Drakan: Order of the Flame is best described by one word: Breathtaking. Upon hearing of the concept for Drakan, I couldn't wait to try it. When the demo was released, I downloaded it immediately and awaited the full release. I was not disappointed in the least!
As a fan of the Dragonlance series, I had long dreamt of a game in which I'd be able to mount a dragon and embrace the skies. While Drakan is not affiliated with the Dragonlance series, the whole flying-on-a-dragon theme is common.
Arokh, the dragon, makes the game unique and revolutionary. Soaring magnificent above rivers, and lush fields, while combating airborne and ground-based enemies above, is truly an experience like none other. Having the ability to rise thousands of feet above the ground, and then dive upon a hapless Wartock in seconds bears a fiendish, unique glee.
Rynn's adventures, on foot, are reminiscent of Tomb Raider and aren't as innovative as travelling atop Arokh. In fact, Rynn was added as an afterthought. She is the typical heroine in video games: busty, beautiful, and witty. The most interesting fact is that Rynn appears to be super-human in some respects. She can parade about frozen environments wearing a simply leather outfit without fear of frostbite. As well, her physique is so hard, that it shows through whatever type of armor she is wearing: even chainmail! While playing as Rynn was enjoyable, it was nothing really special. Most of the time, she was charged with a task (kill this, and I'll give you this. Go there, do this, and I'll give you directions) which seems relatively mundane for someone charged with dispatching evil. One thing that has always bothered me about games where you're saving the world: people aren't extremely co-operative and eager to assist.
The graphics, and environments in Drakan are nothing short of beautiful. Rising far up above the land on the dragon, and then diving towards the ground is a fluid, marvelous experience. The game looks amazing, and the environments are truly immersive. One problem I had was with the way mouths did not move with the voices. In fact, mouths did not move at all. In a game as pleasing as Drakan, I was baffled as to why they didn't make faces more expressive, and more than just one image.
Another point to bring up is the voice acting, which is awful. Voice acting is like putting paving stones down. If you do it right, the end result is impressive. If you do it wrong, everyone points and laughs. Everyone should be pointing at Drakan and laughing for the bad voices, but thankfully the voice acting: gameplay ratio is swung in the gameplay's favour greatly. You'll suffer through the voices because Drakan is so darn good!
In closing, Drakan is a must-buy for anyone interested in medieval fantasy, swords, babes with cleveage, or Dungeons and Dragons, this is for you!
Graphics: Breathtaking and beautiful, Drakan's innovative dragonflight is not only attractive in name, but in looks. I still marvel at how good swooping from a mountain top to brush the ground looks. With my Viper V770, I can enable 32-bit colour.. one word: Amazing!
Sound: Sound in Drakan is.. average. The music is something you'll easily forget, and the voice acting is horrible.
Enjoyment: While I found Rynn's missions to be monotonous at times, riding dragonback on Arokh made it all okay! Rynn's aspect isn't bad persay, it's just very... normal.
Replay Value: It really depends on your mood. Like most action/puzzle games, I generally don't feel like going back and playing through all the puzzles again. Replay-wise, this is a title that you'll find yourself sitting around craving out of the blue. The multiplayer aspect gives it a whole new universe of play though.
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Blade of Darkness, Devil Inside, The, Dark Earth, Dino Crisis, Deathtrap Dungeon, Darkened Skye, Heretic 2, Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr
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