It's a nice place to visit, but do you really want to live here? That question pops into your mind as through your first-person perspective you get a look at some of the devilish demons lurking in the shadows of your newly inherited Winthrop mansion. The Legacy: Realm of Terror is an above average excursion into the dark recesses that invade every haunted house and is strengthened considerably by the moody depiction of the otherworldly creatures who inhabit the mansion. While the artwork and graphics don't approach Giger-esque quality, they are nonetheless well done and the atmosphere gloomily drips a surreal and foreboding environment.
The game is first and foremost a role playing game but there is a definite link to the elements that make a good adventure game. The story is old, a haunted mansion filled with decaying and decrepit ghosts and Hell-born denizens, but the presentation by the designers puts new life in the old theme. Enhanced by solid graphics, good sound effects and an appropriately creepy soundtrack, the game is really eerie when played in a dark room with earphones plugged in. Though unusual for a role playing game, the designers decided to stick with only one on-screen character for the player to control so distractions of fending for four or six party members is eliminated. Indeed, part of the charm or appeal of the game is this one-person aspect as your character receives the full brunt of the on-screen activities. Attributes include strength, dexterity, stamina, health, knowledge and willpower, with the latter two being somewhat unusual requirements but in this case perfectly justified and integral to the character's persona. The use of magic in the game reminds one of conjurers and pointy-hatted wizards but in truth contains some nice level headed offensive, defensive (protection), mysterious and enhancing-type spells. Rest, food, reasoning capability, meditation and experience all impact on character development during the game. A large number of items will be found while exploring and almost all of them are in some way needed to propel the story along. Unfortunately, you can only carry a limited number of objects or items at one time so figuring out what is needed and when is an added dimension of your character's dilemma. In some games this practice is annoying but the manner it is used here simply complements the action.
The mouse-based interface in The Legacy: Realm of Terror couldn't be any more easy to use or intuitive. Game play is smooth and the various elements of the game mesh together in a very coherent and satisfactory way. Plenty of secret rooms and hallways combine with some wonderfully designed gruesome and grisly locations to sharply contrast with the otherwise normal haunted house interior, thus making them even more startling. Customizable, collapsible and movable game windows that include a character window, mapping (a great feature in the game), viewing and message windows and movement icons that allow for configuration of the on-screen sectional display to personal preferences rounds out this entertaining and spooky game.
Graphics: Nice atmospheric artwork, well rendered 3-D creatures, moody environment -- all add up to a pretty picture.
Sound: Solid sound effects and music.
Enjoyment: Immersive environment keeps you wanting to know what's around the next corner. Only fault is the sometimes erratic behavior of a few of the denizens but considering they may be crazy anyway it may be excusable. All things considered, the game provides an interesting and entertaining romp through a haunted house and grounds.
Replay Value: Once through pretty much negates replay value.
The entire game, in a nutshell: Enter a 3-D haunted house to do battle and out-wit your long dead ancest
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