A little French 3D « Hack’n slash » 😉
Title : Darkstone.
Genre : Action – Role playing game.
Date : 1999.
Developpers: Delphine Software.
Between two Diablo, that many consider as the reference of the “Hack’ n slash”, brings out this very nice little game. As usual, the world is in danger and only the player is capable of saving it… There’s wil have dragon to the menu this evening;-)
In this case, we are fighting a necromancer, Draak who sows the terror in the kingdom of Uma. Obviously, the latter can transform into dragon. The player is thus in charge of overcoming it by getting back 7 crystals to reconstitute the Orb of Time. Of the classic for the regular customers of the genre “D&D ” (Donjons & Dragons)!
The village is the center of the adventure. We get back the quests there, we buy and we sell of the equipment, the potions, spells, etc. To note that his state changes with the progress of the main quest. Small killing detail: by giving a room to the band onto the central place, it interprets you the “Soundtrack” of the game 🙂
The hero is not alone in its quest and the adventure is made with two characters, in the choice among 4 classic classes of the medieval – fantasy: warrior, magician, thief and priest. The combination both allows to adopt various types of play, what is very interesting for one “Hack’ n slash” whose ” replayability” one of the main characteristics is.
The basis of the game is relatively simple. We strike, we launch spells, we pull arrows, all this to exterminate the troops of naughty monsters which populate the various levels and the donjons. Of the classic for the “Hack’ n slash”.
The player controls a single character at the same time. It is thus necessary to watch the second because the artificial intelligence is not what we make of better. To note that it is possible to play several in network, what is relatively pleasant 🙂
The player will thus have to chain 7 quests to reconstitute the Orb of Time. These 7 quests are randomly selected among 24 possible. Difficult to make two identical adventures in these conditions 😉 Well, it is always a question of collecting objects or of killing monsters, but from time to time it is also a question of activating mechanisms of opening!
The inventory is classic: protections, weapons, potions, jewels, backpack, characteristics (and yes, we take up levels, as in every “D&D like ” who respects himself). Level equipment, the principle is also simple as Diablo: we always look for the best and the most adapted to its class. Here also, “loots” (equipment got back on monsters) is generated in a random way.
All in all, it is of Diablo, less fervent at the level of the clicks. But where we distance ourselves most from this illustrious model, it is the 3D. Here it is very well done, even if the models are little detailed. The effects of the spells are very nice, but especially the management of the camera is “with first-class attention”. We can give her the angle and the zoom adapted to the situation in a rather simple way. Very pleasant 😉
A very good 3D “Hack’ n slash” which really brings something compared with the 2D games of the same period. Balanced well, dynamic and funny, the aspect hero team is not insignificant one. Simple, effective and stable. In brief, a very good entertainment.
See you soon for new adventures!
You will take a last a blow of MEUPORG (these french journalists… Whether it is on paper or on-line, role-playing games, it is their thing 😉 )?
Title: Dark Ages of Camelot.
Developpers: EA Mythics.
I caught the virus MMORPG in 2002 further to a contagion in my circle of acquaintances, and there, it’s the drama! The dumping in Dark Ages of Camelot ( DAoC) will last 2 years.
Who made this attachment? At first, what was determining, the aspect medieval-fantastic role playing game and the enthusiasm of my joint roommate 😉 Then, the community, that it’s on-line or in my circle of acquaintances. Finally and as usual in my case… One of the kingdoms was stuffed with knights:-)
The game is built around the confrontation of three kingdoms:
- Albion, the kingdom of the Knights of the Round Table;
- Hibernia, the kingdom of the Celtic and the druids;
- Midgard, the kingdom of the warriors Vikings.
Every kingdom have a zone dedicated to the game “player versus environment ” (or PvE), while border areas are dedicated to the game “realm versus realm” (or RvR). Finally, the last zone, Darkness Falls, accessible to the three kingdoms, opened only to the kingdom with most forts under control in RvR zones.
Thus at the beginning, we choose her kingdom, we build her character by choosing its race and her class (profession) among one of very numerous available. then heading for the adventure. Of course, my first choice concerned to Paladin, prototype of the “tank” and light group support.
