Engrossing and satisfying dungeon crawler
If the thought of a dungeon crawler set in a world of mad gods bent on vengeance sounds interesting to you, then Stonekeep is a game which is well worth spending some time with. Developed by Interplay, perhaps best known for RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Fallout, the game mixes real time combat and exploration with an intriguing storyline to generally decent effect and which should provide genre fans with the kind of thrills they are looking for. The game tells the story of a young boy who was the lone survivor of a devastating attack by an insane god and who must return to the ruined Stonekeep in order to bring vengeance and achieve peace within himself. What follows is a generally standard dungeon crawler that manages to add in a few interesting elements which help it stand out from the crowd. There is no character creation but there is a party system, with up to three other personalities joining you to help you out, while magic also plays an important part, with runes to be discovered and which can be attached to your weapons to provide extra offensive and support effects. Combat is played out in real-time and is pretty challenging but is fortunately highly satisfying, with some great demonic entities to battle and with the spells adding some neat tactical variations to take advantage of. The visuals are still pretty impressive, with atmospheric environments to explore and some slick, if slightly cheesy, digitized cutscenes to enjoy and which progress the engrossing storyline well. If the likes of Dungeon Master or Diablo float your boat, then this should keep you happy, thanks to its epic quest, enjoyable combat and well-realised fantasy world, so it is a game well worth venturing into.