CHOP! SLASH! CLANK! BOOM! Take that you retched beast!!!! Review

Stonekeep Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Interplay

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 09/30/2011
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • Wii

rating

CHOP! SLASH! CLANK! BOOM! Take that you retched beast!!!!

When I was in college, I jumped at every role-playing game I could get my hands on. I started with Dungeons & Dragons, then I graduated to Middle Earth Role Playing, and finally Rolemaster. There were many others that I experimented with along the way; in fact, too many. As I got older and my responsibilities expanded, I found myself unable to set aside the time necessary to continue my hard-core gaming addictions.

Being an arcade junkie as

well, I diverted my fantasy playing to games like Street Fighter II and

whatever else I could get a challenge and a cheap thrill out of. But somewhere

along the way a new addiction settled. I discovered computer role playing games

that went beyond the call of duty and added the element of “real time” gaming.

I remember the long evenings on my Commodore 64 playing “The Bard’s Tale”. Then

I got involved with “Dungeon Master”. A year or so later, I found myself playing

“Eye of the Beholder”. The addiction grew stronger with each game I could get

my hands on. Luckily for me, there was a big gap in worthwhile fantasy role-playing

games for a couple years. This was my time to find a life on the other side

of the game screen. And now I’m back! Writing about the best game I’ve discovered

since the good old days. I present to you Stonekeep

Stonekeep was developed by Interplay and after nearly seven years of product development, design changes, and platform shifts, it’s finally out and ready for the “Big Test Drive”. According to the story-line, you are Drake, a resident of the great citadel Stonekeep. As the game opens, the stronghold is overcome by a great darkness and the residents are stripped of their flesh as they fall helplessly to the ground. Drake is wisped away through a magic portal by a robed figure as the castle crumbles into the earth. Ten years later, Drake returns to his homeland only to find a dark chasm where his home once stood. An angelic figure, Thera, appears from the embers and transports his soul from the confines of this plane to the realm of Stonekeep. There he must retrieve the nine orbs of power, battle the dark god Khull-Khuun, and set the castle free.

You start the game in the

uppermost region of Stonekeep and you must equip Drake with the appropriate

items to survive the horrors ahead. Movement is controlled with the keypad and

the screen can be affected by the mouse. To help you “get your act together”,

Drake is given a mirror which will give you a frontal view of your party. Here

you may change weapons or administer healing herbs and spells to aid your quest.

You are also given a scroll which will carry absolutely everything you find

along the way. Shortly after you begin, you will come upon a book which will

allow you to see what your current statistics are, what spells you have acquired,

your map, equipment definitions, NPC records, and any notes you may want to

record.

The movement is smooth and combat is wonderful. You may move ten square feet at a time and turn north, south, east, or west. When an enemy is encountered, the music changes and a fierce battle will begin. Left click your mouse and use your left hand. Right click to use your right hand. Push the arrow keys to move away or turn your party. That’s it! It’s a very simple interface with very few demands on the user. This is a major plus for those who are tired of endlessly advanced rules. It’s all quick and concise.

The magic system is also

a treat. Along the dark and dank dungeon corridors, you will find rune sticks

that will hold mana for later casting of spells. Scrolls with runes can be found

and instantly logged in your journal. Combine these runes and see the amazing

spell effects take place before your eyes. Firebolts, shield spells, healing,

teleportation, and many others are at your disposal. That is, if you have enough

mana for them… There are also other types of runes which will increase the

power of your mystical arsenal, like tripling your spell’s strength or making

a firebolt into a fireball. There will be more than enough combinations to keep

the most avid roleplayer amused.

Another interesting addition

is the level system. Drake and his companions ( you will come across more than

enough along the way) do not increase in power based on the number of ‘experience

points’ accrued. Instead, each of your skills will go up a level as they’re

used more and more often, including magic. Each person playing Stonekeep will

have different statistics depending on what their favorite weapons are and how

often they decide to use them.

Finally, Interplay deserves a big round of applause for their digitized characters, mixed with computer animation. They blend very well together and the artificial intelligence of each character will keep you on your toes during many late nights. Also, the music and sound effects are excellent. They add the right element to the given situation without becoming dull and repetitive.

Interplay’s Stonekeep is a definite keeper. I’ve finally satisfied

my long overdue craving for an intuitive and exciting role-playing game. Stonekeep

is not perfect, but it will keep you coming back for more! Also, it’s not a

terribly easy game; The combat is more than challenging and the puzzles are

not quite impossible to figure out. If you have an extensive role-playing background,

you’d better make an effort to see this one. Even if RPGs are not your cup of

tea, the graphics and sound effects should prove to be a pleasant surprise.

Everyone should download the demo off of the net and see for themselves. In

the meantime, happy gaming!!!!

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating9
Fantastic Digitized/Animated Graphics & Sound Effects!!!
Character spells and statistics are refreshing!!!
Familiar storyline...
A MUST for the avid role-player!!!