Avernum: Escape From the Pit from Spiderweb Software is due to be released before the end of the year, just in time for Santa Claus to (digitally) deliver. If you’re a fan of adventure games, role-playing games, and/or any game that features turn-based combat and an epic story with multiple endings, dozens of quests, and innovative character creation, then you should be eagerly counting down the days.
Avernum: Escape From the Pit takes place on a world controlled by the Empire and the cruel Emperor Hawthorne. If you don’t fit in, speak out against the injustice of the Empire or anger the wrong people, then you get sent far below the surface. There, you’re expected to die horribly or live without even the smallest comforts to which you’re accustomed, such as the warm sun on your skin. Once you arrive you’re surprised to find that those who were sent down before you have formed cities and used magic to create mushrooms to eat and glowing fungus to see by. They also have many foes and many problems that need solving, which means your new career as a wandering adventurer is about to start.
Two main features set Avernum: Escape From the Pit apart from other role-playing games. One is the new character creation system which is a lot less overwhelming than many other role-playing games. Instead of being given a bunch of skill points to distribute at character creation and other choices to make, you simply pick traits and increase stats as you level up. This lets you play the game while deciding what kind of character you’re going to become, instead of doing it before you even set foot in the game.
The second is that you’re given a lot of freedom to go where you want to go and to complete quests in almost any order. While some quests and areas are easier than others, there’s little to stop you from wandering freely and exploring as you see fit. You’re given pointers about where to go and what to do, but you’re not forced to do anything in any particular order. This kind of freedom is refreshing and is what an adventure game should be.
I’ve been fortunate to test Avernum: Escape From the Pit for the past few weeks, and can say that whether you’re a long-time fan of Spiderweb Software or want to see what role-playing games are like, there are few other games you’ll want to be playing when it gets released later this year. In the first part of 2012, it will also be made available for Windows and the iPad.
Macintosh System Requirements:
- Macintosh running System 10.4 or later
- 800 MhZ processor. Minimum 1.6 GhZ processor recommended
- Video card or processor with OpenGL support and 32 MB video RAM (64 MB recommended)
- 512 MB RAM and 200 MB hard disk space
- 1024×600 screen resolution with 32 bit color
Product [Avernum: Escape From the Pit]