch the sparks fly, the graphics engine showing the true power of textured layers and OpenGL.

Multiplayer is a bit different in Summoner, following a cooperative function over the standard competitive model used in many games. The game supports up to 4 players in cooperative gameplay that lacks the single-player storyline. Summoner supports TCP/IP for play over LANs or over the Internet. The multiplayer options function well without any significant degradation in gameplay even over a 56K dial-up connection.


Archives  Reviews  Summoner