While at first glance this seems like another +1 STRGTH child of the "Big Book of RPG titles" Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny is in fact a remake of the 1992 adventure of the same name. Moniker grifters ArcaniA and Severance: Blade of Darkness: you've been outed as big robbing nerf herders.
Remakes are well and good, but nostalgia is a funny thing; it can have a person weeping at a Bros poster, polishing off their Grolsch bottle tops, and declaring that they wish "1989 never came to pass!", or oppositely, and mostly within the realms of software, it makes you say “we used to play that? Seriously?”.
Due to the ponderous nature of this renovation of RoA:BoD, the RPG sits in that latter category perhaps described best as “why bother?”. In the two decades that have past from classic CRPG to ruinous facelift, tutorials, user interfaces, and workable code have become pretty big things – all of which are alarmingly missing in this adventure.
In no uncertain times, this yesteryear RPG isn't just bad, it's actually broken, suffering some sort of a mental breakdown in the middle of a fantasy tavern, proclaiming itself the "Lizard Queen". This is a stuttering, half finished, mess of game, that if you squint and cock your head to a 42 degree angle you can just about make out the outline of coherent adventure before it starts shouting in German.
And it will start to shout in German, as the localization still seems to be in progress. Translation seems to have been handed off to a man being paid by the sentence, and the budget came up short. The odd German word will crop up here and there, sometimes ruining but a tiny morsel of information, or simply making some unintelligible. Sadly my own skills of Deutsch only lends to asking for a "small portion of chips" and to add insult to injury, there wasn't a chip vendor in sight.
So, with the high hopes that you have a working knowledge of the German language, starting out in RoA:BoD takes you to a familiar screen of character creation. Like other dungeon crawls, a number of party members already adorn the UI, each looking at you like an embarrassed LARPer, any eye contact questioning why either of you are there, and how you should really take stock of your life.
While I understand any good RPG allows you to sculpt your best elven ears and modify the beard of your favourite dwarf, Crafty Studios somehow manage to grab the player by the foot and drag them kicking and screaming into a grim basement of dice rolls and D&D attributes. Each character must be adjusted to fit level one, with no descriptions as to what you are doing, no help, no recommendations, and a lot of the aforementioned German text mixed with the English.
So, assuming that you are "hardcore" enough to understand character creation, or simply, like me, started to play a random game of clicking boxes, it's time to adventure far and wide. Clicking to leave the temple, you then leave into the town of Thorwal.
For a game that comes bundled with the graphics option of "beautiful" RoA:BoD is ironically a particularly ugly looking game. Set somewhere between European fantasy, and an FPS circa 1998, those odd moments of nice textures are constantly underlined by waxy faced NPCs and the general glum of a developer struggling with the debut of this "3D thing".
And the performance fares no better. Optimisation seems to be skipped, perhaps in favour of the studio's "Icecream Friday" and what you are left with is an ugly piece of software that doesn't even have the good graces to at least play well.
Trudging on through the gloom, RoA:BoD doesn't actually point you in any particular direction, instead of simply toe poking you out into town and demanding a wall of silence from its inhabitants. The controls are woefully inadequate, talking to NPCs becomes a Myst-like puzzle, and then invariably the game will crash to desktop starting the process over and over again.
And if it sounds like I am describing the opening stages, I spent more than ten hours with RoA:BoD and in between stuttering around, crashing, and scratching my head, I saw almost nothing of this broken, half-finished game, spending most of my time just grappling with the client, desperately trying to inch further and further into town.
Do I sound grumpy? Perhaps, but there is no better advice to give other than stay away from this game. To sum it up as paying for beta doesn't quite cut it. The RPG simply does not work, and taking a brief glimpse at the Steam Community would portray a similar picture.
In defence of Crafty Studios, they have been proactive in patching, but Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny seems a long way off of being playable quite yet. Save your nostalgia, start learning the German language, and pray to Cromm that things turn around quickly.
REALMS OF ARKADIA: BLADE OF DESTINY VERDICT
Unplayable. Broken. Ugly. Stay away.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Pressing exit game.