The adventure continues
The original Ishar was a fine fantasy role-playing game and this sequel maintains the high quality of its predecessor but refines it and enhances the experience with much improved visuals and sound, and a slicker interface. If you haven't played the first one, then head back to the start of the trilogy for the full experience but if you are a veteran, then don't hesitate and dive straight in. In many ways, this is similar to other RPGs from the period, like Lands of Lore and Betrayal at Krondor, with players creating a party of adventuring and then exploring a vast land, searching for treasure and completing quests. In this case, the story revolves around finding an defeating the evil Shandar, who has the usual intentions of taking over the world for his own foul purposes, and while it may not be original, fantasy fans should find both the game world and the narrative reasonably engaging. Where the game really scores is in the sheer size of the world to be explored, with a massive number of locations just waiting to be discovered, all of which are presented in superb fashion, with detailed and atmospheric graphics that really bring the story to life. Combat is equally impressive, albeit extremely difficult, and players are well advised to import a party from Ishar or find themselves struggling against the powerful and skilled enemies that are to be faced here. As far as old-school RPGs go, this really is top notch stuff, with all the detail fans demand, plenty of flexibility, an engrossing storyline and splendid visuals. Really, the only drawback is the poor music but if you can ignore this, then you're in for a classic adventure. And once you're done, don't forget to finish the trilogy with the equally entertaining Ishar 3 for more fantasy RPG fun.