Dark Vengeance full review

One of the year’s most eagerly anticipated games – Reality Bytes’ Dark Vengeance (published by MacSoft) – has finally hit the shelves. Was it worth the wait? Yes and no. Kissing cousin to the Tomb Raider series, this third-person hack-&-slash game offers a more richly realized and expansive world than Lara Croft’s, but brings a measure of frustration as well. As with the Tomb Raider games, you spend most of your time looking at your protagonist’s backside while propelling him or her through a labyrinth of levels, gathering goodies, and slaying the spiritually corrupt. The three heroes include Nanoc the Gladiator, a muscle-bound galoot whose strength allows him to wield large, cumbersome weapons; Kite the Trickster, a more agile character who dashes her enemies with lethal powders and other short-range weapons; and Jetrel the Warlock, a bandage-swathed gentleman who prefers long-range weapons. Your heroes can deliver blows in three ways: a quick lateral chop, a slower overhand hack, and a deadlier, backhanded slash. You can block your enemies’ attack – unusual for such games. A sweeping graphic arc marks each thrust and parry – green if you or your enemy misses and a satisfying red when blood is drawn. The weapons are not the usual fare; Dark Vengeance’s armoury is packed with exotic weapons such as Living Flame – a Molotov cocktail you sprinkle on the baddies – and the Vampire Staff, which unleashes a pair of flesh-eating bats. Also unique is Reality Bytes’ decision to include cheat codes as a menu item. The world of Dark Vengeance under 3D-acceleration hardware – ATI’s Rage Pro or a 3Dfx Voodoo card – is beautiful, with its sumptuously coloured walls and vast chambers. The software-rendered graphics aren’t nearly as impressive as those in Mac- Soft’s Unreal, however. The movement of the characters can be ungainly, and heroes tend to get snagged on jutting corners, barrels, and decorative statuary. And alt- hough no one expects such a game’s story line to rise to the level of literature, not only is Dark Vengeance’s plot convoluted, but the poorly written and occasionally mumbled dialogue makes it even more confusing. Finally, I prefer the bodies of the vanquished to remain visible rather than disappearing after a few seconds. Because the game lacks a mapping element, having familiar bodies scattered throughout the many corridors and halls would make it easier to retrace steps.
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