Realms of Ancient War review
Realms of Ancient War (or R.A.W. for short) might look like Diablo from the outside but it certainly doesn’t play like it.
R.A.W. is an old school styled, loot based hack and slash game, with typical class archetypes you'd expect to find in an Action RPG. You choose your basic wizard, warrior or rogue and start your adventure. While it’s seen as more of a throwback to games like the first Diablo, it certainly has way more problems.
The lack of voice acting in game is apparent right from the beginning as the first mission is to talk to someone in the first town. A box of dialogue will pop up on the bottom of the screen making the story seem like an afterthought. A few minutes in, I didn’t care what people had to say, as there was nothing exciting or interesting about the story.
During that same first quest, you’ll also notice the lack of a mini map, you know, the thing that almost every game of this type has. Instead, the game asks you to pause, and mark your location on a map to direct where to next, but ultimately it breaks up the flow of the game and doesn’t help much in dungeons.
Combat in the game is the only thing done well, as you can map different abilities to the controller. Unfortunately there is no dodge, block, roll, or anything else that can keep you alive during combat, when massive amounts of enemies swarm your location. I found myself dying a lot using the wizard with ranged attacks since the 20 or so on screen enemies would get past my fireballs and beat the living daylights out of me. The only choice I had would be to run away, which usually resulted in agroing even more mobs. The inability to block is certainly frustrating, and trying to run away without a mini map is much harder than it should be.
One other big issue is how far the camera is zoomed out during gameplay. Smaller enemies don’t stand out well from the mobs and I was attacked and killed by little bugs that I didn’t see until they were hitting me. In one of the first dungeons, you face dark areas loaded with skeletons and other enemies, but the far away camera makes it incredibly hard to spot these enemies.
R.A.W. has local co-op if you have a friend over, which is fine for the first player, but the second player doesn’t keep any of their progress, even with two accounts logged in on the same Xbox 360. So if your friend doesn’t mind playing just to help you out, it’ll be enjoyable.
There is so much wrong with R.A.W. that it’s hard to recommend, even as a $15 dollar download off of XBLA and PSN. From the missing features to the boring story, this is definitely a title I would avoid. Keep playing Diablo or Torchlight if you want excellent dungeon-crawler gameplay.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]