It's not easy being a dwarf. Spending all day mining and grumbling and tripping over your beard. Coming home to a wife with a hairy chest; and I'm not talking wispy strands here, but two thick welcome mats (or not-so-welcome mats as the case may be). It's no wonder they drink skullsplitter mead by the dozen every night. For my first outing into the lands of Mage Knight, I chose the stereotype - the race, sorry - of the dwarf. The idea of a ruddy-cheeked roaring drunk with a shotgun (yes, these are gunpowder dwarves) was just too appealing - obviously I was a farmer in a previous life. Striding, or indeed stumbling off into the world, a couple of things quickly became clear.
Firstly, this is an RPG set very much in the Diablo tradition - it's a combat heavy click-'n'-slash which is loot-driven with a skill tree character advancement system. And secondly, the beating heart of the combat might be steady in some aspects, but it suffers from a number of dangerous murmurs.
The blasting and hacking of monsters is facilitated by a helpfully re-definable layout of hotkeys, so the skill upgrades you acquire can be easily employed. Incidentally, the skill and stats system is entirely usage based, so concentrate on whacking beasts with a mace and your strength and blunt proficiency will increase. Choose ranged gunnery instead and that raises agility and unlocks goodies like armour piercing and ricochet shots. Each of the five characters you can elect to play has a commendably varied set of powers, from the paladin to the vampires, and it's enjoyable to experiment with these different combat tactics.