Ah yes… In all directed MMORPG group, every character has a role and a very precise speciality:
- The “tank” attracts and occupies the opponents while taking the knocks;
- The “damage dealer” concentrates on a target by making a maximum of damages (contact or distance);
- The “support” worries to keep her group alive;
- The “crowd control” manage the ennemies via paralyses or effects of embarrassment.
According to the games and the classes, a role can be distributed on several classes either a class holds a single role…
The three kingdoms are very different. Albion is green and rainy. Midgard is dark and covered with snow. As for Hibernia, it is bright and green. The weather passes by according to a cycle in the daytime, there is bad weather according to the seasons (rain, snows, fog, etc.). Every kingdom is very “alive”.
In the kingdom of its choice, the main part of the adventure lay in the fulfillment of quests and in the expeditions in group in donjons or open zones corresponding to the level of the characters. We travel a lot 😉
Most of the time, it is necessary to be several, what means finding or forming a group. It is generally simpler when the caracters are of the same “guild” (grouping of players, sharing a blazon, a communication channel), etc. Guilds and alliances group the main part of the social relationships of the game.
At high level, it is necessary to leave in several groups to face immense enemies or reach the inmost depths of a high level donjon to acquire equipment and raw materials to make weapons, armors, etc.
The small business sector (or craft) is an important aspect of the game (at least in the period or I played) to obtain a homogeneous equipment allowing to be the most effective possible. Next to it, were introduced artefacts or objects more powerful than all that the craft could give.
The big key point of DAoC, it is the RvR (for whom it was outdone as better MMO PvP and RvR of decade, in 2011). The players of the various kingdoms are so in confrontation in border areas.
The RvR is basically a castle conquest game. To conquer it the largest number allows to open Darkness Fall to its kingdom (rich zones) and to weaken the defenses of castles containing the relics of the kingdom. To capture the relics during confrontations of hundreds players and to return them in his own camp allows the kingdom to obtain bonuses not insignificant.
Furthermore, to overcome opponents in RvR allows to acquire additional capacities, making more powerful the player.
Furthermore, the RvR leans on the conception “Rock, Paper, Scissors” classes. Each is strong against an other but weak in front of an other one. The construction of a group must be thus “balanced” if we want a minimum of efficiency.
The team game is very technical, each having its role to be held. At high level of control, a team of 8 good gamers (8 being the maximum group size) can overcome in a few minutes of a “bus” of about forty less experimented players (not optimized groups).
One of the big strengths of DAoC have been to supply regularly new contents and objectives for the high-level players (50 being the maximum).
Donjons and additional territories with new extensions, with new skills, with new classes, with new capacities to acquire, the possibility of developing its own house, the revision of the RvR game, the graphic revision, the progressive balancing of the classes, etc.
In the end, the player finds regularly something new to make, of new challenges to find, whether it is in PvE or in RvR, so allowing the coexistence of several players’ genres (roleplay, crafts, RvR, etc.).
Except the big events (relics, “raids” on powerful donjons / monsters), events were also set up on the servers. Bringing nothing permanent in game, they allowed the players to live a little bit of particular story.
The game was not exempt from defects:
Numerous bugs, imbalance between races, classes and kingdoms bringin bitternesses as in many MMO and as in life. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence 🙂
The most irritating part of the game, except the cheaters, it is certainly the behavior to exclude certain classes of the groups just because they were not useful or not optimal…
DAoC allied rich PvE to high level and intensive RvR… And enormous possibilities in term of adventure. All this allows to meet people, to share experiences of game and possibly to meet close by.
Moreover, I would never thank enough Kunn, Kortac, Uranium, Crawl, Wolfine, Angix, Laen, Thuwan, Nycau, Gastel, Gwenda and many others for all the good moments which we shared during two years in Albion’s Kingdom, on the Orcanie server 🙂
See you soon for new adventures!
Title : Fallout.
Genre : Role playing game.
Date : 1997.
Editor : Interplay.
« War, war never changes… »
A post apocalyptic universe built on the ruins of a retro-futuristic world, based on a fictional American culture and the science of the 50s, references to classics, well built role playing game and a good scenario… For that to ask furthermore?
