User Rating: 1.9 | Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (Collector's Edition) PC
Without doubt, PoR2 is the most mind numbing game I have ever played. I like to work on the principle that if I haven't finished the game, I shouldn't comment on it. However, after wasting at least 50 hours on this game so far, there's no end anywhere in sight and the game remains so damn tedious that I'm afraid I'm going to have to give up. I suppose the word 'epic' on the box might be justified. If by 'epic' you mean 'huge'. Yes, the dungeons of Myth Drannor are huge. And boring. And full of orcs and undead, with very few variations thereof. And, apart from that, not much else, I'm afraid to say. By about your 50th encounter you get a little suspicious at the lack of variety. By the 100th you're certain of it. I don't have anything against turn based play, though yes I'll freely admit, I'm a PC gamer. Not a pen and paper fan. However Pool of Radiance's turn based play was not strategically paced, it was idiotically tedious. Encounter with generic orcs #5464, #2623 and #6263 takes four minutes due to the turn based play, even though the battle is a foregone win from the start, and I'll I'm doing is assigning automatic primary weapon attacks. Encounter with minor boss #245 takes twenty minutes because of the time necessary to navigate the chaotic submenus to find the appropriate wand, spell, or ability to win. Outside combat, the game is tediously slow as well, as characters shuffle around the endless dungeons. Formations are not automatic, and you have to manually assign them once you exceed four starting characters. Breaking/examing every chest/table/tampon dispenser that you inevitably need to just in case there is some critically important item hidden inside takes half an hour thanks to the strange need for characters to pause and take eight second breathers after swiping. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that the game lacks any of the elements of a CRPG except for dungeon crawling. Quests? Oh, well, there's one or two highly cryptic, non engaging, and heavily bugged ones. Phat loot to save up for an buy? No, cos there's only one merchant right at the start of the game, and even he gets yanked, apparently so as not to spoil the gaming experience. (Why the hell did they even include gold in the game anway?) Character development? Nope, you get your feats chosen for you. NPC's to talk to? Yeah, I think we saw one...on the last level...about ten hours ago. Even the sound was bad. Once you kill your thousandth orc, that death sound is pretty much ingrained in your skull. Along with the shuffling footstep sound. The music got repetitive after only an hour of playing the game, became a mind numbing cacophony later on until I realised mercifully I could turn it off. The graphics were really, all in all the only decent part of the game. The fault I had with them was aesthetic only - the way your characters turned to stick figure skeletons when behind walls and other obstructions, making me doubt how far technology has come with games. So yes, I'm ashamed but not regretful to say, I uninstalled pool of radiance before I finished it. By my judgement, well before anywhere near the end of the game. If you want a 'dungeon crawl' party based D&D game, go back and play Icewind Dale. An older on an older ruleset that was actually fun.