9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Slash em' ups should not be this boring,
This review is from: Drakan: The Ancient's Gates (PS2) (Video Game)
Drakan was a superb PC game involving Rynn and her faithful dragon sidekick Arokh, and together they did battle on ground as well as in the skies. The PC game was involving, the locations varied, the game had suspense, and the fighting was more intelligent. The PS2 version, however, has failed to deliver the same degree of gameplay that made its predecessor a great success.
The first problem is the combat, you simply run in a circle and bash a button, the orcs, spiders and pitiful excuse for scavengers (that were really tough to kill on the PC) come at you only to be slaughtered quite simply with a few swipes of your weapon. Perhaps that's because the creature AI is so poor, for example, the huge orc creatures that shake the ground when they walk sound scary, well, they don't look it and they get stuck behind so much graphics that all you have to do is arm your bow and shoot at its head, it falls, you win without even downing a health potion. PS2 boasts games with great enemy AI but in this the AI is just bog standard.
The aerial battles are not much better as Arokh disposes of black dragons and arrow cannons from below effortlessly, in the PC version you actually had to fly around a lot and even retreat, in this just fly in a circle and shoot, it couldn't be less exciting.
I may be quick to criticise Drakan, but at least there is the experience system, defeat so many bad guys and you get a point to attach to your arrow, melee or magic skills, which at least keeps you approaching fights. You can also find money to pay for extra equipment, even though your napsack is really small and in later missions the amount of items you can't carry does irritate, especially since the weapons take ages to break, another flaw that was better in the PC version.
On a good note, the environments in the air are beautiful to look at, and Arokh flies smoothly between mountains, but the environments on the ground begin to become far too similar and predictable. Some of the boss battles are good and the environments are huge to navigate in. Drakan 2 could have been a great game if only they had made it as tense and challenging as the PC version, and in this case if you've already played Drakan for the PC there's not much point visiting this one and being dissapointed.