Monday, April 21, 2008

Darkness Springs Online RPG

I would like to introduce a new online RPG game - Darkness Springs. Developed by Ambiera, Darkness Springs is a beautifully rendered flash RPG with game play similar to Diablo without the hassle of software installation. The only requirement is that you have the latest flash player for your browser and ofcourse an internet connection.

Darkness has fallen upon the lands of Enthpia, and the members of the guild of Tolsor have evoked an adventurer to find the reason for the sudden darkness. The player is playing this adventurer, and together with the mage of Traor, he tries to find a solution to the problems caused by the darkness in Enthpia, such as the appearance of wargs, goblins and even scarier monsters.

Game Play
When you visit the Darkness Springs Website and click the New Game button you will instantly be transferred to the game, you just have to specify your age and choose whether you want to play a male or female hero then the game will start right then. No need for lengthy registration, waiting for email confirmation and stuff, you can go to the website and play the game just like any other flash games.

Your hero initially appears inside a dungeon, click anywhere to move your character to where you want him to go, in here you can also fight one Skeleton monster, just click on the monster several times to whack it with your sword.

Your mission starts upon emerging from the dungeon, a voice from the darkness tells you that you are evoked to find the reason of the sudden Darkness. Explore the town for a while, familiarize yourself with the surroundings, talk to town citizens by clicking on them, some of this citizens will give you quest such as killing monsters and finding several items for them. Rewards given can be money or items.

Game Controls
Game controls is easy, point and click - point and click, Q W to use items such as potions and magic scrolls, heroes can also fire different kinds of magic and you can perform it by pressing shift then click on the monster you want to toast.

My only problem is that I sometimes get confused when I try using magic, especially when you already learned numerous magic skills. The magic learned are automatically placed in skill boxes at the bottom right of the screen, to use a certain magic you have to click on the skill you want to use to make it active, or you can Press 1 to scroll on your magic skills... heres how it is set up.

Bolt of fire - Shortcut is 1
Bolt of fire level 2 - Shortcut is also 1
Bolt of fire level 3 - Shortcut is also 1

So if you want to use magic, press 1 to scroll along the Fire magic levels, press 2 to scroll along the Ice magic levels and 3 to scroll along lighting levels.

I think its much better if they made it so that you can set the skills you want to use in certain slots. For example you have 1 to 10 as magic shortcuts, you can just set lets say Bolt of fire level 3 on shortcut 1, Bolt of Lighting on Shortcut 2 and so on.

Same goes to the items, healing items are always Q, Magic pots always W others you need to click first to use or in case of magic scrolls, click then shift click to cast. Easy but its much better if I can place it in the 1 to 10 shortcut slot.

The inventory system is easy to understand, some items needs more space than other items, so its up to you to manage your inventory. Another problem with the inventory is that the potions and scrolls don't stack... I think its much better if you could stack 10 potions in one slot, this way I can go out of town with lots of potions and still have enough inventory to store loots.

My inventory is full already and Im in the town still(sob)

Though you can increase your inventory by upgrading to premium account, this will enable the use of the backpack (the extra inventory slots at the right side of your inventory screen). They should put a message like "For premium accounts only" when trying to put items in there to avoid confusion.

No Headgears?
Im a total headgear fanatic, the cooler the headgear the more I love the character. Even if it does'nt add anything in the player stats, as long as it looks cool then its ok :)

You can use different kinds of weapons, Swords, Maces, Daggers, Hammers and Ax.. each item having different stat requirements and attack power. Some items are dropped by monsters, others you can pick up after defeating strong boss monsters.

You can buy and sell weapons, armors and shields at the Town Blacksmith, expensive equipments have higher attack and protection values but the requirements to use them are high. You can also equip yourself with magical items, these type of item cant be bought on shops but are dropped by monsters. Magical items have extra attributes like extra sword skill points and stuff.

The map is design is beautiful for a flash based game, the environments are rendered cleanly, although there are some map flaws that I experience like walking on magma, walking trough walls and other small stuffs.

The map lighting is what I loved the most, it gives the gave the spookiness it needs especially when you are out there killing monsters.

The only problem I have is when it comes to character design, my hero doesn't look cool at first... yeah coz he is weak and have nothing on him very much understandable... but after getting out of the dungeon where I was evoked... I saw my clone walking around town... I entered a house and saw my self again... together with another one of my clone.. I just don't like the idea of having NPC's that looks like my hero. Its ok if you have repeated monster avatars but NPC's? well I don't like it... especially when the NPC's looks like the hero itself.

Meet my unrelated half twin brother

There are some unique NPC's in the game, the town mage, the town blacksmith and another guy that sells rings and stuffs. But you can also see them repeatedly in other towns. It would be much better if you have different NPC's, a farmer should look like a farmer, an adventurer should look like my clone and the hero should look different... unique from all the rest... coz I'm the evoked one! But since the game is still in open beta, this can be fixed in later updates.

Another thing that I found dissapointing is that my character wont change no matter what I equip on him... I wore a shied, but it doesn't show in the game, I wore an armor but my hero is still on his hmm... well still half naked... the weapon doesn't change as well, always using the same sword through out the game... and this is very important, the game will become more addicting if my hero looks cooler.

But everything else looks fine, the magic effects looks ok, I really dont know if you can play with the elements when fighting monsters... like some monsters are weak againts fire and strong againts ice and stuff. I tried if my ice spells can slow down my enemies but no changes seems to occur but still its ok.

Boss monsters should be given an overhaul, like giving them a different shade of color is a start, red monsters with packs of regular colored monsters = a boss monster... higher level and damage = more challenge and fun.

These is the only problem I found in the game, the repeatitiveness of avatars... and headgears.

The music loops and sound effects in the game is ok, a cheerful sound when your in town, and an eary scary sound when traveling on monster filled maps... giving you the sense of danger and chills.

Final Comments
For now having this game in its beta stage I'll give it a rating of 7/10, today a little bud that will surely bloom as the time passes.

All in all the game looks promising its still in open beta and you can play it for free, an online singple player RPG that looks good and will surely look even better in the near future.

Click here to play Darkness Springs and visit Ultimate Flash Game Archive to Play Free Games.

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