AVENCAST: Rise of the Mage Review
In a way, Avencast brings the action-RPG full circle. It features the real-time combat and mouse click controls of an action-RPG, but combat is not the central focus of the game. With its puzzles, long conversations, and puzzles, it's an action-RPG that's closer to its RPG roots than most other games in its genre. This makes for a game that will definitely appeal more to the traditional RPG crowd than the fast-clicking Diablo types.
The story in Avencast can best be described as Harry Potter meets Dungeons & Dragons. It opens with you in the role of a young wizard in the top wizarding school in the land. With a heavy dose of fetch quests undertaken at the bequest of professors, some players may give up on the game rather than subject themselves to a game set in a second-rate version of Hogwarts. Those who stick it out will find that the game soon enough moves into the standard fantasy fare of a kingdom besieged by an evil invasion and in need of a lone hero to save the day. There's nothing really all that compelling about the storyline, but it is in a genre known for its derivative storytelling.
While not much effort was put into an original storyline, the game does deserve some recognition for attempting some innovative things with the game's combat controls. While the effort is commendable, the end result leaves something to be desired. The game features an extensive spell list, but spells are cast by combinations of key presses and mouse clicks that are entirely too complicated and unwieldy to use in battle. Unfortunately you will need to use magic to get anywhere in the game because the melee combat is underpowered next to the magic attacks. Thrown into this mix is a dodge system that uses other key presses to initiate dodges and rolls to avoid attacks and traps. There's entirely too much key memorization required in all of this, and even if you can manage to keep everything straight in your mind it's still not easy to keep from tying your fingers into knots during the battles. It doesn't help matters at all that every enemy in the game can take a lot of damage from you before finally succumbing to your attacks. The fights are simply too long and drawn out and really break the flow of the game.
Ultimately, Avencast is its own biggest obstacle to success. The type of gamers that would enjoy its plethora of adventure game style puzzles will balk at the long and complicated battles. Those looking for more of an action-RPG experience will find the unwieldy interface too much to bother with. Avencast is best left to those RPG gamers looking for something a little different who don't mind playing a game that will take a little patience.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 66%. Avencast manages to be derivative and innovative at the same time, and the result leaves the game somewhere on the lower side of average.