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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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RPG / adventure game reviewed

Cheer up dude, yer about to be resurrected!


The once united Gods are now at war with each other. Nakith, God of Nights, broke a cardinal rule of the pact by spawning another God .. Ska, God of Darkness. Nakith pleaded his case to the council, but they voted against him.

The vote was a narrow one, with Nakith having many friends amongst the members of the council. As a result the council split into two factions, and proceeded to rage war upon one-another. [ Um .. are you sure you're not talking about the Labour Party's election for their candidate for London mayor here? - Ed. ]

The war eventually broke out from the heavens and on to the once peaceful world of Ur. Very soon factions among the inhabitants formed as they pledged allegiance to different Gods, and as a last callous act souls were cast into Anserak, the God K'Varr's version of hell. Chained, with fire licking around them, the souls were destined to remain until he decided they could pass on to paradise.

One such soul, Locke D'Averam, looks up through fire singed eyes to see a robed figure walking towards him. A human with arms raised. A blinding light.

So the adventure begins...

A main menu, last week

The Revenant

Revenant is an RPG and an adventure game rolled into one. Your task is to guide Locke through the massive world of Ahkuilon, in which you have been resurrected, starting the game with nothing but your bare fists and a loincloth to protect your modesty!

Tendrik, the ruler of Ahkuilon, has instructed his mystic advisor Sardok to bring forth the Revenant to perform a small quest for him. Locke is to locate and rescue Tendrik's daughter, exacting great vengeance upon her captors at the same time. You are given a sword and three spell runes to set you on your way.

You will soon discover that you will need more than a loin cloth and a butter knife to survive in the violent and lonely world of the Revenant though...

The world of Ahkuilon. Nice.

Artifacts Overload!

As you progress through the intricate story unfolding around you, you will find additional runes, potions and scrolls.

The scrolls will either hold useful information or spell lists. The spell list will tell you what level you need to be to have the ability to cast a given spell, as well as what combination of runes you need to be able to memorise it.

The number of spells and their diversity is very impressive, and quite overwhelming. Equally mind boggling is the sheer volume of weapons, armour and other items you can pick up throughout the game.

Tell me you're not impressed when you finally get to cast Armageddon at level 8! Awesome!

He arrived in a loincloth.....

Sensory Assault

Yes, Revenant is a sight to behold. Right from the opening FMV your eyes feast upon wonderfully textured graphics and atmospheric illuminations. Some of the scenes, the caves in particular, are really quite inspired in their presentation.

Spell effects are given the full treatment - there are some truly amazing effects, such as blue whirlwinds lashing their way towards your enemy and golden maelstroms destroying everything in it's vicinity.

Character animation is of pretty average quality though, and really could have been improved upon. However, the actual detail of the character models for Locke and company is very good.

The sounds accompanying each swing of a weapon, and the sounds of battle, are all superbly done as well, and all complemented nicely by non-intrusive and appropriate music. Where the sound department is let down though is in the absolutely atrocious accents used in the dialogue, and just generally bad voice acting. To be honest, I'd have preferred it if Cinematix had left it text only...

....and left fully clothed.

Arachnophobes Needn't Apply

Of course, no RPG would be complete without it's bestiary, and Revenant certainly doesn't skimp in this department either.

Things start off harmlessly enough, with small spiders and bigger ones that will poison you. Locke's way of dealing with the small Arakna is to stamp on them in the most vile fashion!

Druhg also plague the perimeters of the town of Misthaven where you begin. These are little imp-like creatures that are very agile, but easy to kill. Further into the game things get more difficult though, with the incredibly tough Dragons, Ninjas (ahem, yes!), Monks, Priests, and a whole plethora of foes to deal with.

My biggest gripe with Revenant though is the random creature spawning. I prefer to play a game where once something is dead .. it stays dead! Too often you can be low on health having just slain a dragon, only to back track and find another one waiting for you.

The man on the right, heading for his execution.


Revenant is good, but could have been a whole heap better. It is purely let down by a few things you simply can't ignore.

Firstly you cannot change the video resolution, stuck with a measly 640x480 for the entire duration. Graphics as rich as those present in Revenant really deserve to be viewed at the optimum resolution your machine can muster.

Secondly, and my main criticism of the game, are the extremely bad voice-overs. On screen you get what is being said in text, but you also have it read out to you too. Locke himself sounds like he's got haemorrhoid problems, and some of the other voices would sound more at home in a Monty Python sketch!

Ther are other niggles too - the random spawns of the enemy get very wearing after a while, and there are far too many times when a piece of scenery looks accessible but isn't.

All in all though it's an entertaining game that is sure to have you playing for many hours, as it is truly massive! But for those few irritating points this could well have been a corker. Instead it's a good-to-look-at stopgap until the next big RPG comes along.

Eye Candy        

Download the Demo!

Try before you buy! Download the Revenant demo.

7 / 10