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GOG GOG Direct [?] $ 44.99 view deal

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Rough and ready

Something of a spin off from the Dark Eye series, this is a curious little turn-based adventure, that is reminiscent of Shadowrun Returns, but which is likely to split gamers down the middle. In many ways, it's very well done, with an interesting story and some nice tactical combat but it's also somewhat repetitive and boring for a lot of its running time, so it's definitely one to be wary of. There's a fairly typical but well told narrative here, with a fantasy-style world under threat from a mysterious danger, but whose fate is in the hands not of a shining band of heroes but of a gang of miscreants and roughnecks. The story is perhaps the high point of the game, being quite dark, mature and complex, but it's in the gameplay where it suffers. Most of the game focuses on turn-based combat as your party ventures through 180 hex-based battlegrounds, battling various unpleasant foes as they go. There's the usual array of spells, weapons, items and so on to choose from in order to ensure you emerge victorious, including plenty of environment-based objects such as beehives and flammable gas swamps. In theory, this should have been a great game. It's got an excellent story and an extensive range of options to play around with, with nice graphics and some surpisingly good voice acting. However, a few factors let the side down. First up, combat is far too random for its own good, which results in frequent frustration, while it's also less than open-ended, with only one real way to win. Quests are also less than interesting and it all outstays its welcome pretty soon. It's a shame really, as there's the making of a good game here.
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Blackguards Special Edition (pc game)
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