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PLATFORM PC

Prince of Qin Review

GAME INFO
publisher: Strategy First
developer: Object Software
genre: RPG

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
PII 266, 64MB RAM, 8MB Video Card, 600MB HD
ESRB rating: T
homepage:
www.princeofqin.com/

release date: Aug 19, 02
» All About Prince of Qin on ActionTrip


September 14, 2002
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic

It is quite unusual for an RPG to take place in China some two thousand years ago. And even though this civilization is completely different to the civilizations on other continents, it had just as many court intrigues and dirty political fights as the others. Historical facts clearly display Fu Su as a victim to one of these power struggles - he was working on the Great Wall of China, which was supposed to protect China from the Huns, when he got an order to commit suicide. The prince doubted to authenticity of this order, but obeyed it nevertheless. The game deals with a hypothetic scenario in which Fu Su disobeyed the order and set on the quest to find and eliminate his enemies.

Prince of Qin is nothing more than a mediocre Diablo II clone, with several Baldur's Gate-like elements - a 2D isometric action RPG. Those of you who played the two games I just mentioned will immediately realize how uninventive Prince of Qin is and how the few novelties (mostly concerning interface) turned out to be a failure.

Fu Su's quest for justice and revenge is less than easy or simple. You start the game as a hero with no experience and poor weapons. First experience points are gathered by killing animals around the map, so that you can later face your true enemies. Some of the skills you can upgrade will be crucial for your quest, but most of them are mere cosmetic details of no practical use.

Fu Su is a born leader, and hence the leader of his coterie. There are five character classes: Fu Su is a paladin, and his party can be composed of the representatives of other classes: a muscleman, wizard, witch, and assassin. One good feature concerning gameplay is that you can pause the game, and then carefully plan your actions, like in Baldur's Gate.

As for the spells, they are created using the five elements: water, earth, fire, wood and metal. Their combinations will yield new items spells and weapons. Bear in mind however, that some things just won't splice.

The interface utilizes both mouse and keyboard. Mouse control is fairly simple: left click means move, and right click means attack. The keyboard controls are on the other hand a bit more ambiguous, but anyone who played Diablo will get to grips with them after a while. The best thing in this game (which I already mentioned) is the possibility to pause the game and review the situation. Game can be paused manually by pressing the space key, or automatically when you encounter an enemy or when Su Fu's hit points reach a critical level.

The graphics are very poor in comparison to modern standards. The maps may as well be big, but they all seem so dead. The characters, buildings and items have few details and seem somehow incomplete. The animation is disastrous and represents the single worst element in the game.

Now, sound is a treat of its own. The Chinese development team obviously found some (very bad) British actors to read the ambiguous and poorly translated text. In fact, you cannot even understand what they are on about half of the time! Music is far better than the rest of the sounds, and even it cannot be called more than bearable.

The single player mode is extremely long and it will take you a lot of time to finish it. Unfortunately, what should be the game's main trump turns into its worst flaw, thanks to the incredibly slow and tiresome action. Prince of Qin is a frustratingly slow hack'n'slash wannabe lacking both in strategy and dynamics. And where the single-players fails, the multiplayer mode saves the day... NOT! This mode does exist, but is limited to modem and LAN, as they probably couldn't find a server wanting to host this game. And it's pretty much like the single-player mode anyway.

Prince of Qin is but a poor copy of the two best-selling RPGs, with pathetic settings. Until some other note-worthy RPG appears, I suggest you stick to the originals.

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3.1   Don't Bother 


HIGHS
Long gameplay, pause option in real time gameplay;

LOWS
Poor graphics, irritating sound-effects and dialogues, no internet multiplayer, boring.

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