Amulets and Armor is a mission-based role-playing game. The game comes with a number of missions of varying difficulty levels that the player can take in whatever order you choose, or even do over again. They each have four-five chapters, in which the player basically explores a dungeon, kill a lot of enemies, grab some new loot, and find the exit.
The game comes in full, textured 3D, and the engine does allow the player to go 'up and down', as in over a spot where you were before. Enemies and items in the game are 2D sprites.
"I have a job for you," declares the man sitting next to you in the pub.
"Me?" You say.
"Are you an adventurer?"
Eying his royal clothing you respond, "Yes..."
Your first quest begins with this discussion. The main menu of the game is very simple, you have the list of players, and you can either Create a new player, Load, Delete, or Exit the game. You can also set a password and see some details about the player (Such as the attributes). The interface is confusing at first, but you will get used to it very quickly thanks to the Journal. The Journal is a list of information and notes you collected during your adventures. The controls are very easy, and you can use the mouse for moving around the game (I suggest that, because when using the keyboard you move rather slowly).
The game is trying to be a combination of RPG and FPS game. While not playing (Doing a quest) you have access to the shop, bank, inn, and the list of quests. You have many types of heroes you can choose. A paladin, a mage, even a sailor, and many more.
Once you begin to play, you will be very disappointed. The graphics are really horrible. Gameplay is really fun, but the graphics manage to ruin a big part of it. The game is 3D, but all the objects and enemies are 2D. It's hard to see items on the floor, or understand where a cliff wall ends. There are many trees all over, which will simply block your view as well your path, and are very frustrating.
Enemies (Elves, on the first level) shoot arrows, which can be easily avoided if seen. The problem is, whenever you get close to them (At least when they are ranged fighters), their AI is simply to run away and shoot arrows (From their back...). There is a nice variety of weapons, items, potions, and food. You cannot carry too much items in your backpack, as it will slow you down. You have to eat and drink every while, else you become weaker.
The sounds and music are ok, but sometimes can be annoying.
Overall, the game is really enjoyable, and with lots of quests for you to choose and you can choose your own way of which ones to play. Graphics are really bad, at least for the year (1997), but if you can handle 'em, the game is really great. I give the game the score of 3.
Amulets and Armor is an excellent RPG that suffered the same fate as Wizards & Warriors: a game that has been in development far too long that it fell out of the technology curve when released. Similar to D.W. Bradley's ill-fated masterpiece, Amulets & Armor boasts many innovative features that would have been called "groundbreaking" if released just a few years earlier. Your quest: defeat 'big foozle' Exiguus the Necromancer deep in the catacombs below Castle Arius.
With a first-person perspective and somewhat pixellated VGA graphics, the game looks and feels similar to Bethesda's classic Daggerfall, but with a whole new angle: co-operative multiplayer gameplay. You can work alone, or as a team with up to 4 human players over your local IPX network or modem. With a large fantasy campaign that spans over 30 levels, 3 different runic spellcasting disciplines, 11 different character classes, and more than one hundred unique items, Amulets & Armor will immerse you for hours on end-especially if you play with friends in co-op mode. Death-match play -probably the first in an RPG-is also available if you enjoy working against friends more than with them ;)
With an excellent spellcasting system, intuitive interface, and innovative multiplayer options, Amulets & Armor ranks among one of the most obscure and underrated RPGs of all time, and it was a shame that the game was never marketed properly: it was released only as shareware, and sold less than 100 copies during its time according to this very interesting article at TheCan.org written by one of the designers.
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