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Gorasul Review

GAME INFO
publisher: JoWooD Productions
developer: Silver Style Entertainment
genre: RPG

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
PII-400, 64MB RAM, 1.3GB HDD, 8MB video card
ESRB rating: T
homepage:
www.gorasul.com/

release date: Nov 26, 01
» All About Gorasul on ActionTrip


January 28, 2002
Branislav "Bane" Babovic

The practically anonymous developer Sylver Style brought us a game which looks as though it had been developed using BioWare's Infinity engine. This is however, a completely new piece of code which but seemingly resembles Baldur's Gate.

The story speaks of the fabled wizard Rozsandas, who had been left as a baby in front of the Crackan, the dragon's cave. In stead of eating the baby, the dragon decided to give it the greatest present it could have - dragon magic. As Rozsandas grew next to his step-father, he became a powerful wizard, who fought evil in Gorasul. The demons he fought managed to kill him in his high tower. Thanks too the will of god Hedral, Rozsandas got reincarnated ten years after his death. This time, his quest is to beat all evil in Gorasul. It will be up to you to lead Rozsandas through this adventure and make him regain his memories in order to save Gorasul. Amnesia and resurrection! Can this plot get any more unoriginal?

Before you actually start playing the game, you can choose the level of difficulty and the quantity of puzzles, quests and combat. Depending on how you configure it, the game can look either like Diablo or like BG. Gameplay is practically the same as in any other isometric RPG adventure, and as the designers managed to draw everything from the same angle that was used in Baldur's Gate, you constantly have the impression that you are playing some expansion pack for it. The visual design is not as good as in BGII, but it is better than in BG. Character animation is rough and scanty and makes fights look unappealing. The surroundings are not as detailed as one might expect, and most of the drawn objects on screen are non-interactive; not that the game would notify you even if you dragged the mouse over anything interactive. The quality of the backgrounds varies: house and castle interiors can look highly detailed at times, but, on the other hand, dungeons and caves look feeble and unimaginative, and can hardly create epic atmosphere.

Exploring bigger maps will become outright tiresome after some time. Fortunately, the interface contains a mini-map which will show you the position of your characters and enemies on the explored pieces of the map. The game contains the Fog of War, which makes exploring maps more difficult. The mini-map exists only when you select Roszondas - as it presents one of his dragon skills.

Apart from the main character, you will get to lead three more NPCs that will join your quest. They will act according to the pre-defined scripts for their class, but you can also issue them some orders during the battle. The main problem here is that if you select Roszondas again, the rest of the characters will forget what you just told them to do and will go back to their scripts, which can make battles quite frustrating.

You can determine your character's stats at the very beginning of the game, along with choosing one of the character classes (priest, warrior, judge of the swords, barbarian...etc.). Choosing a class will barely influence anything in the game. Roszondas' unique characteristics are his dragon-skills he can develop by spending EXPs on them. I found these dragon skills quite useless, however. OK, Dragon Eyes will let you see a bit further through the Fog of War, but the Dragon Breath, Fear and Strength are completely pointless as they cannot be activated unless you are in an extremely perilous situation - meaning when your little red line practically runs out. This extra "boost" you get before you die is not all that useful in practicall gameplay. The idea was praiseworthy, but it was unfortunately poorly brought to life.

My favorite gameplay element in this game was the way the weapons were represented. Be it a sword, axe, mace or bow, it has a personality, and the ability to speak to its bearer. The weapon can advance through levels just like a player character. This idea has been taken from old German epics and Moorcock's books about Elric the Drow and his sword Stormbringer.

Apart from the basic quests (bring me the bucket next to the well, and you get a candy), the game also includes various sub-games. For instance, you will have to sort Kobold fighting lines so that they survive a fight against the undead with least possible losses, or shoot a target with your bow and arrow from the first-person view. These-sub games are really charming and refreshing. The greatest mistake the developers made was that the game has practically no sound apart from several great Scottish-like tunes. The fights and dialogues are completely numb.

The main problem with Gorasul is the fact that it is but a feeble attempt to imitate one of the best CRPG games ever. It can, however, in no other way be compared to Baldur's Gate thanks to its many gameplay drawbacks and numerous technical flaws including the countless bugs which will soon kill any desire to play this game.

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3.9   Don't Bother 


HIGHS
Original representation of weapons, sub-games, number of spells;

LOWS
Numerous bugs, scanty design, and poor animation.

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