Do you remember Diablo? Well, if it would have focused on the story instead of on hack-'n-slash, we’d have had Siege of Avalon that much sooner!
You play a soldier arriving at besieged Avalon. You are actually so low in rank that you have to apply equipment as your first task! Ok, you have some starting gear depending on your chosen profession, but trust me, you’ll need some better gear as soon as possible to survive – as well as comrades! You’ll be approved to hire no less then two NPCs to join your group – from an evergrowing pool of choices. And they don’t come from some standard recruiter, oh no! As you really begin to live in Castle Avalon, you have to go around, talk to people, convince them to do as you would prefer, and ask permission from your higher ranks to be able to progress.
There are many quests and sidequests, and even more people to talk to.
One of the most attractive perspect of the game is that it was created as an interactive novel, and sold by chapters (like Stephen King’s Deathrow). So you’ll have to read a lot. But if you don’t speak English that well, don't worry. You’ll have a quest log, an adventure log and even an illustrated journal to tell you the most important things, and there is enough action to keep you busy if you get tired of the reading and gathering notes.
As a minor thing, you may play from chapter 3, 4 and 5, only determined by your class, but you do want to play the full game, no? Anyway, if you choose to install the game chapter by chapter, you might end up with some extra NPCs and items, but no bonus quests.
The game is well-balanced in most aspects. The only case where I find a lack is in selling stuff (there is basically nothing you’d want to buy, as you’ll simply find necessary pieces of equipment), and the fact that being a mage will close a loose end in the story, while other characters lack this feature. All classes have their own class-specific quests, by the way, so you won’t miss anything in the grand view -– and yes, this game is well worth replaying from time to time.
On to the technical aspects:
The graphics might seem to lack depth of colour, and be a bit creamy, but it really works, and people had no problem with it in Diablo either. And the effects are definitely better, if you ask me.
The background music is nice; it won’t get on your nerves and fits the surroundings. To be honest, after a period of time you’ll forget about it, except maybe the SFX when you want approach an enemy cautiously, or want to focus on your party in a massive fight, or while you're sneaking during a scouting mission.
All in all this is a wondrous tale. It's too bad the sequel - Pillars of Avalon - was cancelled. With honor and glory, I give this game a 4.5.
The download must be unzipped into the folder "C:\SIEGE OF AVALON\" (according to the file "SIEGE.INI"). To play it run the executable file "DTMain1". This is for Windows, so forget about DOSBox.
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