User Rating: 8.9 | King's Field: The Ancient City PS2
This is one of my favorite games so far this generation. It's a combination of first person adventure and RPG, and it's also arguably the most atmospheric game I've ever played. That's the true shining point of this game, the atmosphere. The world is very well made, creepy, and dark. The game really isn't a "horror" game per se, but it sure feels like it. The few characters you meet are also mysterious and depressing, and usually come to bad ends. The graphics are beautiful which also adds to the immersiveness. I do have to point out that there are many odd graphical glitches and some framerate issues, but they are fairly rare. The sound and music further complete the environments are are very well done. As far as the RPG elements, there is no real customization of your character. You only have control over which equipment he uses, and which weapons and spells he levels up. He's a very well-rounded character though and you can really become as powerful as you would like. You can also level up his weapons and spells up to level 3, so he can focus on might or magic at your choosing. Also there is an item you acquire early in the game that really allows you to use magic, by multiplying your spell points by 5. Without wearing this item constantly, it's almost impossible to be a magic-user. Therefore it could be seen as a choice between sheer physical might and magic use. All combat is done in first person, but is much slower paced than a standard FPS. The entire game is rather slow paced which is the reason points were deducted for gameplay. The reason behind this is because there are no load times, ever, in the game. Therefore your movement speed is extremely limited so the game will have time to always load ahead. This can make combat difficult sometimes when you are trying to strafe around enemies and use tactics beyond just "swing/cast faster". Speaking of attacking faster, the delay between each attack determines how powerful the next attack will be. So if you attack fast, each blow will be weak, but if you delay attacks, they will be more powerful. I strongly recommend this game, but unfortunately it is something of a niche type of game that not everyone will be able to enjoy. It is almost purely atmosphere with no plot or story, so some people will not be able to get into it. However I truly enjoyed it and have played it through three times already, and I know I will play it again.