Westwood's Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos is sequel in spirit to acclaimed Eye of The Beholder 2, but surpasses its AD&D predecessor in every way. The game broke new grounds with astounding graphics, great soundtrack, intuitive user interface, great spell effects and plot development, and last but not least, an excellent automap.|
Lands of Lore begins with an intriguing, albeit cliche, premise that is no less dynamic than those in Eye of The Beholder series. While consulting with Geron, his counselor, King Richard of Gladstone received an alarming news: after countless futile attempts, Scotia the mad sorceress finally obtained the nether mask, a magical artifact that grants the wearer the power to change into any form. He immediately entrusts to his champion (you, of course) the task of destroying Scotia once and for all. Westwood eschews traditional RPG character creation in favor of simplicity, but for the most part, it works. You can choose from four characters depending on your preferences in the balance between weapons and magic.
Rarely has an RPG – or any game for that matter – been able to entice the player into its world as quickly as Lands of Lore. I remember playing the game for the first time, exploring Gladstone Keep and the forest beyond, collecting all sorts of neat items, battling well-drawn monsters, casting a few spells with amazing effects, seeing my character gain a few levels, annotating the best automap I've ever seen, watching amazing plot development through in-game cutscenes... the next thing I knew, the sun had come up. The game had kept me playing for 6 hours straight – I can't think of a better recommendation than this :)
Lands of Lore remains to this day one of the most accessible RPGs that stands the test of time, with the power to convert even the most ardent RPG dissenters into hapless addicts. It may not be original or even revolutionary, but it is definitely a flawless execution. The CD-ROM version features the voice of Patrick Stewart as King Richard, along with other multimedia enhancements that make the game even more atmospheric than the floppy version. As a game design, it is a role model; as a game, it is simply a must-have.
Reviewed by: Underdogs