Avernum: Escape from the Pit Review (PC)
Avernum: Escape from the Pit Review by Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara)
Avernum is a game series created by Spiderweb Software and are originally remakes of their Exile series in the 90’s. Escape from the Pit is a modern remake of the original First 3 Avernum games, and has been completely rewritten and reworked. The Story of Avernum: Escape from the Pit begins with your group of heroes being thrown into the underworld to be left for dead for defying Emperor Hawthorne. As you Venture through the vast expanse of the unerworld, also known as Avernum, you meet many strange creatures and people along the way. There is a vast number of towns and dungeons in the expanse of the giant cave network, as well as many different spells and skills for your heroes to learn.
When you first begin playing a new game, you are taken to the party creation screen in which you make up your party of heroes. There a number of characters and classes you can choose from including Soldier, Berzerker, Priest, Sorcerer, Rogue, Archer, Rebel, Hedge Wizard and Shaman or you can create your own custom class. When the game begins there is a brief cinematic telling you how you were thrown into the underworld and once there you find yourself in the arrival area, which is what the locals call it. Within this area you begin your journey and you’ll learn how to control your character and do battle with enemies. Movement is similar to any other classic PC RPG using the mouse button to click on an area to move and moving the mouse to the sides of the screen to pan the camera. The view point is also similar to many classic RPGs and is in an Isometric, top down angle.Battles in Avernum are in the turn based tactical RPG style, where you move your characters to a certain square near an enemy to attack. Its a similar system to Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem in a way. There are a large number of skills and spells to learn and depending on your choice for classes each one is different but any of your characters can learn these spells if they wish. For example a Rogue can learn priest spells if you choose to. When your characters level up they are given skill points to place into talent trees to increase spells and combat ability. Some of these skills include Melee Weapons, Ranged weapons, Priest skills, Mage Skills, Tool Use and many more. Each skill level increases the corresponding skills power but also increases the amount of battle disciplines your character can learn for that corresponding talent. There are also a large number of spells to use in battle if you choose to have a priest or mage in your party. Of course no party is complete without a priest. There are 20 mage spells to learn all together: Bolt of fire, Haste, Icy Rain, Minor Summon, Lightning Spray and Arcane Blow are just a few examples. There are also 20 Priest skills for you to learn such as Minor Heal, Smite, Call the Storm, Summon Shade, Mass Healing, Divine Fire, and Divine Host.
As mentioned before, there is an enormous world to explore with many different towns and dungeons to visit and many people and quests to complete. There are also a large number of equipment and weapons to acquire throughout your journey in Avernum ranging from thrown weapons like javelins and long swords and shields. Armor includes a various number of slots in the inventory ranging from cloaks to necklaces and boots. Overall this game is an immense joy to play if you’re a huge fan of Classic PC RPG’s like Baldurs Gate and Planescape Torment like I am. This game has everything any Classic RPG Fan would love: an incredibly involving storyline, very well written dialogue and an immense world to explore. It’s a great adventure that’s worth at least one play through or maybe even more with the multiple endings available.
That concludes this review folks! Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope this has shed light on this greatly well written game.
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) Out!
9 happy old school RPG fans out of 10