Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard

RPG 2005 Windows Hasbro Inc. Fantasy Dungeons and Dragons Role playing Strategy

Intriguing mix of fantasy elements

Don't be fooled by the D&D tag on the game, as this isn't a typical fantasy RPG like most games with these letters in the title. Instead, it's more of a real-time strategy experience but which has been simplified somewhat but which is still set in the classic fantasy world and features plenty of RPG elements, and which actually proves to be quite an interesting little game. The main campaign mode revolves around the struggle for power between three races and who are vying for control of a source of limitless power, the Heart of Siberys. The gameplay is a mix of RTS and RPG, with players selecting their hero, along with any equipment, and then venturing into a murky underground world, where they engage in a series of traditional quests, with the usual experience points, combat, loot and other such factors being included. However, the second part of the game, which takes place above ground, is where the RTS aspects come into play but which are more streamlined than pure games of this genre, like Command & Conquer or Warcraft 3 and which actually mesh together with the more action oriented parts extremely well, thanks to some imaginative handling of new ideas. As this is a D&D game, the ruleset is followed closely, with many familiar monsters, weapons and items and everything has that great D&D feel, thanks to some atmospheric and well-designed levels and visuals. Although many games which try to fuse different styles don't really work, Dragonshard is pretty successful. The action parts are as exciting and satisfying as you would hope for, while the strategy sections are equally compelling so when you combine the two, you have a fine fantasy experience.

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