Mage Knight: Apocalypse
Come On Zonites, let's make the ultimate game! Nothing too original, but something that involves dwarves. Maybe some elves and orcs too. And let's not have any character choice - rather, let's have the normal RPG types with a really limited career progression. And let's make the plot involve an ultimate evil that's also a dragon. And let's base it on a series of lead figures that nobody has heard of. Woo, success! Go us!
Ultima Online turned the RPG into the MMORPG with only a few modifications but, over the years, the genre's adapted perfectly to its environment. Mage Knight: Apocalypse takes that online-appropriate experience, plagiarising WOW and Guild Wors, and turns it back into an offline RPG with online elements. You pick from five characters (vampire, dragon, human, elf and dwarf), each with three different sets of magic spells that open as you use them. You can bind two spells to your left and right mouse buttons, with more available on the F keys for easy access. Your health and mana meters are practically hidden above these, making it hard to notice when you're about to die.
Combat consists of you flipping rapidly between spells and nobbling the initially too-easy enemies; we were never really challenged by any of them. If you do die, you resurrect a few feet back. You do have henchmen, but they spend all their time stuck behind scenery. You can also play co-op, but the servers don't tend to work.
Then there's the problems caused by limited inventory space and the lack of auto-stacking - we spent as much time rearranging our inventory as we did ploughing through (the admittedly varied) enemies. Then you take your items back to town, sell them to NPCs and move on. There's a limited crafting system, allowing you to improve magic weapons and armour, as well as create potions, but it's futile as you get pots of money quickly.
Once you get past the cliched plot, jerky battles and irritating interface, the game's not awful. But then, once you got past the genocide, warmongering and tiny moustache, Hitler wasn't all that terrible either. MKA's unresponsiveness and emptiness gives it the air of an MMO that was canned and crammed into a singleplayer format, or was designed for the soloing MMO player.
Download Mage Knight: Apocalypse
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP