Today I played a hair over 2 hours of Avadon: The Black Fortress. Check out the video here:
I actually was having more fun with the game than I thought I would. The combat was simple to get the hang of and was fun. The problem is that the game doesn’t allow you to get to the combat. I know that RPGs tend to be about the story, and there were some intriguing bits in there, but I’d like to think that video games as a whole, and even classic-style RPGs, have moved beyond these outdated forms of storytelling that Avadon is using. You can tell the story without walls of text. You can integrate the action and the story together. As is, I only had two large battles in the two hours I played (and those wouldn’t be considered large by most games’ standards).
I guess the problem I had with the game was pacing. There are too many boring bits. I know I mostly just did the initial tutorial phase, but even the pacing of that was terrible.
The other major issue I have is UI and usability. The UI is ugly and outdated, and needs to join the modern era. RPGs have a lot going on, but there must be a better way to present the controls and information on the screen. Really, its interface is pretty standard for RPGs (you see a very similar control scheme with WoW or Torchlight 2), but that doesn’t make it a good thing. Also, that cursor is atrociously ugly.
I think I might enjoy Avadon if I had the 50+ hours it would probably take to complete this game, but I just don’t have that kind of time. I would rather play something a little faster-paced.