In search of evil
Seal of Evil is an action role-playing game, with a setting a bit like Jade Empire and gameplay like Diablo, and which is the prequel to Prince of Qin. It's not a bad entry into the genre, and if you've exhausted The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing then you might find this of interest. The game takes place in China, during the Warring States period, and finds you in control of a beautiful chieftain who is a kick-ass martial arts expert who has just lost her father. She then sets out on an epic quest with her husband-to-be and a beastman, in order to find some legendary stones that house the spirit of a demon. What follows is a fairly typical ARPG, which mixes historical fast with elements of mythology, so one minute you can expect to meet real life figures and the next fighting demons. The combat here is very much action-oriented, with a party system, and the five element setup that is used in the solving of puzzles and in features like crafting. Seal of Evil isn't a bad game, but it's far from a classic. The narrative is linear but engaging, scoring a good number of points from the setting, and the game is certainly going to keep you busy for a while, as it is pretty large. The visuals are spectacular but do the job well enough, while the controls and interface are both solid. The biggest issue is the combat, as there's a lot of it but it does get quite tedious and repetitive especially towards the end of the game, while there's also a general lack of excitement which means this is less than a must play.