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Diablo goes to China
For anyone who's just about played the classic action RPG that is Diablo to death but is looking for more, then this Eastern-themed take on the genre might just about keep you going. It's perhaps not as good as the likes of the Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing but if the Orient is more your thing, then this makes for a solid little romp. The game is set in the historical period of the final years of the Qin Dynasty, but don't expect a proper history lesson here as the game makes up just as much as it doesn't. The plot is a fairly complex one, which takes you through thirteen chapters and lets you visit many parts of China from the Great Wall to the Terracotta Warriors. Along the way, you'll meet over seventy NPCs, many of whom do have a basis in reality, while there's a number of enemies to battle. The gameplay is essentially the same as Diablo, but there's less of a focus on gathering and crafting, with fewer items to discover, but this is made up by the greater emphasis on story. As far as Diablo clones go, this is decent enough stuff. It scores a few points for the setting, which is unusual and well realized, making a pleasant change from the usual fantasy fluff. The story is generally well told, and moves along at a fair old pace, while the combat and strategy elements are both integrated well and are mostly enjoyable. The visuals are standard for this sort of thing, as is the sound, while the controls are easy to pick up and the interface simple to navigate. All in all, this is a fun but unoriginal addition to a crowded genre which is worth a look if you really need another such game.