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Reviewed: Darkstone
Publisher: Gathering of Developers
Developer: Delphine Software International
Genre Type: Action RPG
Price: $44.95
Required System: P233, 32mb Ram, 4mb Direct3D Accelerator (AGP) - 8mb Direct3D Accelerator (PCI), 170mb HD, Win95+
Reviewer's System: PII300, 64mb Ram, TNT, Win98
Related Games: Diablo
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: August 18th 1999
Page: 3

Multiplayer game is quite simple, easy, and just as fun as the single player game. Finding a multiplayer game in progress is still quite difficult as the game is still fairly new, but multiplayer is supported over Heat. A few new tactics are added to the single player game, not only are the players control only one player, but they can also ally with other people so that they can't attack each other. Really great feature is the new player killer/clan type interface built right into the game. Delphine really put in a cool message system where members of the same clan that are player killers can send encoded messages to each other so other players cannot read what the message says. However, this is not the 100% safe, messages can be decoded by regular players if they have a high level of the Language skill, which allows normal players to decode hidden messages.

Somebody's Home?
Let's Go Home
Cleaver Trap

Control is extremely simple, staying true to original Diablo design, the simple click and drag interface is what is all that is required. Hotkeys on the keyboard are also very nice to use to call upon spells and potions when in trouble. The interface is simple and sleek, just like Diablo, the inventory interface and managing stuff is simple. Drag and click, organize by drag and click. Raising attributes and skills are easily done by a simple click on the mouse. However, there are two bugs, which can be annoying, but not critical. Sometimes the player's mana will just vanish in thin air when the skill is right clicked on, but the spell canceled. Also sometimes a player will not respond when clicking on an enemy to attack. Not major, but sometimes can be annoying.

Notice the Bloody Footprints
Strugling With Green Blood
Lotsa Goblins

Very nice and attractive graphics are in the game. The lighting effects of the dungeons are spectacular, the eerie dark feeling of the dungeons give it a great realistic feeling (even though this world is far from being real). Highly detailed terrain and rooms are a great plus with scrape marks, cracks, and holes. Some special effects like those given off by spells and skills are cool looking and nicely animated. What really caught attention was the foot prints of the players once they stepped into a pool of blood, the character had bloody foot prints for several steps, that even more added to the realism of the game. The players are very nicely animated, and smooth, however, the players are a bit rough and blocky looking, probably due to the low polygon count gone into the construction of the characters. But the lively color given off by the players are nice. The towns and overworld look very nice and life like. What really is bad about the graphics are the horrible placement of textures on trees. The trees look so awful, it takes the player back to the days of the Duke Nukem 3D BUILD engine graphics. Other than that, one can't complain.

Fairy and Unicorn Equals?
Die Chicken Die!

Sound effects are nice, and sound as if they are the same sampled sound effects from Diablo, but they are nice. Bashing of bones, slicing of bodies, and splatters of blood are a nice effect (if it is nice to begin with). The voice acting of the characters are stupendous, interaction with all the NPC's character talking are unique, and different. Some will have very masculine voices, while others will have feminine voices according to their body language and shape. However, there is no support for 3D Sound API's, while still okay, but 3D environmental sounds are really catching on big now. The musical score is very nice, staying true and similar to Diablo, intense at moments when intensive fighting is going on, and calm on the overworld (unless there is a fight) and towns, along with triumphant music if a quest was completed.

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Added:  Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 3/4

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