Format: PC
Excalibur Publishing

5 060020 472954
Age Restrictions: 16+
14 September 2007

Your name is Wolfhound. You are the last of your clan. You were taken screaming from your mother's breast and enslaved, whilst your parents were killed in front of you. You now have your freedom and there is only one thought on your mind - revenge! All you remember about the person who ripped your family apart is the weapon he used and the mark on his hand. Your quest: to find him and make him pay...

Requital is a new action role playing game (RPG), published by Excalibur and coded by Akella, a Russian coding house based in Moscow, who have been making games since 1993. Not only have they been involved in making original games but have also been active in bringing western games into Russia.

As previously mentioned you play Wolfhound against a reportedly authentic rendition of 6th Century Russia, we will have to take the makers word for this, but its biggest impact is to restrict types of weapons and use of magic, which is mostly restricted to talismans. The premise also informs the type of landscape, people and towns that you are likely to encounter.

The game is relatively easy to set up with the normal options for level of play difficulty and the usual uninspired game play. As Wolfhound you wander around talking to people, fighting and gaining rewards, which allow you to upgrade your armour, weapons and personal stats. Unfortunately it all seems a little too late. The selling point of the game is its authentic settings, though even if the maps are pin point accurate the rendering lags behind its contemporaries.

There are some good points. The interface is easy to learn and there are over a hundred weapons to collect and master, which can be utilised in the three combat modes of hand to hand, close combat and ranged. The game also allows you to master combinations and special attacks. If you feel like making yourself nauseated then you can play with the several camera controls, whilst trying to decapitate your enemies. If you find that the game is to your liking then over and above the fifteen hours to complete the main story there is a plethora of side quests to engage in.

The game suffers from a number of serious problems. Firstly, for an RGP there is no option for multi-player games and in truth the single player game will do little to encourage you to play beyond the fifteen hours that it will take you to complete the main quests and finish the game. Secondly, and my personal bugbear, is the voice acting which is not only minimalist but also bloody awful. I turned the speakers off after about half an hour. And finally, given the average power of today's computers, the visuals are woefully under inspiring.

Even given its faults, Requital would have been an acceptable game a few years ago, but not now. Its weaknesses far outweigh any positive aspects the game may possess.

Charles Packer

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