Drakensang: The Dark Eye Reviews

Two more online reviews of Radon Labs' Drakensang: The Dark Eye popped up over the last twenty-four hours.

First up is Boomtown, who give the game a score of 8/10:
Regardless of whether you're a crafter or not, there's certainly a fair dollop of role playing goodness to chip away at. By my own account, I've been playing for around 30 hours now with no sign of the end of the main quest in sight, but more importantly, I haven't begun to tire of what the game throws at me.

Having said that, unless you're the type who is impressed by graphics or sound, Drakensang isn't likely to win you over immediately with its charms, as it requires an investment of a few hours play before things really start to get interesting, both in terms of the enemies you will face and the development of the main story. But for my money, it's time well spent, as it succeeds more often than not in recapturing the spirit of some of the more highly regarded CRPG titles of the earlier part of the decade.

Then we have Nerd on a Plane, where only a list of highlights and "lowlights" are given:
- The Dark Eye rules are interesting enough to be a nice break from D&D but they make sense, and I think they'd make sense even if you just came from WoW.
- The map/log system makes it virtually impossible to stay lost except in one or two cases.
- Lots of very different environments. Towns, forests, caverns, underground towns, lava, snow, etc.
- The crane in the middle of the dwarven city is about as awesome of a 'throwaway' construct as I've seen in a game. So is the 'sinking ship' in the first main city. Amazing stuff. I didn't even notice it was sinking for a while, easy to miss but, wow. (you'll know to look for it when it happens now)
- If game time equals value, this puppy is a bargain.


- Even reading the manual, parts of the rules/engine don't make a lot of sense
- It is LOW magic. There is a single item in the game with +3 to a stat, all the others are +1. And I think there were maybe 3 magic weapons that I ended up with. Only the lead character has magic armor.
- Spells. The choice isn't huge in terms of useful spells, and I didn't get fireball until halfway though the game. Fireball also takes so long to cast you can only use it if you surprise people. In general, magic is not very powerful. Spell types are basically buffs and attack spells, and neither is overwhelming in any way. As a battlemage, at least, you have relatively little 'mana' so you only get to kick off a few spells.
- Scaling. You don't fell that much more powerful at the end of the game than the beginning, which is unfortunate. (NwN solves this with rapidly escalating spell effects). Your armor doesn't change much and neither do your weapons.