- Platform: Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: CD-ROM
So begins the classic Dungeons & Dragons module, The Temple of Elemental Evil, brought to the PC for the first time by Troika Games. Assemble a party of up to five adventurers and embark upon an epic journey like no other. Immerse yourself in gripping gameplay featuring the Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5 rules set. Prepare to enter the very heart of evil itself!
I'm currently about half way through the game and so far I'm very pleased. Having played paper & pen D&D on and off since the 70's, most recently Living Greyhawk (3.5 Edition), this game was a welcome relief from all the real time, non-strategic games that have been released.
Combat is the core of this game, but not so much in the hack-n-slash vein, but in as much as tactics, which is also the primary focus of Third Edition D&D.
The engine captured 3.5E combat beautifully, and was most attractive too boot. I truly hope that they create several expansions to this game using the same engine and subsequent Greyhawk modules (Queen of the Demon web Pits, Beyond the Barrier Reefs, Against the Giants come to mind). Tom Decker, the game's producer, had mentioned that if sales were good enough, Troika would consider a sequel (most likely Against the Giants)-I hope that this comes about, because it would be a shame to let such an excellent combat system go to waste. They'd most likely be able to focus more on content in a sequel, so it could only be better. Unfortunately the 2D backdrop of the game precludes player base modding, but I can't fault them from staying away from tile sets, which give Neverwinter Nights such a generic feel.
One excellent aspect to the game, aside from being truly turn based (in combat), is the ability to control your entire party, as well as any NPCs that may join. This is what makes the game shine, and reminds me of what made Baulder's Gate game play memorable.
There have been a lot of reviews here about the bugs in the game. The good news is that these bugs are for the most part gone with the new patch, and the game hasn't had any problems for me, so I hope that people take this into account when the weigh whether or not to buy this game.
In this game, like Icewind Dale, you can create a whole party. This was a lot of fun.
Sadly the game play itself was not as great. I enjoyed the Hommlet portion. The side quests are mostly FedEX quests and it just takes time to complete. The adventure 'dungeon' was fun and almost room for room from the module in terms of locations. The Temple of Elemental Evil itself was just too large (again, much like the module). If you take a wrong turn (and I took several) you end up in rooms where you can not possibly survive (I know, I died many, many times in these places).
Overall: The engine was well done and could be used for future games. Making a 'module' based system where you buy the modules to play would probably stretch the value for this game. Though the programmers need to put a bit more 'role-playing' in this 'roll-playing' game.