Welcome to Sudeki - a world where good battles evil, the light god attempting to banish the pesky dark god from the lands. However, the light god is having a few problems with the big bad dark god, so he has to call on some heroes to help bash some sense into his wicked counterpart. Blah-de-blah, etc. You are thus flung headlong into a storyline that soars into action with the alacrity of wet tissue. Saving the world of Sudeki is an enjoyable experience, don't get me wrong, but to really savor the heights that the narrative has to offer, you have to persevere through many hours of idly pleasant but seemingly unfocused storyline. About halfway through the game, things really start coming together though and will draw you in effortlessly right up to the very end. The clock reminding me accusingly that it has gone 3am is testament to that fact.
Gameplay consists simply of either fighting your way through areas, or working out puzzles in order to progress. Fighting is sadly one of the game's weakest points. You usually have all four of the main characters in every battle and you can switch between these at will, which is nice. Tal and Buki are melee fighters, so they get up close and personal to baddies, while Ailish and Elco use ranged attacks, with magic spells and ranged weapons respectively.
When in control of Tal or Buki, the camera is in a third-person perspective and you assault enemies by using your two attack buttons to create various combos. The main problem is with the aiming, which is ridiculously unwieldy from the viewpoint used, so accuracy and skill come a distinct second place to brainless button mashing. The other deficiency is that combat only uses three-button combos, which are extremely easy to master. So although you can't aim your fighters very well, it is insanely easy to pull off giant whirling attacks of ludicrous dexterity.
When using your ranged warriors, Ailish and Elco, the view changes to a first-person perspective, which is nice but ultimately still just a little gawky. While the AI of your bizarre quartet is generally bearable, all too often they will get themselves entangled within the clutches of the enemy hordes, necessitating swift rescue actions by yourself to save their sorry hides.
Sudeki is pretty much a linear experience right the way through. The puzzles you come across throughout your travels are pleasant but a bit simplistic. These puzzles often rely on your characters using one of their special abilities, such as Tal's strength or Elco's jetpack, but the game ensures you are rarely left in doubt as to when you need to use each action. Although it is a nice change not to keep getting stuck in frustration, as some titles are notoriously famed for insisting upon, it all seems just a bit too clear-cut and not quite taxing enough.
It must be said that trekking the glorious landscapes of Sudeki and gazing in awe at the spectacular vistas it ceaselessly streams into your retinas is a remarkably pleasing experience. Although gaudy and exuberant, the graphics are absolutely top-notch, with excellent texturing and plenty of impressive special effects for magic spells and the like. Animation though is sadly a little stilted; your characters walk as though they've been stung on the posterior by a wasp.
The soundtrack accompanying you on your travels is reasonably varied, with a few particularly memorable pieces and adds a sense of atmosphere to the locations you visit. The lands you travel are packed with unique NPCs, most of which have something to say to you and many of whom converse at length, offering quests, services, or just chatting about the weather. Excellently, virtually all in-game dialogue is voice-acted and with a variety of accents and variations, even if some of them were patently never admitted to acting school.
The main story of Sudeki will likely be completed by the hardcore in little more than fifteen hours. Completing all the side-quests adds to the lifespan a little, but since these feel a bit hollow and frequently fail to reap satisfactory results, it is sometimes just as well to avoid them.
Sudeki feels like a lightweight RPG. Yes, it certainly is stylish, but it never approaches the complexity or depth of Morrowind or similarly vast titles. Look upon this as an introduction to RPGing, or else a tasty filler to keep you occupied until the next big title comes along. It's a lot of fun, certainly, just not a lasting or ultimately fulfilling diversion.
People who downloaded Sudeki have also downloaded:
Summoner, Titan Quest, SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, Star Wars: Galaxies - An Empire Divided, Siege of Avalon, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Seal of Evil, SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars
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