Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gaming Heaven!

Dungeons & Dragons Anthology is the ultimate RPG collection. It contains only masterpieces and (if you move fast) for a great price one can own six of the greatest cRPGs ever released!

All six are isometric Role-Playing games and (with the exception of Temple of Elemental Evil) they are built on variations of the Infinity Engine. They also share similar gameplay mechanics. They are story driven (prepare to do a lot of reading when faced with dialogue options - something I missed in their latest successor, Dragon Age: Origins), and they offer almost an infinite number of customizations for your hero and his companions.
If you are hooked on graphics you should know that these games are no eye-candy anymore. However, we have all played or rather tried to play bad games with impressive graphics and know that a game does not have to offer the latest graphics to grab you, immerse you into its world and offer endless hours of escapist fun.
Because there are tons of reviews on the individual games (links provided), I shall only give brief descriptions of them.

BALDUR's GATE Saga: The Stone years. This includes Baldur's Gate I & Baldur's Gate II, each with its own expansion (this is how it is done, good games are followed by a single solid expansion - not a endless string of DLCs!).

ICEWIND DALE Saga: The Wood years. This includes Icewind Dale with its expansion and Icewind Dale 2. These games are very similar to Baldur's Gate and, although shorter, they are harder and require even more tactical thinking.

TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL: The Metal years. Although this game sports the best graphics of the collection, it will require some patience because it is both built as an older Turn-Based RPG (although one can turn it to real-time) and introduces the first version of the character-action wheel (we would later come to see in the NeverWinter Nights games). It is an acquired taste but it does reward climbing the learning curve.

PLANESCAPE - TORMENT: The Bone Years. I consider this to be the best game of the collection - and I am a huge fan of the BG Saga. Planescape is dark and deep and bittersweet and beautiful. It is intelligent and imaginative and the music will enchant you. For ever. If I were to choose one game to play for the rest of my life, this would be it.

A collection of masterpieces not to be missed.

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