Genre: Role-Playing (RPG)
Perspective: 1st-person, 3rd-person
Published by: Dynamix
Developed by: Dynamix
The world of Midkemia, created by the famous science fiction writer Raymond Feist, is known and loved by many since the very first adventures, which the readers, thanks to the author's talent, seemed to be experiencing in reality together with the brave heroes. Boundless space for travel, intrigue at the royal court, the eternal confrontation of irreconcilable parties - it was great to watch all this, and surely many fantasy fans themselves would gladly take part in the events taking place. Of course, only a miracle would allow you to truly immerse yourself in the atmosphere of brave deeds, mysteries and desperate struggle, but miracles sometimes happen, and Betrayal at Krondor can be called one of them without hesitation. A story that has stepped over the strict line of book pages obligingly hands you a pen, allowing you to write the missing chapters yourself and determine the path of further events.
For the sake of the plot, Betrayal at Krondor has departed from many canons of classic RPGs, which makes it more similar to the Japanese representatives of the genre. Here, as, for example, in the games of the Final Fantasy or Grandia series, you do not have to create your own team of heroes from scratch or manually assign characteristics to them. But history so skillfully captures the attention of anyone who touches it that one just wants to resignedly follow all its turns. From the very beginning, a very motley company falls under our sensitive guardianship - a brave, honest and fair knight, a young healer who is not deprived of ingenuity and a dark elf - a representative of a people who have been at war with people for so long that his mere presence causes acute hostility among those around him. Subsequently, depending on the course of the story, team members can disappear and reappear, but under your control there are never more than three of them.
A significant part of the game takes place in a "peaceful" exploration mode with a first-person view. This perspective is very convenient during wanderings and allows you to inspect the villages on the way from afar, to mark a place where you can set up camp, or to discover a disguised robber ambush. But as soon as you enter the battle, the picture is transformed. The battlefield is presented in a convenient isometric view, allowing you to quickly assess your strength and make an informed decision. The skirmishes themselves take place step by step. In one move, you can move around the field at a certain distance or carry out an attack. The tactical element is quite strong here, since the enemy can, for example, stand close to your archer or mage and prevent him from fully manifesting his abilities. Fighting techniques differ in type and make it possible to choose between more accuracy, but less damage, or, conversely, a powerful blow and a small chance of being hit. The efficiency of actions is critically influenced by the state of the character who performs them. Even the most hardy and fast knight, being wounded and exhausted by a series of previous battles, can only scratch the enemy and, of course, in battle will be more of a burden than a support. Therefore, you need to monitor the state of your characters, stopping for the night in time, replenishing food supplies and, when necessary, enhancing their weapons and armor with numerous available potions and spells.
The world of Betrayal at Krondor is huge, and while traveling through its vastness you will repeatedly come across both small settlements or even detached huts, as well as huge trade centers, powerful fortresses and impregnable castles. Visiting such settlements is also implemented in an unusual way. In some of them, you can wander all with the same first-person view, looking into each building and exploring every well, cornfields and barns in your path. But others are presented in the form of beautifully drawn interactive menus, clicking on certain parts of which, you get straight to the institution of interest to you, be it a temple, a shop or a favorite place of any tired traveler - a tavern. Commoners, warriors, monks, scientists, who now and then meet on the way, are by no means soulless "decorations" designed to add variety to the landscape. Not at all - in Betrayal at Krondor, each of them plays a role, and a casual conversation in some inconspicuous inn on the edge of the village can develop into a serious offshoot from the main mission, promising the heroes fabulous riches and frightening with mortal dangers.
The literary roots of Betrayal at Krondor are reminiscent of themselves almost at every step, and they do it with sophistication and elegance. The game describes almost every action of your characters with amazing accuracy and inexhaustible talent. Before the battle, you will fully experience how the warriors concentrate on the upcoming battle, how they overcome their fear, preparing, perhaps, for the last battle of their lives. The dialogues are conveyed so masterfully that you don't doubt for a second that you are reading them not on a computer screen, but in a good book. Have you met any new item? One click of the mouse and, be sure, you will receive a comprehensive and colorful description of its properties. Even the gameplay itself is divided here not into incomprehensible "acts", "parts" or, God forbid, "tasks", but into familiar and familiar chapters, just like in books.
Perhaps, if we were talking about some other game, the conversation could end there, but in the case of Betrayal at Krondor, not to mention the graphics and musical accompaniment would be simply blasphemy. It would seem, what could be surprising in these hand-drawn models of characters, trees, houses from 1993? But now you pass through a dense forest, in the distance the peasant's yard is already brightening, all that remains is to wade through a field of tall bright yellow corn, past a funny scarecrow ... And at such moments you realize that the landscapes here, like the whole story, are alive, that their contribution to the general atmosphere is no less great than the wonderful literary descriptions. And very soon Betrayal at Krondor is no longer possible to imagine others - everything here falls into place. Suffice it to say about music that it corresponds to the general level of the game, which means that during your adventures you will enjoy the magnificent harmony of compositions created by the masters of their craft.
Probably, even the most inquisitive reviewer would not have been able to list all the advantages of Betrayal at Krondor. But even without any lengthy descriptions, it is clear that this game is worth trying for everyone. After all, genuine masterpieces are not so common.