RETRO – Cirrus was once a proud „Red Guard”, and the brightest hope of the King’s party, however those hopes are long gone, and he has become a burnt out mercenary who does not care about the prince’s death, or the extinction of his people. On the other hand he does not tolerate any harm coming to his family, so when he heard that his sister has disappeared, he sailed to Hammerfall to figure out what happened to her. Cirrus is non other, than Bethesda’s latest third person action adventure game.
Bethesda Softworks is familiar to the RPG fans: they created the Elder Scrolls series (Arena, Daggerfall, Battlespire) that was both great and bad in some aspects. Arena had a large world, and a well-crafted lore, while in the meantime Daggerfall was universally panned due to the amount of bugs the game had. (There are still patches being worked for the game, years after its release.
With a sword in his hand…
Even though The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard is part of the Elder Scrolls, and to the lore of the world, it has an entirely different gameplay compared to the previous games. Our hero as per these days is fully 3D, and controllable from third person, plus there are no skill points to add to attributes. No magic spells can be used, only sword fighting arts will be the used form of attack. The controls are like in Tomb Raider: he can run, jump, hang on ledges etc. Although he does not have such a huge arsenal, as Lara, he can use the sword effectively, and can kill enemies swiftly. This part of the game is very reminiscent of the old Prince of Persia games.
“Aging graphics engine looking for player”
… Adventurers do not hold back!” The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard’s graphics are like a female protagonist in her late thirties, a Mediterranean beauty: really good looking, but using a bit of an outdated engine.
As the game was made for DOS, it does not really use Direct3D. However the 3Dfx users will be glad to know that the program uses Glide fog, and other lightning effect to its fullest (though after Heretic 2 it still can be a bit slim).
Adventures on the land of Stros M’Kai
Although at first glance The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard does not seem more than a simple Die By The Sword game, luckily most of the game actually revolves around adventure game element. In Hammerfall we will have to speak and manage a lot of conversations, especially if we want to exhaust all possible outcomes in this complicated story. Those missed the epic adventures, will be able to talk to anyone from the street prostitute to the drunk for hours upon hours.
As per usual to this genre there are puzzles, and logical tasks in abundance: there are a lot of times when we can only get into a certain secret location if we use the correct item at the correct location, or if we talk to the right guy. Speaking of talking to the right guy, it is a great idea to read and listen carefully what is being said to us, as it can contain hidden clues to puzzles or locations. As the poor player cannot remember anything the program does this automatically with the journal function, that we can later recall any time.
So if anyone wants a really complex adventure game, they will not be disappointed with Redguard, however those want a bit of a fantasy-action then they should just stay with Heretic 2.
Redguard at your service!
I was a bit annoyed when I saw the first pictures from The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard: another Tomb Raider clone, do we really need one? Then when I loaded the program up I realized there was more to it than I thought. I was taken a back, and a bit frightened with the lore heavy conversations, the different kings, emperors, and their people (reguard, lorebear etc).
However after a while I was able to enjoy the deep story, which was full of intrigue, machinations, and death. Plus it was also better than the current offering such as Quest for Glory 5, or King’s Quest 8. With a 3Dfx there game is really beautiful – the fog and lightning effects sadly however have a simple 3D accelerator, so some might find it rather ugly.
Yarr! And a keg of rum!
Special mention should be made regarding the “pirate” music that can be heard throughout the entire game, and how it changes depending on the situation. The voice acting is superb, but there are exception: the voice actor for Mariah should be dragged six feet under as her voice was really annoying.
After Corvus, and Lara Croft it was really annoying to control our hero. Also another issue is that the move set for Cirrus is less than the mentioned heroes, the bigger problem is that even what he knows he does it woefully badly.
Do not even dream of trying to figure out the precise point to jump or step, as our brave hero will miss the jump, Swordfights between the characters have also been ruined ( interestingly this could only be done right in Deathtrap Dungeon as of yet).
It is impossible to maneuver, and we cannot do anything else just press the mouse or keyboard buttons to attack.
Luckily the developers of The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard focused more on the adventure part, rather than the combat, and that part became so great that it covers up the mistakes of the game.
-Bad Sector- (1998)
+ Excellent story
+ A good mixture of adventure, TPS and RPG
+ Perfect ambiance
– Graphics were outdated even by 1998 standards
– Control was rather bad
– Lots of boring dialogues
Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Genres: RPG, action-adventure