The nuclear fire ravaged the surface of the planet and the last survivors took refuge in fallout shelters ( Vault). A few decades later, a technical problem (breakdown of the water recycling) arises in the Vault 13. The “avatar” of the player is indicated to go out and find something to repair the device before water supply runs out.
The player is thus going to discover an apocalyptic world (Wasteland), a desert filled with survivors and mutants (Mad Max?). In this world mostky “adult contents”, not deprived of black humor and where the law “of the stronger” rules, we meet drugs, prostitution, slavery, fights, etc. The player will learn to survive, to protect himself from radiations and follow the various tracks to find an extra chip. There live one of the main strengths of this game: a coherent, complete universe, in which the player is almost free.
In this world, the resources are precious. For any weapon it is necessary to find its ammunitions. Sometimes, they can make rare… The same goes for the care and the protections against poisons or radiations. But there is not only fight, the player can also discuss, steal, trade… The system is rather complete and opened enough. The player can so choose between the best (help everybody) and the worst…
In this adventure, the player will not still be alone. He can be accompanied with a dog, Canigou, who will accompany him in the adventures; even appoint some team-mates. Well, we cannot make it much and they tend not to progress… But it’s better than nothing.
In the court of his journey, the player gets in touch with the Brotherhood of the Steel and has the possibility of entering it. Its purpose is to find the technologies of former days and to use them to offer a better future to the survivors. Big armors… Big weapons… Chivalrous spirit… You will have understood, I hang on 😉
Having found the chip, it is sent to fight a mysterious “Master” who raises an army of “Super Mutant”. Having overcome the threat, it’s banished from the Vault 13 so that its new knowledge do not perturb the community. Nice 😀
System of game:
The system of display is in isometric 2D (pre-calculated perspective). It’s not the most beautiful, but it’s widely sufficient to take advantage of the game.
The system of role playing game is based on characteristics (definitions of the primary capacities, as the points of life, the actions), skill levels (to carry out actions) and particular features (specificity of the system, they allow “to personalize” the character).
The inventory allows to equip the character in armor, left hand and right hand weapons. It’s classic, simple.
The travel in a locality takes place in real time. The game falls over in turn by turn during the fights. The fight takes place alternately, according to the order of initiative of the participants. Every action (movement, attack, inventory) consumes a number of “points of action”. When these points are exhausted, the turn comes to an end. This system allows very tactical fights but can turn out heavy in the presence of a large number of protagonists.
The great journeys are made on the world map. Small defect, the number of localities is not rather important and we make the tour “fast”.
A game with a very rich contents, with a big freedom of movement and resolution of action, an impression of fragility and precariousness which almost never leaves you, a good story occupying you up to the end, the possibility of sorting out a little things around one (or worsen them, according to its goodwill) and casually often tactical fights!
Another fascinating game which occupied quite a lot of my spare time 😀
See you soon for new adventures!
Well before the computing, their games put me to English (and still there’s a lot of work) 😉
Since young, I was always interested in mockups, in science fiction universe (Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Galactica, Albator, Ulysses 31) and fantasy (Lord of Rings, Willow, Arthurian legend). While I was still adolescent (in 1991), I discovered the Games Workshop universe through three games:
Space Crusade, a board game taking place in a hostile vessel (space hulk), inspired by the Warhammer 40k universe;
Blood Bowl, a simulation of fantasy “American” football;
Warhammer, a classical medieval-fantasy role playing game.
These games titillated my imagination and led me to immerse in these various universes, to play various games, to paint and to collect models. It also allowed me to meet new friends. At that time, the main part of the writings being in English, it forced me to take it more seriously (in particular Warhammer 40k “Rogue Trader”, 1987).
The Games Workshop universe is very dark and violent. They have an proper style, a very strong identity which developed over the years by synthesizing science fiction classics, of the fantasy, the history or still the myths and the legends.
The brand articulates around two universes, Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. These universes are declined in two big games of eponym trays and a multitude of specialist games (Blood Bowl, Space Hulk, Necromunda, Inquisitor, Epic, Man O’ War or Battlefleet Gothic). The brand also exploits the “Lord of the Ring” licence.
