Game Over Online ~ Revenant

GameOver Game Reviews - Revenant (c) Eidos Interactive, Reviewed by - Prolix

Game & Publisher Revenant (c) Eidos Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 81%
Date Published Saturday, November 6th, 1999 at 09:03 PM

Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

Imagine being sentenced to a life of pain and suffering in the bowels of hell for protecting the woman you love then being resurrected thousands of years later. Unfortunately you have been resurrected to fight for another cause, one you couldn’t give a damn about, but you cannot resist as you are under a powerful control spell. This is the life of Locke D’Averam and he’s not your average undead ass-kicker. Set in a medieval world with an isometric view, you assume the role of Locke with a mission to save the world of Ahkuilon ("a-qwee-lon") from a powerful cult, "The Children of the Change". Revenant has been touted by many as a Diablo clone, I prefer to consider it a Diablo killer.

As the story goes, the children of the change have invaded the somewhat peaceful world of Ahkuilon. Unfortunately these cultists aren’t here to drink magic punch and be teleported to outer space, they are here to take over the world. Locke falls in after King Tendrick’s daughter is taken prisoner by the cultists. The king befriends a powerful and mysterious wizard by the name of Sardok to resurrect Locke. The plot really twists from here, but I won’t provide any spoilers.

One word sums up Revenant graphically, breathtaking. I absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere of this game from the opening scenes. The colored lighting and attention to detail is absolutely beautiful. Revenant uses real time 3d polygonal characters, which look and move extremely realistically. However, at points the polygons are quite apparent. For example, where Locke’s lower arm connects with his upper arm there is some clipping. Another fantastic touch to character graphics is how armor and weaponry change Locke’s appearance. Mixing and matching armor on Locke can create a very bad ass looking Revenant. The game also supports Direct-3d rendering, which creates fantastic spell effects. One thing that really impressed me was while wandering through the woods all the miscellaneous stuff I would come upon. The most noticeable is a huge whale type thing with blood pouring out of it resting on the beach. Environmental effects are stellar as well, waves pound and the beach shore and the day/night cycle is fantastic. Graphics buffs will not be disappointed in Revenant graphically, its probably one of the best looking games I’ve played.

Controlling your Revenant is done via mouse/keyboard combination with every aspect re-mapable. I stuck to the basic layout provided by the game, which is one hand on the mouse and the other across the a,s,d,f keys (with the occasionally usage of q and w). Movement consists of holding down the right mouse button and aiming Locke in the direction you wish you move in, clicking the left mouse button does combat moves, but I prefer using individual keys. A,S,D,F are all various types of slashing movements with F as the block key. Hitting a certain key three times can do combos and moving a certain way, you gradually learn them as you level up. The control is solid in Revenant, however at times I couldn’t move my character around and it took a few seconds for me to be able to.

Revenant boasts 3D accelerated sound on the box and boy does it deliver. The environmental sound effects are superb. The voice acting is also great in Revenant; each of the forty different characters has their own special voice. My only gripe is the background music, it sounds GREAT but for some reason even with the volume at max its hardly audible, I had to turn my speakers way up just to hear it.

By now you might be asking your self, so what the hell kind of game is this anyhow. Revenant is an Action/Rpg much like Diablo, but with a better spell and combat system. The spell system revolves around talismans, which are collected in various chests during your adventures in the game. Knowing how to use the talismans is done via magic scrolls, one through ten. Each scroll is placed in a different part of the game, so you won’t be casting all the spells right away. Spells range from healing all the way to full out meteor strike offensive spells, creating a dazzling light show. The combat system is done via keyboard combinations. You learn these combos from your "master" who just happens to be Chinese. Combos are a great addition to this type of game, because it makes you more powerful as the game progresses and gives you more options of how to slay your opponent. You learn combos after leveling up two or three times, leveling up is achieved by killing monsters and gaining experience points. Weapons and armor can be purchased or found, however, I discovered that the best armor is found in dungeons and the best weapons are bought in Misthaven. Weapon and armor power are arranged by a point system, the most powerful weapon in the game does 200 points of damage per hit. In addition to armor and weapons, special potions can be bought in town as well from the local medicine man. Who has been rumored by the townsfolk to smoke his herbs and he just happens to look like Jerry Garcia with a tie-dyed shirt on. Revenant does come with a map editor, but it’s not that much of a plus in my opinion. I doubt if anyone can come up with a storyline and new graphics and voice effects to top the original plot.

Unfortunately at points Revenant can be a little cheesy. Just one example, a man in town who is African American (the only one in the game) and just so happens to look like a pimp and has a gold tooth tells you where to find stolen treasure. He tells you this because he is too scared to go out and find it himself, making him out to be a complete coward. Personally, I don’t feel this racist stereotyping bullshit has any place in an RPG, or any video game for that matter. Other stereotypes are found in the herb dealer and the sparing teacher "Jong". If your easily offended by mindless and unoriginal stereotyping stay away from Revenant, however if you can see past that keep reading.

My last and final complain is the ease with which I completed Revenant in. When I sat down to review Revenant I had no intention of beating the game because I expect an RPG to take me weeks to complete. However, after less than one week of playing a few hours a day I had beaten Revenant. The last level is also an insult to people who forked over their hard earned money to play this game. I won’t spoil it, but lets just say its pales in comparison to the rest of the game. Even the end boss was a joke, because all he did was sit there while I blasted him with a particular spell until he was dead, big challenge here. In addition to lack of challenge, I found ways to exploit the game design (if you don’t like spoilers close your eyes). One of your first spells is poison, which does roughly 50points of damage over time, so what I found out is that you can cast spells while running. So to beat a dragon that I couldn’t normally kill, I just had to poison it 10 times and avoid being hit by it. I guess if you’re a real role player you won’t do this, but it sure as hell beats killing the same crappy monsters over and over to level up.

Multiplayer is also included with all the standard connection types supported. However, its deathmatch only, which can get rather tiresome at points. Don’t get me wrong its not that bad it’s just not that good either. For some reason co-op play wasn’t included with the final release of Revenant, however there is a rumored co-op patch in the makings.

There are a lot of things wrong with Revenant; mainly the poorly balanced magic system and stereotypical characters. However, there is a lot of good within Revenant. The environment of Ahkuilon is setup so well I had trouble pulling myself away from the screen at times. It would seem as though game companies don’t really give a shit any more about releasing buggy games, and Revenant just happens to be one of those rushed buggy games people have to PAY for. I’ve bitched about it, I’ve tried boycotting it, but it seems this trend just isn’t going away, so I’ll live with it. Basically, if you have the bucks to spend on a game you aren’t going to play for an extended period of time but will love while you are playing it, buy Revenant. However, if you don’t want to buy an unfinished product that won’t even take you a week to beat, avoid Revenant.


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