EverQuest II

Format: PC

3 307210 177575
Age Restrictions: 12+
12 November 2004

Behold the future of online gaming. Sharpen your weapons, practice your magic and embark on a journey filled with majestic landscapes, bustling cities, ancient dungeons - and adventure beyond your dreams...

EverQuest II represents a parallel online universe to the hugely successful EverQuest. This sequel features breathtaking graphics and a vast game world to explore. Players get the chance to become immersed in the game's epic storyline with thousands of other online players - as you'd expect from any Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG)

You start the game with the option to choose your characters appearance. While this is welcomed, and you may well spend hours on this section alone if you really want to tweak your online appearance, there are limitations. These seem engineered to ensure that you don't actually change the appearance of a certain race so that they become unrecognisable to other online gamers of a similar species - even though it is possible to cross races to provide hybrid species. There are a total of 16 playable races. However, players can create a multitude of race and class combinations to ensure that this is as close to reality as possible..

While the game is really designed for those who like to swing their sword and ask questions later, you don't have to be an aggressive gamer to enjoy EverQuest II. In fact there is just as much fun to be had if you decide to think with your wits and avoid potentially dangerous encounters.

Those who have played the first game will find that the setting is the same. It is still set on Norrath, yet now most of civilisation has collapsed leaving two main forces vying for control. Qeynos is the homeland of those fighting for the forces of good, and Freeport is where the forces of evil reside.

Instead of being shepherded around the playing area, you are left to your own devices - like any serious MMORPG offering. It really does feel like there is a big, vast world out there waiting to be discovered. But don't worry, that doesn't mean that you'll be wandering around aimlessly looking for quests and ways to increase your powers or progress through your chosen career path - the variety and choice of quests is enough to keep you glued to your computer.

Not only are the graphics impressive, there is also a fantastically powerful orchestrated soundtrack and really impressive surround sound background sound effects that help to immerse you in the gaming experience.

The only major downside is that you really are going to need a top of the range computer if you are to get the most out of this game.

Nick Smithson

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