Flying over the principle of the games:
The board games allow to set up confrontations between two players (or more according to scenarios). Every player collects her army / team / gang on the basis of a point cost, the total of which does not have to exceed a certain value (defined beforehand). Every figurine has an appropriate value corresponding to its characteristics and its basic equipment, which it is possible to complete according to some options.
A party lasts a number of turns. A turn corresponding to the sequence of various phases for each of the players: movement, shooting, hand-to-hand fight, magic / psy (for the battle games). The resolution of the actions is based on dice result (generally in 6 faces) compared with a difficulty (function of the characteristics).
At the end of a defined number of turns, the winner is indicated, generally according to a score, reflecting the objectives reached.
Simple no 😉
The sinews of war of these board games are collecting models to build the armies which are in confrontation. The general conventions are that figurines represent the choices of troops, including in their options of Equipment… Yes, Games Workshop is before any a seller of figurines 😉
A consequent time is dedicated to assemble them, even to modify them, then to paint them according to plans corresponding to her army. The techniques of painting are numerous and often explained in the monthly magazine of the brand: White Dwarf.
There is moreover an official competition, Golden Demon, which takes place during Games Day, grouping of the fans of Games Workshop games.
Warhammer is a universe transposing the Earth in a medieval-fantasy period. It resumes historic elements (Middle Ages, Revival), incorporates it elements of the classic fantasy (Elfs, Dwarfs, Orcs, magic) and of legends and myths (Arthurian legends, vampires). An originality is the presence of the Chaos, the powerful strength dedicated to the destruction of this world.
The game stages battles whrer good-sized armies are in confrontation. These battles can be isolated or become integrated into campaigns or be reconstructions of big events taking place during the ceaseless wars that are engaged the various nations. Extensions allow even to lead siege.
This universe, although at war perms, leave a certain place for interactions between certain races, thus to role playing game and to fantasy stories in the same vein as the Lord of Rings or Donjons and Dragons… But brutal 😀
Warhammer 40k is an (apocalyptic) vision of the future of the Earth in the 41th millennium. We find the same elements as in Warhammer, but without family ties (Human beings, Dwarfs, Elfs / Eldars, Orks, Chaos) and many other futuristic elements there. The peculiarity comes here from Warp, a parallel universe populated with devils allowing fast interstellar journeys, although dangerous. For the rest, as describes by Games Workshop: “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.” Everything is said 😉
The game himself stages battles where two camps or more are in confrontation. These battles are either isolated, or integrated into a campaign (chain of various battles), or in reconstructions of big events. The size goes of the confrontation of patrols to the large battle. It is even possible, with certain extensions, to lead urban wars, gigantic battles or campaigns to the planetary scale.
This universe is in permanent conflict and its factions are extremist as one pleases… What makes it very rich at the level of conflict but limited at the level of the interactions… Therefore, what can get the most closer to the role playing game (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch) turns around Imperium (human beings).
Space Marines are a strong image of the universe of Warhammer 40k and a full army. Futuristic warlike monks, genetically modified and indoctrinated, they are an elite force dedicated to the protection of Impérium. They keep however a certain independence face to face of “politics” power and act according to a code dating of the emergence of the human empire.
Organized as “Chapitres” of thousand warriors, restricted in their heavy armors, over equiped, they live in fortresses of which they go out only to go to defend the humanity of the dangers which threaten it.
Since the beginning, they are my preferred, very certainly because they are the image of the futuristic knights, the hero without fears and inflexible 😀
Games Workshop produces complex and convenient universes not only in board games, in the “literature” (Black Library) but also in the video games. We count among the adaptations: Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Firewarrior, Final Liberation, Chaos Gate, Warhammer (several episodes, of which Mark of Chaos and Battle March), Blood Bowl, Dawn of War, Warhammer 40k: Squad Command, Warhammer Online, Warhammer 40k: Space Marines… And it’s not finished!
Having stopped board games, I always appreciate to paint a model or to assume the role of Space Marine in a video game (there is no denying, I love the futuristic knights). It’s not generally very fine, but that lets off steam 😉
See you soon for new adventures!