Pen-and-paper RPG, The Dark Eye, has been on a constant run as Germany's best tabletop RPG for at least 26 years now. It outsold the highly-successful Dungeons & Dragons and has ever since reigned supreme in the roleplaying business in German soil. Changing with the gaming demands of the current generation, Dark Eye worked with Attic and Radon Labs to create a series of PC games called the "Northlands Trilogy" in the 90's and "Drakensang" in 2006 respectively. The games were met with generally average to favorable reviews, garnering a cult following even outside of Germany. Continuing the legacy of the Drakensang series comes Bigpoint's (formerly Radon Labs) entry to the MMO market: Drakensang Online.
Diablo & Dragons?
Drakensang Online is reminscent of a few PC classics, namely Diablo II, Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, and even the more recent Torchlight. The game is heavy on the mouse clicks, and is in a locked isometric camera angle. Suffice to say, Drakensang Online is a free-to-play browser MMORPG with an item mall option. Account and character creation is pretty much the standard order of things. Going through them was a breeze. The game is limited to two archetypes: Dragonknight and Spellweaver. Same as the archetypes, choices for the character's looks were limited as well. This was easily acceptable, given the game's slim architecture.
Drakensang's premise is typical of the tabletop RPG lore. Set in the fictional, medieval fantasy-filled land of Duria, the online version takes place after the events of the last Drakensang PC game. On its own, Drakensang Online can act as a standalone story. No need to do any background checks on the previous Dark Eye games. Then again, Drakensang Online, just like the old Drakensang games, retained the habit of keeping gamers in the dark. There's not much backstory to sift through. For first time gamers, playing it feels aimless and clueless. The only clue anyone's got is the usual "evil is afoot" and exploring the wilderness is the only saving grace from story-deprivation. The quests in game, though a dime a dozen, aren't as imaginative. It mostly consists of killing monsters X number of times, or delivering stuff from one NPC to the next. For the most part, the quests are chained together, with each accomplishment fruitfully rewarded.
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