In the past, Interplay was considered the premier role-playing game creator with such titles as The Bard's Tale, Wasteland (still an all-time fave o' mine) and Dragon Wars. That was then, this is now. Born out of a rocky history of canceled and revived plans, Stonekeep doesn't measure up to the expectations that other 3-D RPG games have created. Stonekeep is no match for Arena's huge world, System Shock's real environments, or Betrayal at Krondor's rich story. A game so long in the making, even Stonekeep's supposed cutting-edge technology is dull compared to that of its competitors.
Stonekeep's out-of-date syndrome extends to its limited movement interface. Sure, it's a first-person game, but there's no real-time, freedom-of-movement 3-D here. Instead, Stonekeep uses a node-based system that moves you from node to node without letting you control the parts in between. Also, you can only turn at right angles. The basic game mechanics are only slightly different than the now 15-year-old original Wizardry on an Apple II!
Graphically, Stonekeep supplies some interesting bits. The monsters and non-player folks are done in full motion video, and the even the stones in the walls have a photo-realistic look, but the game's color palette looks dull and dreary. Still, Stonekeep is easy to play, and the addition of neat sound effects supplies a suitable atmosphere. Overall, Stonekeep is a dated first-person RPG that suffers from a poor interface, little depth, and few frills.