Dungeons & Dragons

Format: Xbox
3 546430 104712
Age Restrictions: 12+

Raised from the dead, four heroes gather. Together they pledge to defeat an ancient and evil power. A perilous journey begins. Their constitution and legendary strengths tested against sinister forces. Existence itself is threatened - the ultimate showdown awaits...

The best way to describe Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes is as a more up-to-date version of the old arcade classic Gauntlet crossed with Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance.

Those who find traditional RPG games a little slow and cumbersome, will be glad to see that Heroes is a lot slicker. There are no time consuming turn based attacks against your enemies, this is played in real-time.

In single player mode you can play as one of four characters (fighter, wizard, cleric or rogue), wandering around your environment looking for hidden areas and attacking monsters as they get in your way. But, where this game really comes into its own is in the multiplayer mode. Here you can run around on your own. However, if you should so wish, you can join your fellow gamers whenever the mood takes you - for example when they are in the midst of heavy combat - and then run off and leave them again once the danger has passed. But, ultimately you should be working together as a team.

The graphics, while not as detailed as they might have been, are pretty impressive for the most part, and the sound (which is recorded in surround sound) helps you to hear where your enemies are lurking. Another neat touch is the addition of hidden areas - which are well worth trying to find.

Whether or not this will live up to the hard-core RPG fanatics is hard to say. What it does do, however, is to bring Dungeons & Dragons to the masses. If you'd always shied away from this genre, this could be the game to change the way you think.

Pete Boomer

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