Developer: Spiderweb Software
Publisher: Spiderweb Software
Reviewed by: Katalist
I know I am not alone with missing the RPGs of old. Sure there have been some great RPGs in the last while that I have enjoyed (The Witcher 2, Risen, and Dragon Age: Origins), but the great RPGs, with good role-playing and/or interested story are hard to find. For older RPG fans that grew up on the likes of Ultima, Wizardry, the early Elderscrolls games, Gothic 2, etc., we dont really have much to get excited for these days. A lot of modern RPGs seem to be more worried with delivering flashy graphics, expensive voice actors, and gimmicks instead of a great characters, solid role-playing and ambitious ideas.
I have played two of the games done by Spiderweb Software in the past and enjoyed them a great deal. This was many years ago though, so I was very interested to see what their new games had in store for me. In Avadon you serve the "keep" of the lands and are sent on all kinds of missions, from helping a dragon, to working as a spy, to hunting a big Shadowbeast, amongst other adventures. Your word is law and you will be faced with some tough choices to make. Now those things might not sound all that great to you, but let me tell you, the way the dialogue, characters and combat come together is simply right.
First off, the dialogue and narrative is very well done, as you explore and find new places and people you will be get wonderful backgrounds, crisp dialogue from teammates and wicked descriptions of everything around you. That might not sound like much but it works really well, as it's almost like playing a videogame and reading a book in short spurts. It's nice that the game relies on those elements rather than voice work or flashy graphics.
The game world and lore is also well established, as you really get a sense of your surroundings...more so than in more expensive, high profile RPGs. Avadon is a lot more accesible than some of the developers previous titles. You will meet tons of enjoyable characters along your way and so many of them are interesting and fun to learn more about. It's hard not to grow attached to the characters over the course of the game. Your friends, enemies and people you meet along the way all have distinct personalities.
I found the combat to be very strategic and a lot of fun. Think of Fallout-type of combat (minus the vats) mixed with Baldurs Gate. You have all kinds of magic and items to use during combat also, or you can beat up monsters with your trusty sword/spear.
I do have a few small issues with the game though, the lack of music hurts it and I would have liked to see more character customization. In the end though, those are small issues that don't really take away from all the good things that Avadon does.
In the end, it took me around thirty hours to beat, now it might be a bit shorter for some people that skip all the description and dialogue, but to me, those are the best parts of the game. If you are looking for an RPG that is more about characters, story and old school role-playing, then pick up Avadon on PC, Mac, or iPad today!