Drakensang: The Dark Eye

SOME SPOILERS!

So, I just finished Drakensang: The Dark Eye, and the first thought that came to my mind was that Dragon Age: Origins seems to have borrowed quite a lot of things from this game, or so it felt like anyhow. And that Drakensang in it’s turn borrowed some from Neverwinter Nights 2.

This game lacks the great features that many great RPGs have, like character interaction, heavy story and romance among other things. What it does not lack is battles, which it uses to cover up the really thin and short story it really has. It makes some use of a few of the social aspects that it has, but not all of them so I do not really understand the need to separate them as much it does. For example the game has: Seduce, Etiquette, Haggle, Human Nature and Fast Talk, but it only really uses Haggle thanks to the character’s need to buy all the equipment throughout the game. Human Nature is the second thing to be used and the others may come a few times if you are lucky.


Haggle is a really nice thing to have as gold is really needed in this game for both quests, potions (need lots of those), items for different conditions and armor alike. I ended my game with around 2000 gold, I didn’t upgrade my companions as I maybe should have due to the lack of interest in the last part of the game.

Companions do however speak during your quests but it is easily missed and they do not say much. They might even talk to each other at certain points but it is nothing worth reading really. They are rather generic otherwise. The dwarfs are a drunken, fight loving and proud race that of course sounds scottish, the elven people speaks about nature and animals or their people, the humans are well humans, greedy and just down right needy in my opinion.

The leveling system in this game is based on distributing experience points into stats more than “leveling up”, but you do level as well, it mostly just opens up the next “phase” for you to distribute more points into what you want as it gets maxed at certain numbers based on your level. You put your points in what you want to “level up” and the more points you put in, the better it becomes.

One thing that I realized much to late is the fact that the elven characters can not use all spells the game has to offer. They have a few that are mostly based on buffs for the fighters and the like. Though the pet companion is a really nice addition to your party.
Elven characters in this game seem to have access to less interesting spells than the humans do in the game, and even worse, the game’s main story just assumes that you play as a fighter. Through the course of the game, you’ll find armor pieces, which will enhance mostly everything that is needed for combat besides for example Intuition, which is the main stat for a mage, yay. In the end, that armor will be forced upon you, as the champion that you are but will however take in to account that you might have chosen a mage as the armor does not restrict your magic abilities as other metal parts does.

My party was made up of two fighters who could hit the hardest, one mage and one archer at the end. The fighters could hold their own mostly, but something I noticed rather early was that the main character draws attention like crazy. Most enemies just tries to run straight past the fighters to kill the main first, no matter what. You can get lucky but often your character is the first to die if you aren’t careful, since mages often have really low life and high mana or astral energy as this game calls it.

The path to the last battle I must say was the most infuriating thing I have ever encountered, with battle after battle after battle. They keep respawning and respawning if you weren’t quick enough. Barely giving you time to heal and rebuff and that made me curse out loud at times. Though respawning is something that I notice the game did a lot. You could fight your way through an entire dungeon and when you needed to head back, most of the dungeon’s enemies were back sometimes, which really made the dungeons a pain in the butt but the experience points was needed. At least for me. Especially when the enemies kept regenerate life faster than you could kill them at times if you didn’t keep strict track of your companions at the frontlines.

This game is relying heavily on the pause system and tactics. Running headfirst into a room full of enemies often result in the entire party getting killed if your fighters can’t really hold their own. Not only can the lack of life kill you, so can wounds. This is one thing that can be seen in Dragon Age as well. The wound system is annoying at times, you’ll get it from heavy blows and deaths. If you get 4+ wounds, you’ll die, no matter how much life you have left. You will die. Always heal the wounds as soon as you can or it’ll decide the battle’s outcome for you.

All in all this game was really fun at times but it felt more like a mockery to “real” RPGs more than an actual RPG itself most of the times as moments were just comical instead of epic and interesting. For example, there was Gollum-like creatures that mentioned “his preciiiouuus soulstone” and other such silly things. The voice acting is terrible and just made laugh at times when I maybe shouldn’t have. The game doesn’t have any deep moments and is just a dungeon crawler more than anything else, sadly.
I would have liked it to be more, thicker with story or at least character interaction. I could at least own a house, that was fun, with chickens and my very own rock goblin. He’ll do some fun stuff in your basement if you give him time.

