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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  Die By The Sword
Tantrum has created an interesting game with a fun new method of control. Being a hack'n'slash type of game, you will definitely see limbs fly, and heads roll.
Storyline

Your basic "rescue the girl" storyline. Sitting at a warm fire with your companion Maya, a short blue wolf-like creature approaches. Enric(that's you) gives chase to this creature only to return to Maya missing. Enric's been fooled and now its up to you to get her back.

Installation & Setup

Like most games should be, installation was easy. The option of allowing you to copy the movies to your hard drive basically just takes up space. You will still need the CD in the drive, and if you have a fast CD-ROM then there's no point to it. Manual contains all the information you need to know about enemies, items, controls etc. Theres also a little background story on Enric and Maya to set the feel of the game.

Graphics

Without a fast 3D accelerator you'd better have a fast Pentium or more preferably a Pentium II. Software mode produced slow framer ates, even with the detail on low(which looks ugly anyway). But using my 3DFX card I got some nice frame rates which makes the game 10x more enjoyable. I felt that the 2D sprites mixed into the game diminished the graphics somewhat. Character graphics are great, sporting real-time wounds, limb-loss and blood. Level graphics are standard, you wont find them breath-taking. Some textures look plain boring, though some are notable. Further into the game revealed some nice looking levels that make up for some of boring looking area's.

Sound & Music

Some great one-liners that you can't help but laugh at. Enemies sound great and cry in pain when hit. Kobolds are definitely the funniest creatures in the game, making sounds that I'll never stop laughing at. Music isn't always playing, but when it does, there's an added element to the mood. It's actually quite good quality music to, very well orchestrated.

Multiplayer

Not many people playing this on-line, or at least not many that I could find. And the times I did find a game to join, netplay was laggy and choppy. Network play might be more enjoyable.

Gameplay

Die by the Sword has some great gameplay. Starting off with the tutorial I learned player controls. Introducing a new system for control allowed for some really wild actions. Moving the mouse in any direction moved the sword accordingly. This allowed me total control over my sword, an excellent way to do some real damage. It was rather difficult to get the hang of it at first, but after some practice it became natural. It also has a gamepad control system which I really enjoy. Using a Microsoft SideWinder gamepad control was easy and straight-forward.

Other than the single play quest mode, your also given a tournament mode and battle mode. Their great for practicing against certain enemies and finding their weaknesses. This game isn't for the faint at heart though. Blood will fly, lots of it, and multiple sections of limbs can be torn off. After slicing an enemies leg off he will hop around but still attack. But after chopping off his arms he seemed to give up. This game will make you laugh historically if you find that sort of thing amusing. Walking up to one door and looking through the opening revealed 2 orcs punishing a kobold. The poor kobold was hanging upside down by a rope and the orcs were bashing it around with their axes. Moments like these in the game had me laughing for quite sometime. But don't forget, you can also have your limbs torn away, making you the easy prey. Luckily an auto-save feature helps along the way so you don't have to worry about saving all the time.

There are problems. One is that the game is over faster than you'd want. But it still makes you want to play again. Another is the camera. Will most of the time it stays behind you, it can sometimes move around to where you can't see yourself. This happened to me numerous times during battle, and was really distracting.

Review ID Number: 200
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: Nick Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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