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Ravensword: Shadowlands Review
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Ravensword: Shadowlands, the sequel to Crescent Moon Games’ hit open-world RPG title, is now available from the app store. You should expect much of the same as the previous iteration, only bigger and better as you delve back into this fantasy world.

Ravensword: Shadowlands Pros:

  • Gorgeous graphics, smooth animations, and a huge world to explore
  • Soundtrack garners an epic feel that’s worthy of the visuals
  • Controls are responsive and easy to use once you learn the little nuances
  • Tons of main and side quests, a robust upgrade system, and plenty of areas to explore

Ravensword: Shadowlands Cons:

  • Few unintuitive control elements
  • Need to line up screen center with environmental object can lead to missed opportunities and pointless searching
  • Battles can be awkward to engage in

Ravensword: Shadowlands features a huge open-world full of quests to complete, items to discover, areas to explore, NPCs to talk to, enemies to battle, and over 40 hours of gameplay. It’s kind of like GTA in a medieval setting, as the game truly is what you make of it. The story centers on the sole survivor of an epic war, as the cause of his survival is explored in an effort to determine whether he has the ability to banish the evil power that wiped out friends and foes alike. The narrative unfolds as you complete the main quests, giving you a fuller sense of the secrets in question. You could just as easily eschew all of that in favor of taking on random side quests, checking out every nook and cranny in the gorgeous environments, picking fights with beasties, running errands for the locals, or whatever your little heart desires. Maneuvering throughout the world is accomplished through use of a virtual pad, with the ability to run, jump, attack, and block controlled by double-taps or separate buttons. A special attack button is added later on, giving you the option to launch magical spells. Blocking is a little unintuitive, as you’ll only raise your shield in defense by holding the attack button as opposed to tapping it to inflict pain upon enemies. You have both ranged and melee weapons to use, which can impact how you choose to fight. Interacting with environmental objects and other people requires you to line up your screen center with the desired object, then tap on the icon that appears.

Making your way from one point to another can, at times, feel like a chore given the expansiveness of the world. Fortunately, moving between previously-explored locations can be quickly handled by tapping on a location on your map, rather than forcing you to backtrack over great distances, which is a terrific feature. Handling upgrade paths and earning enough experience to improve your attributes and abilities is a major aspect of the gameplay, one that offers a lot of enjoyment and customization that affects other areas of the game, like battles with foes. There are times that you’ll find yourself ill-equipped to handle the opposition, requiring you to grind through some side quests to properly prepare yourself for the task at hand. It’s all fairly standard, though enveloping it in Ravensword’s visually-pleasing style and coupling it with solid controls, an interesting storyline, and a robust upgrade system creates a whole that feels greater than the sum of its parts.

Graphically, Ravensword: Shadowlands looks brilliant, with a vibrant world full of interesting characters, hulking varied monsters, and beautiful landscapes. While we did encounter the occasional visual glitch, the sheer size of the world and the quality of the presentation more than makes up for its minor blemishes. Your character’s look is customizable, allowing you to create tons of different styles by changing up his hair and facial features. The gaming screen provides plenty of info in an unobtrusive way, allowing you to see your health and stamina in the upper corners. Keeping your strength up is crucial, lest you find yourself too weak to fight off an attack. Your knapsack offers a simple way to access your character stats, the world map, talent trees, quest logs, and your personal inventory, which includes the amount of gold you possess.  Gold is earned through gameplay or via IAP, which allows you to buy items to equip or trade. Draw distance, sensitivity, and difficulty are all adjustable via sliders in the Options menu. The soundtrack has a medieval feel, and the voice-acting work is quite good.

Replay value is great, as the developers boast over 40 hours of gameplay, coupled with hundreds of items to find, tons of side quests to complete, and a huge world to lose yourself in. We can see ourselves spending a lot of time getting familiar with all that Ravensword: Shadowlands has to offer and barely scratching the surface. A universal app for $6.99, Ravensword: Shadowlands is a sensational 4-Dimple experience.

Ravensword: Shadowlands Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-12-23T20:55:38+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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