Review: Evoland

Evoland is a game whose key-concept is to demonstrate the evolution of RPG’s (Role-playing games) through the ages. Starting from a 2D, colourless, soundless world, the game quickly upgrades to a 3D adventure full of textures, monsters, heart and humour with the simple collection of chests. This will stick out to anyone who has ever loved, enjoyed or even played an RPG as they (like myself) will find this game extremely interesting, beginning from absolutely nothing and moving on to be a true hero.

Shiro Games, who are a relatively unknown indie developer, added Evoland to the Steam Greenlight; due to the success of the previous flash model “Evoland Classic”, which attracted over 300,000 players. However, this time around bringing a bigger, better and bolder experience to the table, highlighting all the classic and important moments of the RPG genre’s lifetime.

Evoland falls in to three categories: Indie, Adventure and RPG, having an independent developer as Shiro Games who brilliantly decided to create a game that dwells briefly on each historic segment in the timeline of RPG gaming, changing graphics, combat, playstyle, view, monsters, player age and so much more throughout your stay in the land of evolution. This would surely flare up any RPG player’s sense of nostalgia, taking pages from games such as: Zelda, Final Fantasy and Diablo. The gameplay itself isn’t bad at all, but that’s definitely not the game’s motive, the game takes the player on a journey through the past of Role-playing games and even puts quirky little jokes in there with regard to genre-changing titles, for example the biggest hint of all: Your default name before user customisation is “Clink” (remind you of anyone?). Your job is simple, help a trusty companion (Met through your journey) save her town from the corruption and evil of a mythical monster.

Before I even ran the game I realized how different it could potentially be from other titles, having the ability to offer a unique experience. I soon discovered that instead of falling into the heap of cliché indie game RPG’s, it takes classic RPG games and gives the player a taste of them all, proving interesting to say the least. This can be interpreted as both a good and bad thing, it doesn’t come off as a very creative concept, as the separate elements within the game have all been done before, but the method of changing play style allows the gameplay to be continually interesting. Within the first ten minutes I was opening chests that granted me access to more movement, colour, sound, combat and NPCs. You’d think it would stop there, but it keeps on updating until it becomes a 3D world bustling with enough character and charm to bring any gamer back to the golden days of RPGs.

The way the game goes about story progression is a great one, as it makes you work for it, instead of telling you what to do and where to do it, you must explore and find out what you have to do yourself. It sounds strenuous, but makes it a lot more worthwhile when you feel the accomplishment of progressing through a game with no help.

Each location has its own unique feel; you start off in a woodland area which can be easily traversed in terms of land and combat. However, then you move onto the over world which works like tall grass in Pokémon games, every step you take has a danger of enemies initiating a turn-based combat, different to the regular hack and slash. Along with those, there are also passive settlements such as villages and towns offering refuge and supplies.

Although the game is enjoyable regardless of which part you are on, be it the opening moments or a puzzle inside a cave system, there was one flaw, although it may be put down to stupidity on my behalf; the game allows players to enter areas they may be unequipped for. In terms of items found in chests, I found this to be both good and bad. In one instance, I ventured into a cave, to be chased by dozens of enemies which I had no way of defending myself from, but I did find an exceptional amount of loot which helped me on my travels.

Besides that one occurrence I wouldn’t be able to find any game-breaking flaws with it, the game did what it was supposed to, whilst being funny and entertaining at the same time. I would have liked for the game to have lasted longer and it could have probably done that by using different aspects from a wider range of RPGs. Along with adding a more varied amount of weapons and different story-arcs.

The games is around £6 / $10 and is a must-buy for any RPG fan, however if you’re not too keen on that genre, it may not be your fancy as it relies a lot on knowledge of previous games of the Role-playing kind. It would run on any modern computer and is a great way to spend several entertaining hours, laughing at the jokes the game will throw your way every other minute.

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