PS2 Reviews: Haven: Call of the King
Haven: Call of the King screenshots
The Final Say!
Haven: Call of the King -
reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 30 October 2002
Review Score 9/10
Distributed By: Acclaim
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"Quite possibly the most innovative game around"
Haven: Call of the King is the story of a young slave who must embark on an extraordinary but dangerous journey in order to save his people from an ancient evil. Over a millennia ago, the King Athellion left his people to embark on an intergalactic crusade. In order to protect his people, King Athellion left behind a giant bell called the Golden Voice atop the mountain of Sighs. Should this bell be ever rung, the King would return to help his people.
Unfortunately the King never returned and the Overlord Vetch took the opportunity to enslave the subjects of King Athellion by making them work the mines for precious ore. With all knowledge of the bell lost, the Overlord thought his dominion was complete until a young slave named Haven. Haven was having strange dreams of a golden bell and a King who would free his people. By accepting the call of your people, you will be faced with a variety of challenges that will not only test your skills as a warrior but will eventually free your people from the grasp of Vetch.
Haven: Call of the King Features
- Over 40 levels
- Seamless Gameplay - From platform-action to puzzle solving, racing, fighting, shooting and more
- No loading times
- 15 vehicles to control
- Memory Card (8MB)
- Vibration Control
- 1 Players
Haven: Call of the King is probably the most complex and original game on the market at the moment because its a combination an arcade platform game with a variety of other games built into the engine such as a racing game and fighting game to name a few.
The game starts off with what appears to be a beautiful CGI cinematic of a sailing vessel coming to dock but it's actually ingame graphics. Once the ship has docked, your adventure begins in this wondrous world. The game boasts no loading times on the PlayStation 2 and once you start playing, that is it, all the loading has been done. The gameplay of Haven: Call of the King is quite easy to master because of the limited amount of buttons. Haven is able to perform a variety of manoeuvres such as crouch, slide, jump and attack. The left analog stick is used to control Haven while the right analog stick is used to control the camera angle. The developers, Travellers Tales have done an extremely good job in keeping the camera angle constant and there is very little need to change the camera angle at all, except on occasion when it decides a certain view is more appropriate than others.
Just to prove how complex this game is, Haven can also swim in oceans and rivers and can also dive when needed. Haven is extremely well animated when it comes to moving around such as running and swimming.
The basic premise behind Haven: Call of the King is to solve various mini-quests that all come together to fulfil the main storyline of the game. For instance, on the first level you must find four gears in order to operate the lift on one of the islands. The other games fit quite nicely into the game such as flying space ships that feel almost like an independent game. The only gameplay mode that appeared a little weak was the racing mode on the water that did not have a very good feel to it.
Throughout the game, you will find various items such as powerups and characters that will assist you through the game. There are also various bosses in the game that look quite spectacular and sometimes a little fiddly to defeat. The beauty of Haven is that all the puzzles and combat fit quite nicely into the game and are not overtly difficult as certain levels in Klonoa or Jak and Daxter. Haven: Call of the King will never become dull or boring because every level is unique, whether its the sand swept deserts of a mysterious planet or the space combat aspects of the game, Haven is quite possibly the most innovative game around.
Graphically, Haven: Call of the King is filled with pure eye candy from the first to the last level of the game. The main thing I noticed in the game was the beautiful lighting effects that also help portray day and night. The game engine is also set in real-time that means you will experience both day and night and so forth. Apart from the awesome lighting, the game features real time weather effects that actually change as you play the game. Once it starts raining, the skies become dark and clouded and everything appears quite dull and grey. Haven will also react to weather conditions and will put his hood on when it starts raining so he doesn't get too wet. The game itself also maintains a constant 60 frames per second for some exceptionally smooth gameplay.
Because Haven is also a exploration game, you can also leave the planet you are on to explore other worlds and the gaming environment changes dramatically, depending on which planet you are on. The characters in Haven contain a fairly small amount of polygons but it does help with the games cartoon style of graphics. There is literally hundreds of creatures on screen at once with no slow down at all. When you see the tomb level with the hundreds of scarab beetles running around, you will be amazed at just how powerful this gaming engine is on the PlayStation 2. Another graphically feature of the game are the specialised weapon attacks that light up areas of the game such as tombs and caves. Haven also carries a shield that when activated looks like smoked glass, a really nice effect. All the cinemas in the game are ingame graphics that not only make the loading time non-existent but also help with the fluidity of the game.
With an awesome storyline, great graphics and gameplay, you would expect the sound effects in Haven to be equally impressive. Unfortunately, this is what lets the game down a little. The game does contain enough sound effects in the game to keep you interested but on occasion, it almost feels like you are playing with the sound turned off. Musically, Haven: Call of the King has a spectacular sound track in the game but unfortunately it is not too often utilized.
Haven: Call of the King is a must own game for the PlayStation as it features a variety of different games all built into one great game. With a highly addictive storyline, great graphics and perfect gameplay, Haven is sure to give all arcade and RPG's a run for their money. Check it out!
- Andrew B
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