Dragon Lore is a decidedly mixed bag when individual components such as entertainment, playability and visual aspects are considered. Visually, 3-D effects are used to great advantage. Utilizing two distinct modes of 3-D gameplay, both first-person perspective for interactive scenes as well as third-person views, the game presents a fresh outlook. Unique art and an atmosphere nearly dripping with medieval overtones sets the mood for this adventure and runs the gamut from fierce beasts and docile cows to fanciful settings, characters and dark places. The unusual style of the drawing and artwork blends well with the central story of this mystic-like land. Playing Dragon Lore can be frustratingly difficult or supremely easy, depending on what action you happen to be engaged in. All fighting is done in real-time and requires a lot of practice in order to be able to get the timing right. You'll have to master the technique of aiming and select your targets with care. Not every character you meet in the game is a nasty. In fact, part of the strategy is to figure out who to talk with and who to fight -- certain characters can't be killed if you tried. Speaking of characters, there is a sizable number you'll have to interact with in order to accomplish your mission of eliminating the evil enchantment on the multi-level castle (nine floors), clearing your father's name and garnering favor and approval from a plurality of the remaining living dragon knights who can restore the family honor through re-admittance to the realm of knighthood status. Dragon Lore contains a fair amount of combat, some very difficult puzzles (these can be a minor annoyance because they aren't always solved with the most logical action or thinking) and the regular fare of searching for items, side quests and plot advancements.
Dragon Lore is certainly entertaining despite the minor flaws of occasional jerky movement, obscure puzzle solutions and a somewhat difficult fighting interface. An additional annoyance is the manipulation of objects. Depending on where you are standing when you drop or lose an item, the object may be very difficult to recover because it will "move" to an inaccessible location or just be hard to see. On the plus side, the musical score is superbly done with full orchestration quality. The game is fully loaded with speech (well done) and sound effects (limited) and adds significantly to gameplay enjoyment. What could be a major disappointment to some players is the relatively short length of time it takes to play Dragon Lore. In spite of time spent mastering combat techniques and struggling with time consuming puzzle solutions, the game can be completed in 10-20 hours by most moderately experienced gamers, even quicker by the experts. For a swift, fanciful romp in a realm of knights, beasties and adventure questing, Dragon Lore is a game that, while not the best of genre, doesn't embarrass itself with poor production.
Graphics: Well rendered 3-D world with simplistic, albeit mood enhancing, art and backgrounds. It doesn't conform to the usual expected "look" of most adventure games at the time of release. Interesting visual concepts.
Sound: A mix of well crafted music and speech tempered with adequate-to-weak sound effects.
Enjoyment: Depends on your expectations and open-minded acceptance of something a little bit different from the norm.
Replay Value: When it's over, it's over.
You are Werner Von Wallenrod, an orphan living in a realm lost in time. You leave to travel across these lands and meet fantastically surreal characters who help you in your quest for truth. Your father was assassinated by the Devil's Horseman, Haagen Von Kiakonov, has vowed to destroy everything you know and love. Just before your father died, he was able to entrust you with a farmer in the kingdom, but now the hour has arrived for you to take up arms and defend your country.
Inexperienced in the art of combat, you must prove yourself all throughout the voyage that awaits you.
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