What was being referred to as a Diablo clone by
people, turned out to be a pretty cool game. Although the size
was a bit big I decided to take the chance and try out the game
myself since the 3 or 4 thumbnailed screenshots looked alright
on the company homepage. Icarus comes from JC Research
(www.jcresearch.com) and features a terrific RPG/Strategy
game for the PC. Although it is not accelerated, like most
games are now, the game offers an intriguing story line, a host
of characters, towns, adventures and turn-based combat.
All models and players in this title are pre-rendered.
They move fluidly across the screen and the animations of
their action sequences are also well done. The colors on the
characters are shaded at times, which tends to add a bit of
realism to the graphical look of the characters. All the towns
are also well rendered, in that objects can be seen clearly from
the 3/4 overhead view and important/essential objects are
highlighted when the mouse is moved over it, like Diablo in
fact. Each character also has his/her special move and spells.
The spells in the game look alright but they tend to come off as
just sprites sometimes. The graphics for them were so well
done that they tended to stand out and look like objects with
no motion or character. Another thing to note is that the game
runs in high resolution mode which might be a problem for
people with 1 MB or 2 MB video cards. Other standard
graphical features exist such as changing the gamma control
as well. Aside from that the game graphics are not incredibly
good, however, they are not incredibly bad either. To
compare it to a title in the same genre as Diablo, I would have
to say that graphics wise this is a better title. However, I think
that Diablo's spell effects were much better than Icarus.
The only speech in the game was heard at the
beginning during the Slide Show intro. This seemed like it
was recorded last minute by a programmer because it does not
sound at all like it is supposed to. During this game the usual
sound effects are present such as the different weapons
attacking their opponents, the distinct sounds for each spell
and the ambient noises of birds and crickets as you explore the
towns. I believe that there is additional speech in this title on
the original CD-ROM, however, it is just for certain parts of the
game and not for each and every word said by the characters
and NPCs. Music was also not included in this release since it
was CD-AUDIO, which I think was a real shame since it means
that there's probably only around 6-8 tracks for the whole
game. Another thing that is noticeable is the fact that the
game can get a bit boring at times because there is no speech,
sounds or music whatsoever in most parts in the game, so the
player is just left to point and click without hearing even a
Well it's like this, this gameplay in this game is made
up of 3 mini-like games of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Tactics
and Diablo. The game is quite like Final Fantasy in its
storyline. Like all Final Fantasy titles the story line is very
intriguing. It was very cool to see almost patented Squaresoft
events such as the main characters walking in to a battle to
save a friend and characters moving according to their
emotions, ie. pacing when nervous or running when scared.
The Diablo element comes into play when the player has to
walk around, in non combat mode. The game interface is also
very similar to Diablo, in that, players are given a blank body
to put their weapons, shields and most noticeably like Diablo,
their rings onto. The battle system in the game is turn-based
and is very much like Final Fantasy tactics. Characters are
placed on a grid system and the range of weapons, spells and
other items come into play. The characters have to be at a
particular distance to hit an opponent with a certain weapon
and spells have to be positioned such that they are directed
straight at the enemy. if multiple enemies are standing in the
same vacinity and an area wide spell is cast, all enemies in
that range are hit by that spell, including other characters if
they are there as well. As first it was very frustrating to move
around the grid system in battle mode, however, after a certain
amount of time I got used to it and appreciated the limited
freedom that was given to the player.
It depends on what type of game the player likes to
really rate this a fun game or not. If you are the type who does
not like RPG/Adventure games at all this is not the game to
begin with because it was immediately frustrate you. If you the
type of person who likes games such as Final Fantasy/Tactics
or Diablo I suggest you pick up this title and give it a shot
because you might end up liking it. Lastly, you absolutely love
games like Warhammer and games like it I suggest you pick up
this title because you will like the tactical based grid engine
and its components.
Sadly no multiplayer component exists in this title
and this will be the item to bring down its score.
All in all an excellent snag in terms of PC RPGs and
a good pick up if you are a fan of RPG/Adventure games build
on a turn-based grid system of combat.
When I heard that Icarus was a Diablo clone, I was
real happy and excited to see another RPG because RPGs
don't get finished very easily or very quickly. It's a type of game
you can always come back to and expect something new.
That really wasn't the case with Diablo though, it had one town
and you kept going back into the dungeons. Icarus is different
though, it has many towns and different fighting places, you
can even fight in towns.
Even though I heard that Icarus was a Diablo clone,
it is really very much different than Diablo. This game is turn
based to start with. I really don't like turn based fighting, but
you can't get everything. As I remember before in an old
preview by Simplex for KKnD 2, he said the units would move
as if they were sliding across the floor, well its the same case
for Icarus. The animations are not smooth like Diablo's, but the
3D model characters aren't so bad yet they still aren't better
than Diablo's either. Some of the magic effects are not very
good either, the fire effects really suck.
The sounds to this game are pretty bad. Some of the
sounds used in this game are from other games. They used
wrong sounds for specific events also, like when you use a
sword on a enemy then you hear a punching sound. And you
also don't hear a unsheath sound when you draw your sword.
The sound effects for magic are pretty bad also. The sound is
pretty much the worst part of the game, they are not too great
and are below average.
Although the graphics and sound are not that great,
the gameplay to this game is very good. As I said before there
is a lot of towns and places to discover, and people you have
to save. You may even find some friends who will join your
battle. This game gets pretty good as you go on into it. You
may even discover some new creatures to fight with and you
can even buy some pretty cool weapons from the towns. Each
town has different weapons and items you can buy. You can
also enter houses to talk to people.
Overall, its a pretty decent RPG once you really get
into it. I'd suggest RPG fans have a look at this title.