The graphics are nice, though. I’d recommend this anyhow to people that likes dungeon crawlers with some story.

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3 responses to “Drakensang: The Dark Eye

  1. Wooow such a big Review! :O This game must have made a big impact!

    Hmm yeah I agree, RPGs really need that social aspect to make a big impact on our experience of the game. That sounds like some good social parts though (Haggle, Seduce, Fast Talk etc) but that is a real shame if they dont make use of those things. Sounds like they may have added it just for a selling point. :-/

    Hmm those companions sound like a riot 😉 And that leveling system sounds similar to some recent MMOs actually. (For example: The Secret World, although that was rubbish IMO). I dont like it myself, feels less specialised without the special skills set to certain classes, but they might have done it well here.

    Would you have preferred a more simple level up system or?

    Armor limitations to a certain class? :-S What an odd ‘RPG’. Sounds like they are halfway between a create your own character and a preset warrior who cant socialise. Not sure id like this game very much… but I am judging before I try it or read all of this review.

    Ignore Warriors? Strange. Agro system should pick those up but I guess your character was too much to ignore! Sounds like they are trying to somehow maybe increase your characters seeming importance as everyone goes after him/her straight away though it could also just be bad coding heh.

    Was the fact you had such a large group also fun? Or did you feel you’d prefer less/be alone?

    Wow those respawns are fast… Dont generally see a dungeon fill back up either, at least not until you leave anyway. Sounds like this game was trying extra hard to squeeze every bit of energy out of the player!

    By the way, what difficulty setting did you play on?

    Reading through this article with no previous experience of this game, I’d be inclined to agree with it not being an RPG. The main fault being: The lack of character story progression and social features that wernt really there.

    Do you think one day the company, or a new one, could go back to this game and try a reboot/sequel with more added RPG features? Or is the chance for a story just not there?

    Another brilliant review! Very long with pictures too, which is great! 🙂 Looking forward to the next one (And I hope the next ones bring you more interaction then Banished and Drakensang). Hope to maybe see some of your 2014 list also soon! If theu are available. 🙂

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    • You can specialize your character how you want her to be, there aren’t really any special skills per se as there aren’t any set classes but there are skills to learn. You can have a heavy hitting dual handed fighter or a bow wielding mage if you want and so on.
      I actually kinda liked the system despite the negativity, made it easier to kinda focus on what I wanted for my mage more than having to wait and just have certain skills to pick from.

      There weren’t any armor limitations, just the fact that mages can’t use metal armors, like many good games which is logical as it disrupts their magical abilities, such as Neverwinter Nights.

      The game is not an mmo, and is most likely scripted to take out the most obvious characters first, or even set to kill the main character.

      I would not call it a large group at all, four is kinda standard in games that I play. In Baldur’s Gate 2 there is 6 people to handle which is way more fun.

      The game does not have a difficulty setting to set, like many games.

      I sure doesn’t hope that they’ll make a reboot on this, reboots is just a recent weird invention by the game industry today to sell more games that people recognize imo.

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      • Hah! That actually sounds quite odd, the bow wielding mage…But also sounds cool if you could fire arrows made from Magic Energy :O And ahh that is good, but yeah I can understand that. See all the awesome skills but cant be gained until later on in the game in other games 🙂

        Yeah, Mage’s need that free flowing movement to use magic, but cool they can actually use Medium and Light armor, wish more games allowed the use of any weight of armor you want to a point. (Not that it gets ridiculous, like…Thief style characters using Heavy Steel Plate).

        Yeah, that sounds logical for this game, although still I see other games where the Team members can take agro as you might choose a physically weaker character at the start and need an NPC to help tank for you.

        I am not used to NPC groups myself. Maybe one or two, but generally I solo play. Unless, like Mass Effect, I have two companions which do prove very useful!

        Ahh, must just scale to your playstyle then. I like how some games can do that, though hopefully they don’t see you play really good at one point then jump the difficulty up and smash you the next time!

        I don’t like reboots either myself, but I thought more of a sequel that has just been given a much more innovative look over by Developers. Retains some things from the old game, but brings new and exciting parts too!

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