I finally have lots of free time and my hands and I'm going to play numerous single player games I intended to pass for years but never really had the time, so I'll be posting my experiences and thoughts about games here.
I also encourage others to do the same and share their reviews, recommendations, favorite games and basically whatever related to single-player gaming.
After each games I pass I'll give a review probably with some tips but I'll try not to spoil anything.
First game, one I already passed is:
western action RPGSTORY:
The story is set on a small island on which you are stranded after a shipwreck caused by a storm that rages upon the sea but avoids the island. Soon you'll learn that numerous other strange things are happening, for one, ancient temples are rising from the ground, ridden with vicious traps and swarming with powerful monsters and 2 main factions are fighting for dominance.
On one hand you have the newly arrived Inquisition, led by Inquisitor Mendoza. They took over Harbor town and their headquarters are in Monastery, where they joined forces with mages. The inquisition are zealous about their cause and prefer preserving order and strict rules. On the other hand are Don and his bandits who have been driven away from Harbor town by the inquisition and now reside in the big swamp. Don's men are classical mafia, not minding an occasional robbery or pickpocketing of those who they deem deserve it but are overall good towards the people as long as they pay "protection money".
The choice of whom to join won't be so easy as the Inquisitor and Don both have their pros and cons and also keep in mind that who you join with determines what kind of skills you can learn. The story is more or less linear, in that you have same main quests for every faction but of course there are differences in quests and dialogues depending on which faction you join. It should keep you interested, as the quests aren't as generic as they are in most RPGs, the only part I found disappointing was the ending even though some players also complain about 2 last chapters cause of a lot of dungeon crawling but I found it fun, which could admittedly also be because I haven't played an RPG in a long time.GRAPHICS:
Even though the game is couple of years older, I'd say the graphics are on par with Skyrim. They're beautiful, it's enjoyable to just walk around on a sunny day in a forest, especially near water. At least for a city boy like me
. Dungeons are alright also, although some of them are a little too monotonously colored but hey, they're dungeons and aren't supposed to be colorful like a cartoon.
Overall they're decent, except downright RIDICULOUS hand animations while talking and the jump animation... if you could call that an animation.AUDIO:
Voice acting is all good except that they have like 1 female voice actor and 2 face models in the whole game? Besides, the main character can sometimes sound a little monotonous, but hey, at least I hear him speak (thinking of you, Elder Scrolls). The soundtrack isn't anything special but it's fitting, you're rarely notice it's there but when you do you'll realize how much it contributes to the overall atmosphere.GAMEPLAY:
Now this is where this game shines the brightest. You are free to roam anywhere you want from the start of the game except very few limited areas reserved for the main quests. But you'll most likely be too weak to go anywhere interesting just yet and will have to get some better weapons and armor. The sense of progress and the reward system in this game is just amazing, you don't get weapons and armors easily and have to pay dearly, also you have to pay for NPCs to train you in a skill and you receive 10 Learning Points to spend each time you level up. Finally having a better armor or swinging an awesome looking sword you couldn't have before is very satisfactory. But perhaps the best thing about this game that makes it stand out compared to many others is that the world is hand-crafted and the developers were paying attention to every little detail and every part of the world is filled beasts and useful items for you to pick up, from magical rings and amulets raising your stats to potions, plants and weapons. So even though the world is small compared to, f.e. Skyrim, it has a lot more content to offer on the same area.
How you raise your stats is completely your choice. You can be a pure fighter, a pure mage, a pure archer or a mix of two or even all three. But be careful how you spend your LP, there are only about 29 levels you can attain so it's about 290 LP, spend them wisely and I recommend not trying to become a little bit of everything because if you spread out too wide you'll end up being useless at everything and incapable of beating enemies.
For fighters the most important skills to learn are sword and/or axe fighting (Don) and strength OR staves and strength for warriors of the order (Inquisition). Joining Don will prevent you from getting the highest level in staff fighting, as will joining the Inquisition prevent you from getting the highest level in sword/axe fighting (though you can use rings and amulets to artificially raise your skill to maximum). You can f.e. sword to maximum and THEN join inquisition, but that would be a little impractical as you would do almost no damage cause of not training strength simultaneously. Generally, axes are stronger and swords are longer so it's your choice, power vs range. I myself chose swords cause they look better
. And cause with swords you can use a shield from the very beginning, which is extremely useful as you'll be very squishy and easy to kill at start.
Melee combat would be EXCELLENT if not for one little flaw. Auto-targeting. It's fine in 1v1s, but against multiple enemies it can seriously fuck you up, locking on an enemy you aren't even facing while the one in front of him or behind you bashes your skull in. But with some clever positioning that can be avoided and it didn't really bother me as much as I expected it to. The mentioned flaw becomes even less relevant once you learn power striking... FUCK YEAH, THAT IS THE SHIT.
Ranged combat (bows, xbows) is great, definitely stronger than melee in the first few chapters, but later on you won't have much space to shoot your enemies and it falls behind in terms of damage too.
I can't say much about being a mage as I only played a warrior, but from what I've seen the magic system is interesting. There are 3 types magic crystals (which you can also use as a warrior of order): pure magic, fire, ice. Those are your primary damage spells. The rest of the spells are runes (which only mages can use) and focus on utility, such as light, heal, unlock, levitate, magic barrier, conjure skeleton etc. The runes have their versions for non-mage players, called spell scrolls, which are one-time-use.
Other skills include smithing, alchemy, sneaking, pickpocketing, opening locks... you know it.
Choice result in consequences and certain characters will even begin to grow on you. The most fun thing in the game is probably exploring the detailed world and taking down powerful monsters you couldn't have killed before and acquiring the treasures they're guarding.
The game, even though it has its flaws, has entertained me for a decent 50 hours, which I think is the maximum I could have gotten out of it. Greater quality than many other RPGs, but it lacks in quantity. If the ending and the final fight weren't so disappointing and just LAME I would have given it 95/100, but this way, 90/100.
Next ones I'll play are CoD Black Ops, Gothic 3 and Skyrim in that order.