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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Atari

 

Developer

Stormfront Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

- Excellent production values

- Not limited to controlling one character

- Lots of material for D&D fans

 

 

- Gameplay feels repetitive at times

- Annoying camera

- Cannot skip cut-scenes

- No multiplayer

- Fairly short story mode

 

 

Interview: Demon Stone Q&A

Review: Ninja Gaiden (XB)

Review: Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (XB)

 

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Demon Stone

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

Stormfront Studios, the well-known studio for its work on the Lord of the Rings action games, is back with a game that takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe. Since Stormfront did an excellent job developing Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Return of the King, youíd expect that Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (FRD) would be an excellent follow up for the development team; while that is true in some cases, FRD falls short in other areas.

 

demon stone ps2 review          demon stone ps2 review

 

The gameís story is centered on three characters: Rannek, Illus and Zhai. Each of the three characters has there own story background and problems they must each deal with.

 

Each of the three characters in the game possess unique abilities and skills. Throughout the game all of the three characters are always fighting alongside one another. You have the ability to switch between any of the three characters on the fly. Switching between the three characters is an extremely nice gameplay mechanic as it varies the style of gameplay, since each character can perform their own individual combat moves.

 

The gameplay itself is fairly basic and easy to pick up and play, so people who arenít fans of the genre will have an easy time getting into the game. A good majority of the game focuses on hack and slash style action, with few variations in between.

 

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Between levels you have the option of upgrading weaponry and armor for your characters, but once you do this itís basically back to the hack and slash action. After a while the gameplay tends to grow rather monotonous and stale.

 

The gameplay is also hampered by a few problems that prevent FRD from being at the top of its genre. First and foremost the camera system in the game is dreadful. You have no control over the camera. Why is this a problem? Since the game 

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emphasizes hack and slash style gameplay youíll end up seeing a large number of characters on screen at once. Sometimes youíll actually lose your character on screen in a mob of enemies. To deal with this problem, youíll usually have to hope youíre attacking the enemy in the proper direction in order to kill the enemies around you or basically switch to another character.

 

Another problem that the game suffers from is the inability to skip the cut scenes. Whenever you have to redo a certain segment of the game, youíre always stuck watching the same cut-scene that precedes the gameplay over and over again.

 

demon stone ps2 review          demon stone ps2 review

 

Those hoping to play cooperatively or competitively with a friend will sadly be disappointed. Unlike Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, FRDS doesnít feature any multiplayer capabilities. The story mode is fairly short and takes at least ten hours to complete. However, the game does boast a number of unlockable items.

 

Perhaps the best thing that FRD has going for it, is its cinematic style presentation. Patrick Stewart and Michael Clark Duncan are some of the well known actors lending their voices to the game. Chances are that if the gameplay of FRDS canít keep you playing itíll to be the excellent story and production values.

 

Unfortunately Forgotten Realms: Demon Stoneís gameplay cannot match the quality of the gameís presentation. Demon Stone will appeal to Dungeons & Dragons and fans of the hack and slash genre, but it falls short in several areas, which prevent it from being better than a lot of the competition.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(February 22, 2005)

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