A relevant beer ‘n’ pretzels role-playing game.
Revenant is a hybrid action/role-playing game from Eidos Interactive and developer Cinematrix. Set on the island of Akhuilon, Revenant is a linear game, with a fully scripted plot. You’re a Revenant, a not-too-long-ago dead guy brought back to life with the help of a wizard, and sent to exterminate a troublesome cult that’s risen beyond the mountains.
A number of features are built into the design to make things easier for Locke, your Revenant alter-ego. Backpack items and spells can be assigned to hotkeys (F1-F12) allowing for quick accessibility. Statistics, spell book, maps, and equipment are all easily toggled by an array of on-screen icons. Teleportation nodes are liberally scattered throughout the land, returning Locke to the castle for information and supplies without the need to retrace a path. Monsters respawn frequently too; in fact, any backtracking must allow for fighting many of the same battles repeatedly.
And fight you will. From the moment Locke pokes his nose outside the castle walls, he is assailed by a variety of spiders, dragons, undead, and magesâ€”to name but a few of the dozens of antagonists. While the story may move forward without any real input from the player, developing Locke into a lean, mean fighting machine is really what the game is all about. Locke can gain proficiency in a number of weapon classes (including bare hands), and periodically he may receive special training from weapons master Jong, who teaches battle techniques and combination moves. Locke will also learn magic, and as with weapons, the more he uses it, the better and stronger he becomes.
Within the game there are a few noteworthy issues. Throughout the game, a number of NPC’s indicate they will join with Locke in due time, but they never do. The automapping feature is difficult to read and provides only sparse information. Gold is much too plentiful, and magic too powerful, allowing for tactics that are remarkably simplistic for a game that focuses on combat. All but one of the marquee battles degenerate into a litany of hack-and-heal repetition.
In spite of these problems, Revenant does have its high points. There are no obtuse puzzles bringing the game to a full stop. Combat, while real-time, does not require great reflexes. And the dialog contains enough melodramatic overacting to make it entertaining. On the complexity scale, Revenant would make a good introductory game or, for more experienced players, a nice beer-and-pretzels game to give overworked brain cells a rest.
System Requirements: Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95
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