reviewed on PC
A while back I quit playing Role Playing Games because of the sameness of them all. When I say a while, I actually mean quite some time. It was back in the days of the original Playstation when just about every other game seemed to be a Role Playing Game. Lately though, new games with improved graphics and clever story lines have gotten me enjoying the genre once again. Games like Morrowind, Knights of the Old Republic, and the somewhat more recent Jade Empire have proven that gameplay and storyline can intrigue and entertain me. Since playing Gods: Lands of Infinity, I have one more game to add to that impressive list.
The ancient world of Bellarion has been suffering under a war that is threatening to pull it apart completely. Unlike war between mortals, this war is an epic one in which the Gods of this world battle amongst themselves for supremacy. Alas, as these things go, the mortal worshipers of each God are being pitted against each other as well. But for a God, fewer followers means less prayer and without these, the power of the Gods is dwindling.
Desperate to win this war, each God tries to gain an edge over the other. Most of these attempts fail miserably until Mortagom, the God of Darkness, finds a new weapon that changes the balance in his favor. After having bestowed some of the power of this mysterious new weapon onto his followers, his Clerics became invincible. No armor or magic spell could protect against its deadly rays of light and Mortagom's rule seemed certain.
In sheer desperation Arswaargh, the God of Fire, used his own essence to create a new creature named Vivien. With the power to travel through space and time, she is sent out to other worlds to find something that can stop Mortagom's legions. Vivien starts her journey on the world of Antasion where she finds that her powers are gone, absorbed by the local Gods themselves. In addition to her task of finding a new weapon to defeat Mortagon, she will also have to gain back her powers. The adventure starts...
Enter the player
Without a good storyline a Role Playing Game is next to useless. With Gods: Lands of Infinity lack of a good storyline is not a concern. The story is an old one of battle between the Gods but is still laid out well. Gameplay does not take a manual that is two feet thick to understand which means that the learning curve is very comfortable. The interface is simple but adequate with helpful icons that pop up on receiving new hints and quests. You can jump right in and start battling because the battle screen is easy to use. Once the game starts, you can move your character around with the familiar a/w/s/d keys or the arrow keys and the mouse. While the world seems small and limited you soon realize there is more to it, as you open up more areas. Once you open an area travel is quick and easy just by visiting the local sign post.
Like with most Role Playing Games, you can earn gold by trading items that fallen enemies dropped upon their death and by completing quests. You will need gold to purchase items and potions. However, potions are not the only thing you need to stay healthy. Water and food, something we do not see all that often anymore, are must haves as well as without them your character will die of hunger or thirst. Combat is simple and easy to use; You have action points to use in battle and if you run out just defend to build them back up. It sounds a little complicated but think 'Final Fantasy' and you get the picture. Your main character can summon pets to help during combat which adds to the overall combat experience. If you are careful enough though, you can get by enemies without having to do battle. Helpful for when you are low on health and potions right? Ah, but there is a twist. The -obvious- downside is of course that you will miss out on the experience points to level up. Often, the game will offer you the option to run away from a battle. Doing this does not only result in not gaining any experience, it will actually cause you to lose experience points!
There is plenty to do to take the boredom out of having to level up. The quests are an integral part of the storyline but you have some control over how you want to execute them. The side quests range from simple 'missing persons' and 'escort someone safely from point A to B' to 'retrieve a particular item'. Standard fare but it works. Vivien also learns skills and magic during the course of the game. Most of this is, again, standard fare. The additional alchemy skills appeared to be tossed in as an afterthought and did not really add anything to the game for me.
A living world
The rich and colorful graphics really bring the game alive. While your adversaries could have used a little more animation, the rest of the game world looks quite nice. Trees, bushes, and grass were some of the best I have seen, for a big part because of the interaction between objects in the game and the sounds that come through your speakers. For instance, when you are walking you can hear the swishing of the grass. Or it does at least until it gets replaced by the sounds of combat! Regrettably, buildings have not received the same care. They cannot be entered and thus their only use is to spice up the environment.
While the game could have used more different voices, the voice acting is well done even if it usually only serves to start if the conversation with Non Player Characters. After a few lines of speech, text takes over and you can read what the character has to say. I also feel that the game could have used some background sounds such as animals roaring in the distance or birds chirping when you are exploring the woods. These issues are hardly problematic but for future version of Gods: Lands of Infinity, I hope that this will be taken into account.
While replayability rarely scores very high with me I find Gods: Lands of Infinity scores well in this area. After finishing the game I felt compelled to go back and see what choices other than my original ones would cause, as there were quite a few different choices you could make. Gods: Lands of Infinity is a highly enjoyable game that defies the 'tiredness' that we see so often in other Role Playing Games. If you are looking for something different, this game is for you.
No Pros and Cons at this time