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Modern tribute to classic RPGs

The original Eschalon was an enjoyable modernized tribute to classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Wizardry, Might and Magic and the Ultima series. These are big shoes to try and follow, but the first game did a pretty good job, with its complex, open-ended storyline but which turned out to be a bit too shallow for its own good in terms of gameplay. This followup features the same game world but doesn't really need any knowledge of the original to enjoy and turns out to be an improvement which greatly enhances the first game. Like the first installment, this is a turn-based RPG featuring lots of exploration, multiple-choice dialogues, monster slaying and loot grabbing. The story starts out low-key, charging you to meet a man who you've never met, but soon picks up pace and packs in plenty of intrigue. Combat is turn-based, relying on player stats to resolve, with the usual array of equipment and weapons to discover and make use of. Perhaps the key draw here is the game's open-ended nature and the vast possibilities for player choice. The world genuinely feels real and there is a great of embarking on a real adventure. The player interactions also feature plenty of choices to make and there are some real head-scratchers here which will stretch the moral part of your brain. Visually, this is fairly standard stuff, with some pleasing isometric visuals that are certainly atmospheric but which lack any real magic. However, the gameplay has lots to get stuck into and if you're into stats-based RPGs in fantasy settings, you could do far worse than look here.