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Strictly average fantasy RPG
A fairly traditional fantasy RPG, Ancients 1 will appeal to followers of Eye of the Beholder or Dungeon Master and while it is nothing spectacularly original, it remains a solid piece of gaming nostalgia that is likely to have passed most gamers by, but which is certainly worth a brief exploration. Plot wise, the game takes a typical fantasy theme of a land falling into the clutches of a terrible evil and which must be rescued by the player. While the story is nothing original, it is well enough told and reasonably gripping, but don't expect a classic tale to rival Baldur's Gate or Elder Scrolls. The same can be said of the gameplay itself, which is a standard dungeon crawler and which starts with player creation akin to Dungeons and Dragons and which features the usual classes like Warrior, Rogue and Priest and stats like Intelligence, Strength and Dexterity. Once things get rolling, players find themselves controlling a party of four and exploring the city of Lockhaven and its environs, including the delightfully fragrant sewer system. Combat is both random and turn-based, with the usual array of options, including ranged or melee attacks as well as magic. As you might have guessed, Ancients really is pretty ordinary in every respect and doesn't do anything different to dozens of other fantasy RPGs. The story is straightforward and lacking in sidequests, making its long-term appeal somewhat limited, while the graphics, sound and gameplay are also pretty run of the mill. However, it doesn't really do anything wrong and if you are a true RPG fan, there is some enjoyment to be found here. Newcomers to the genre will also enjoy its accessibility, but it lacks the depth to make it anything more than average.
Golden Box style RPG, alrigh setting and alright story
In Ancients: Deathwatch you will play as the leader of a party of up to 4 explorers, in this relatively non descript vanilla fantasy realm. Your goal? Well it depends on the mission at hand. The game doesn't see to have a one minded main quests, but the ones that I've experienced are mostly limited in scope. Anyway, I don't think you'll mind the lack of epicness in the game; most of the time you will be minding and looking to find the best possible way to escape your immediate enemies or to kill them, and then keeping an eye on your map, so as to be not get lost. Yes, it's mostly a dungeon crawl, this game, but it is a well done one, relatively. The dungeons are a bit repetitive and barren, and the characters you'll encounter are by no means too psychologically complex. Nope, they are just there to keep you occupied... Well, I guess, it's the bare minimum you could ask of such a first person role player, and, truth be told, I'm much rather be playing a game where the mechanical bits work, than in one with a great story where the step by step action is subpar. So, yeah, if you want a classic role player, golden box style, this one can be it. Alternatively, see one of the Ishar titles, or, if the time allows, play the entire series, it's undoubtedly the best one for early 3D engines and first person role playing.