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Game Info:

Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny
Developed by: Crafty Studios
Published by: UIG Entertainment GmbH
Released: October 16, 2017 (PS4 and Xbox One), October 30, 2013 (Steam)
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, MacOs, Linux
Genre: Classic Role-Playing Game
ESRB: T for Teen, Alcohol Reference, Blood, Fantasy Violence, Language, and Suggestive Themes
Number of players: 1
Price: $24.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you UIG Entertainment GmbH for sending us a review copy of the game.

Note: This review is based on the PS4 Pro version and might not look, sound, and perform the same on other consoles and PC.

In today's gaming environment it's hard to find a classic style RPG game that brings back memories of Baldur's Gate as well as Icewind Dale and other numerous classic PC RPGs that are long forgotten. I have seen that in the last few years smaller developers are bringing back the turn based and older action based RPGs that myself and others have been wanting to play again. Realms of Arkania: Blades of Destiny was a very successful old RPG (1990s) in Europe and saw a smaller, but dedicated fan base in North America during the game's original release. I never heard of it but if I did I would have loved to play it back in the early 1990s. The game has been remade from the original 1992 version and looks much better. Since the remake launched on Steam in 2013 it has seen numerous patches that have improved the game.

Realms of Arkania: Blades of Destiny has you start out in a city named Thorwal with you and your party tasked by a man named Hetman Tronde Torbensson to try to find several pieces of a map that will lead the party to a special sword named Grimring that will help defeat a coming orc invasion to the lands of Arkania. The sword Grimring is called the Blade of Destiny and is the one sword powerful enough to stop Arkania from being destroyed by the orcs.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Enjoyable story, excellent voiced narrator, player friendly menus, Beautiful world map, and 3D battle maps.
Weak Points: Repetitive NPC character models and clothing, game freezing from time to time, overall graphics very outdated.
Moral Warnings: Blood splashes during battles, inappropriate sexual phrases, occasional suggestive themes, magic, and some language.

At the beginning of the game you start out with 6 random party members by default (you have the option to pick party members if you so desire) and then you begin your quest in the city of Thorwal. Along the way to your destination you and party members will need to rest at makeshift camp sites. Occasionally during your travels you could be ambushed by orcs, wolves, dwarves, bandits, etc. and that is where the real fun begins.

The game has enjoyable elements; like the writing and choices you have to make as you talk to NPCs is pretty hilarious. You can tell the developers have a pretty good sense of humor and wanted to bring that to the game. I always enjoyed listening to the narrator (yes there is a narrator, very uncommon in today's RPGs) and how it made me feel a greater part of the world and my party members. The game has you explore towns and dungeons in a 3D first person mode or a top down map mode. I would frequently switch between the two as I deemed it easier to navigate. Since I'm talking about map mode, I want to say that the world map and how you travel between towns and cities is just old school and I loved it. The world map would rotate down slightly and show where you're at and then you would click on a city or town you wanted to travel to and a red line (representing your party) would begin going from where you are to where you are going.

Battles in the game take place on a turn based 3D map. You and your party members each have a 3D version of themselves on the battlefield and your enemy is represented in 3D as well. Each map will have trees, buildings, and other items to effect line of sight and movement. It was nice that the developers worked hard to add this type of variety to the battles.

Graphically the game cannot compare to today's modern RPGs, which can turn off many gamers. I knew this was an old school remake and I understood that the graphics wouldn't be on par with The Witcher 3 or Horizon Zero Dawn, and I was perfectly fine with that. I was looking for a good story and old school PC RPG fun. The character models are not very good and there is repetitive use of clothing NPCs wear and also many identical NPC character models. I did enjoy the world map, town building, and the battle areas.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 71%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3.5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 71%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

The sound quality is pretty good. I love the narrator and the music in the game. The battle sounds are good but not great. The sound in the different areas (towns, dungeons, taverns, and inns) is decent, I just wished the developers added more variety.

There are a few bugs in the game which would cause my game to freeze a few times. I learned to save very often, especially before I entered an inn room (It seemed to freeze very often when your party was in a room). Hopefully, the game will see another patch by the developers that will fix this issue.

The controls and how you navigate the menus work just fine and I appreciate the developers for getting this to work properly on a console. I have played numerous PC ports of games and the controls are not mapped correctly and it causes frustration by the player. Going through the menus of each party member was a breeze and also utilizing the beautiful world map was very user friendly.

This game is more geared toward adults or older teens. There are blood splashes during battles, magic, violence, and occasional suggestive themes. The words wh*re and sh*t or used in the game. There is a brothel and female characters the player will talk to inside.

Even though the game isn't on par in many ways with today's RPG's I did enjoy it. Besides an occasional bug and the overuse of identical NPC models and clothing I would recommend giving it a chance; you just might find that you like the fun story. This game has a special charm that many modern games are lacking and I hope that the developer will bring more games of its type in the future.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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