In Wizardry 7 - Cruaders of the Dark Savant the story continues where it is finished in Wizardry 6 - The Bane of the Cosmic Forge.
In the main menu you can create up to 6 characters of many different professions and races. It is well advised to take enough time for that, as they will accompany the party for the rest of the game. Also you can import saved games from Wizardry 6. In that case in a random way some of the items you had in the previous game will not be imported and also the characters will lose some of the spells they knew before but completely keep the magic points they had there.
After you created your party, you're taken to the intro. You are met by Aletheides, a half machine half human that tells you the story of a powerful artifact Astral Dominae that's hidden on a small planet, and about the one who wants to get it to become the new Cosmic Lord - the Dark Savant, an unknown evil entity. After all the information you're transported in Aletheide's spaceship to the planet Guardia where the game finally begins.
First of all let me tell you that the game is pretty complex. From mapping skill to be able to swim without drowning anything needs it's skillpoints, and the more of them you have, the better you are in the according skill. Luckily you become better with something the more you do it. Swimming, fighting, picking the locks will increase the skill points in that category. And whn you gain a level, you can invest some points into the skills. There are many of them, though, so you have to choose wisely to increase only the needed skills for every character.
After playing for some time, you'll start to meet NPC's. They are characters in the game that cannot join your party, but you can become friends with them and can sell and buy things from them, exchange information or just talk about different things. NPC's in the game have all their own goals and friends.Some of their goals will cross your own so you shouldn't take too much time with the game - the NPC's also work during the time your party rests. Should you at some point kill one NPC, not only he's gone forever but also those NPC's that were friends of him will also become more annoyed with your party and probably even attack when you meet them.
One of the strong points of the game is the quantity of items that you may find at some point in the game. There're at least 500 items avaiable in the game, more than a half of that being weapons and armor! All have their different requirements and special abilities. For example, Corwin of Amber is a weapon that only Fairy Ninja's can wear and not any other race / profession. Combined with the different races and professions the game ís almost everytime an another experience and will provide weeks and even months of fun.
The texture graphics in the game are good, but not excellent compared to some other games of that time, like Ultima Underworld 1 / 2. The different inhabitants in the game's world are well animated, though and always awake the desire to see more different kinds of them. The sounds are partially good and partially only sufficient. The actually good sounds in the game are those ambient ones, like the wind whistling through the city or the waterdrops in the caves, which produce very nice atmosphere. The music is one of it's own kind. It's rather good, but you first will need to adapt to it to like it. And as it's only played on some occasions in the game, it won't become annoying.
The main charm of the game is the vast game world and the combat, especially the magic spells. There are many different kinds of magic spells and not all can be used by any magic user. Some are only available to psionics, others only to clerics and so on. Their effects reach from casting a deadly firestorm upon the enemy group, to heal party and also summoning different creatures that will aid you during the combat.The summonin g spells were my favourite part in the game. Nothing is more satisfying as to summon some Greater Demon that will cover the enemies with powerful spells or an gigantic firebreathing Godzilla that will stomp your enemies to their death. :)
The world in the game is also very large, so you will need very much time to explore it all and it doesn't become boring that fast due to encounters with many new creatures and finding some hidden treasure.
All in all, this game is complex. But you should take your time with it, because if you're patient, this game has very much fun to offer. And fans of fantasy roleplaying games will love this charming classic game.
Part of the Wizardry Series