2012 is the year of the loot. With Borderlands 2, Torchlight II, Diablo III, and a world of other proven juggernauts combing the landscape for that ultimate goodie, is there anything left for the indie newcomer Realms of Ancient War to claim?
Realms of Ancient War Review
Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, Wizarbox’s Realms of Ancient War (or R.A.W., as developers Wizardbox so lovingly abbreviate it as) sticks to its roots as an old-school hack-and-slash title. Standard tropes apply; you’ve got your fantasy dwarves, elves, and wizards, your world in peril, your hordes of baddies, and your narrator who took acting lessons from the great school of witchcraft and wizardry. These clichéd elements have been around long before videogames were on the scene, but the fantasy elements and story merely serve as window dressing for the action.
And action I did receive. After choosing between the half-naked warrior (instead of the half-naked lady and the hooded mage), I set out to mash, mash, and mash some more – and I’m not just talking about the enemies. Within moments of starting up the game, the town I entered was full of treasure chests filled with loot. Fighting my first couple of enemies gave me loot. Talking to the stranger gave me loot. Who knew it would be this easy to get the goods?
As time went on, both the face buttons (for wailing away at enemies) and the trigger button (for picking up loot) became my two best friends. Still, rather than spend hours at the auction house or showing off your gear, the immediate action of this title gives it a more arcade-like feel, albeit with more modern marvels like rechargeable health and leaderboards.
If anything, that’s the game’s greatest quality. The action harkens back to the days of Gauntlet, where you and your buds could just jump in to the game at home or the arcade, kill whatever’s trying to kill you, and then be on your merry way. And like that practically ancient relic, R.A.W. is best enjoyed with friends…well, a friend. Two-player couch co-op is available, but that third warrior is unavailable for play. I guess three’s a crowd…
So should you give some of your loot to nab some of R.A.W.’s loot? It depends. Those looking to embark on their lonesome for a sweeping journey lasting dozens of hours need not apply. However, those looking to burn a few hours and mash away an afternoon with a bud will feel fulfilled. It might not be as filling as the AAA main courses, but R.A.W.’s short-term enjoyment is the just the kind of junk food loot hoarders crave.
Just don’t gorge out on it.
out of 10
All of the fantasy boxes are checked here, but they’re all handled with enough tact and professionalism to not come off as overtly cheesy
The world of R.A.W. is full of browns and reds – Katamari Damacy this ain’t. The polygonal characters and worlds don’t jump out at you, but then again, it doesn’t have to
Soundtrack & Sound Effects:
Be prepared to hear the same grunts and music loops over and over (and over) again. Everything fades into the background after a while
Fighting waves of baddies and collecting loot can be oddly therapeutic, but be ready to do those same two things until the credits roll
Three characters, couch co-op, achievements/trophies, and leaderboards are there for those who seek out perfectionism
Worth it for those who just can’t get enough loot in their life (out of 10, not an average)
This review is based on a retail copy of the PC version of Realms Of Ancient War provided by the developers.
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