If you're put off by negativity, consider yourself warned. What you are about to see (or read) is not a pretty sight. It would be nice to say that Legends of Valour is the type of game from which legends are born; unfortunately that is not the case. Although slick looking on the outside, the inner workings of the game are basically rusty and corroded. It does have some good aspects, such as the well designed character generator, extremely innovative and comprehensive manual (too bad it's not part of the game itself), a nicely written background story and several noteworthy locations spread throughout the game world. What it doesn't have is the elusive and intangible merit of good game play and entertainment. Your character arrives in the city of Mitteldorf all alone and that's pretty much the way he stays throughout the game. There is no significant character persona development here although plenty of role playing elements (attributes and skills) develop as the game progresses. But at no time do you feel like your on-screen alter-ego is anything more than, well, an on-screen character in a fantasy role playing game. In an environment and game world as diverse and large as the one in Legends of Valour, the addition of a few party members to share fortunes, equipment and experiences might have done wonders. Mitteldorf is without doubt a most unfriendly place as witnessed by the ever vigilant hair-triggered guards that will throw you in jail at the least provocation (even for benign activities like peering through windows). There is a healthy number of townspeople to interact with and an equal number of unhealthy attitudes. Most are reticent to engage in meaningful dialogue and exude rudeness. If variety is the spice of life, then life in Mitteldorf is decidedly bland with so many folks so similar in appearance that it makes you question their ancestry.
But, those are mainly cosmetic complaints. What about game play, the guts? Simply put and not to put too fine a point on it, the game is uninspiring and dull with conversations to match. Although provided with an above ground mapping facility as well as a parchment-like fold out map included with the game (be prepared to mark on it since it is surprisingly devoid of notations), going underground turns into a tedious drudgery. Auto-mapping kicks in below ground but oddly the program doesn't save any of it, so if you really want a diagram of the myriad subterranean passages, tunnels and dead ends you'll need graph paper and a sharp pencil to keep track of it (that's right, copy it longhand!). As many times as you're likely to end up in the local pokey, even though jails are not intended to be exotic locales, those found in the game remind you why the word "apathy" exists. Combat leaves you with a "so-what" feeling (you'll have to stifle those yawns during the altercation) and cut scenes (animations) are dreadful. After playing for a prolonged period of time, one word sums up the game: boring.
Graphics: Uninspired. Plain, dull. Game would be improved with the elimination of animated scenes.
Sound: Even more uninspired and uninspiring.
Enjoyment: There are some really awesome locations to stumble into during game play but far too few and far between to be a saving grace. Character interactions have a blasť feel and it's possible to lose track of why you're adventuring in the first place. Without character personality, immersion into the plot becomes problematical and interest wanes considerably after the sameness of in-town encounters builds to boredom.
Replay Value: One character, few optional choices (except in the area of initial character generation) and the same story regardless of the main character bode ill for replay value.
The city of Mittledorf is in chaos - an evil cousin of the King is oppressing the people. Your cousin Sven is not evil though, so when he disappears, you head to Mitteldorf to try to track him down.
Legends of Valour is a role-playing game using a similar movement system to Ultima Underworld. You walk through the world in real time, passing texture-mapped buildings. The complex gameworld is over a mile squared and includes 40 miles of underground tunnels, as well a thousands of characters getting on with their daily business.
When designing your character, you can customise his or her looks, and this affects your likelihood of being befriended or fought. To make any inroads into finding Sven, you will need to join professional Guilds and complete quests. You have spells available to you, but will need to acquire more as the game progresse
People who downloaded Legend of Valour have also downloaded:
Legend (a.k.a. Four Crystals of Trazere), Legend of Faerghail, Lord of The Rings 2: Two Towers, Lord of the Rings 1: Fellowship of the Ring, Lords of Doom, Legend of the Silver Talisman, Menzoberranzan, Mad Paradox
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