Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager is the sequel to Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, the first CRPG game in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dark Sun campaign setting. Wake of the Ravager incorporates some new elements introduced by the Dark Sun series to the basic AD&D rule set, as you continue the quest to defeat evil in the brutal Dark Sun universe.
Half-giants, Mul, and Thri-kreen are added to the normal mix, and clerics worship one of the elemental planes instead of deities, each with unique spell selection and equipment restrictions. A new class, the psionicist, uses mental abilities to generate spell-like effects, but due to the harsh conditions in the Dark Sun world, all begin with higher than normal attribute scores, with non-psionic characters receiving some rudimentary psionic skills.
Parties from Shattered Lands can be imported, or a new party of four created from scratch. The top down isometric view is used both for exploration and turn-based combat encounters, with the latter allowing for strategic battle planning (e.g., positioning fighters in the front and relegating weaker mages to the rear). Combat strategies that are impractical in many RPGs are possible, like casting a wall of stone to limit enemy movement.
Wake of the Ravager has an interesting and engaging storyline, a unique game world, and a potentially strategic combat system due to the addition of psionics. Unfortunately, the problems outweigh the good points. Foremost are the "upgraded" graphics, which are no more than magnified sprites from Shattered Lands, about double in size (including flaws) with no improvements -- they're muddy looking, blocky, and ugly.
The graphical problems pale in comparison to the number of bugs, though, which crop up in some form or other every time you play. Roughly half of the sessions end in a computer crash, and several bugs render the game not winnable. Hardcore fans of the Dark Sun setting may want to follow the story, but the aggravating and incessant bugs will be too much for casual gamers.
OVERALL RATING: 3
Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager follows from Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, taking place on the barren burning wasteland planet known as Athas. Characters from the first game can be imported. After defeating the Drajian Army in the first game, the party journeys to the recently liberated city of Tyr whose evil Sorcer-King Kalak was recently slain. Although freed from Kalak's Tyranny, Tyr is now defenseless against the ambition of the Dragon (Athas' resident Ultimate Evil). The Dragon sends his powerful undead general the Lord Warrior to Tyr to conquer it and prepare for his coming. The player's characters hook up with a rebel underground known as the Veiled Alliance and must oppose the Draxans and the Lord Warrior, all the while they are secretly being observed by the Dragon through his crystal ball thingy (he makes various nasty comments about their progress during the map load screens). The party soon learns that the Dragon may be the least of their worries, however, as it becomes apparent that the Lord Warrior has his own hidden agenda and intends to unleash a long dormant monster of immense destructive power upon the world.
People who downloaded Dark Sun 2: Wake of the Ravager have also downloaded:
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Eye of The Beholder 3, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, Eye of The Beholder 2, Eye of The Beholder 1, Pool of Radiance, Menzoberranzan, Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession
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