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a game by 10tacle Studios
Platform: PC
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: RPGs

You Know Where you are with an orc. He's either a Tolkien-manufactured aberration, or a liartially-evolved fungus. Whatever they are, they're aggressive and uncivilised, and they're rarely seen cuddling or combing each others' liair in assembly. Hie same goes for another fantasy staple, dwarves. Whether they're from the mountains or the underground, they're beardy chaps with a thrifty love of the coin. All grand, negative stereotypes that we can laugh at without seeming racist because, after all, they don't exist. Even if the dwarves in Warhammer: Mark Of Chaos are blatant Scotsmen.

Elves are different. Your basic elf is wise, beautiful and honourable - that's a positive stereotype, and it doesn't feel right. Luckily, we're excellent at finding the bad in the good, so elves are written off as fey, almondfaced tree-hunters who only use bows and arrows because they slap like ladies. WOW players will have seen the 'butching-up' of the too-feminine male Blood Elves. Basically, no-one likes elves, with their stupid ears and la-di-da horses. They don't even like themselves; just watch the Dark and High Elves going at it in Warhammer.

Consider Your Elf

Etveon (meaning Book of the Elves, made-up language fans) plans to right this savage elfophobia. This isn't your general orcs and goblins fantasy story; Naon is a land inhabited almost exclusively by the elves.

A race of god-descended elven warriors, no less, who're eager to develop their powers to reach those of their creators. That's one thing that often gets overlooked with the happy-clappy stereotype of the elves - they're really a power-crazed bunch of fascists.

My Pretty

10tacle's Slovakian Studios are laying on the visuals with the woodland environments; the furry light leaking through the trees, even post-Oblivion, still has the power to raise an eyebrow. It's a thrilling taste of what the Unreal Engine 3 can bring, but even the prettiest waitress can drop boiling soup in your lap, and 10tacle are trying as hard as possible to design clumsiness and stupidity out of their combat system.

Dark Messiah had a brave stab at first-person melee fighting, but it could be frustrating when you felt like your well-placed blows were going unfairly astray. Elveon - in the third-person - promises to be potentially frustrating in a different way that your moves are blocked by a visible demonstration of your opponent's skill. And then they hit you back, because they're better than you are.

With Elveon, your weapon doesn't hit a vague sphere, it hits their weapon - or better still, their face. So the main difference is that it should become less frustrating the better you get. However, we'll only find out if that's true when we get a chance to get better at it.

Fantasy devotees can relax; it's deadly earnest. If any of you have learned enough Klingon to get by on an away-break to the home-planet, you'll be pleased to know the entire game is voiced in Elvish, with subtitles, so you get all the smug pleasure of feeling like you're watching something sophisticated and foreign, without the burning resentment that someone out there is probably enjoying the dialogue more than you are. Ingenious, really.

One Of The Family

Whichever of the four fighting styles you choose to develop, and whether you choose to become a god of spears or an all-round weapon-juggler, character improvements are more Dark Messiah than Devil May Cry, at pre-defined points in the storyline, you'll be taken to the Dragon Room to upgrade. You won't be able to fully develop your character in any one game, but then again you won't be robbed of new moves by not killing everything, or chaining a soggy string of combos.

Elveon will be coming out for Windows late next year, so plenty could change yet We didn't get a chance to play a beefed-up character, so the pleasures of high-level manoeuvres were neglected in favour of experiencing the basic combos of sword and spear. Even so, Elveon feels like it has serious potential. On the one hand, it's got the potential to be pompous, self-regarding and not as good as it thinks it is. That's the elven way. On the other hand, if everything snaps together, Elveon has the potential to be genuinely beautiful, thoughtful and rewarding.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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