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PC Reviews: Throne of Darkness


Throne of Darkness Screenshots

The Final Say!

Throne of Darkness - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 27 February 2002
Review Score: 8.5/10 
Distributor: Vivendi Universal

"There is a legend in Japan that dates back to the Age of Kami. It is a legend that is rarely spoken of, and even then, in furtive whispers and never in the dark. The legend tells of the Decline of the Kami brought on by the Lord of Evil and Demon of Destruction, Maou-Hakaiki Zanshin and the heroes who fought against darkness."

Throne of Darkness is set in feudal Japan, a country filled with a wonderful mythology of Gods, Demons & Heroes. Although Throne of Darkness may appear similar to the successful Diablo series, the game draws the line at the isometric view. The game goes one step further by allowing you to control seven Samurai and by swapping between each character when necessary. The detailed backgrounds, combat system and role playing aspects of Throne of Darkness makes it a worthy addition to the RPG genre.

The Dark Warlord Zanshin, who has been discovered to be an incredibly powerful demon warrior has devastated the land. The countryside has been corrupted and an evil darkness is slowly creeping its way across the world. From this corruption, come evil beasts, ogres, demons and the undead. You have the choice of selecting one of four clans to help end this darkness and return the world to harmony. Each clan has seven different characters you control during the game. For example, Clan Oda is an ambitious clan that wishes to seize the Throne for their own purposes. Your characters include O-Ishi Kuranosuke, the leader of your adventures who has a brilliant mind. Kamui Kanna is an tremendously powerful warrior who wields a spear. Teraoka Masami a Archer/Ranger, Imagawa Yoshimoto, a pompous yet powerful swordsman. The Wizard Kawanabe Kyosai who wields powerful ancient magics. The Ninja Kajiwara Kagesue who is one of the countries most bloodthirsty assassins and last but not least, the Berserker Nomi No Sukune who should never be crossed. As you can see from the characters, each Clan has different warriors which in fact increases the replay value of this game immensely. Whether the clan is good, neutral or evil, their main agenda is to rid the world of Zanshin.

Once you've selected your clan, you must venture through the countryside and fight the forces of evil. While doing this, you will be gaining new skills, finding better equipment, discovering new quests and eventually confronting Zanshin.

The combat system of the game is a point and click interface and all characters will attack automatically if needed. The beauty of this game is that when facing combat, you can command any combination of up to four characters. With Daimyo's magical powers, you can change your party with the remaining 3 Samurai at any given time. Daiymo is actually an interface that lets you swap between Samurai, however this is like mana and the more you use it, the lower it becomes. However, it will slowly recharge. Daiymo also gives other options such as healing or resurrection.

Although the combat system may seem simplistic, the left mouse button lets you target and attack your foes while the right mouse button casts a variety of magical spells. Although it may seen daunting at first controlling all four characters, you basically only control one character while the computer takes over with the other three. As with most games, you will probably discover a favourite and just use them. You also have the option of swapping between weapons via hotkeys which is good when new foes appear, because your Ninja can them swap from the ninja-to to the deadly shuriken.

Other noteworthy gameplay options is the automap (which alot of games are lacking these days), portal gates which let you teleport to certain destinations and the tactics editor. The tactics editor lets you assign certain tactics for your characters such as an aggressive or defensive attack. There are dozens of spells your characters can learn and some of the special effects for these spells are amazing. The graphics of Throne of Darkness are up there with the best of RPG games such as Baldurs Gate or Diablo 2. Because of the non 3D engine, all the graphics are crisp and sharp with quite alot of detail. The animation of all characters in the game from the lawful Warrior or to the dreaded Mountain Oni are all rendered nicely and move very smoothly. The music of the game has a very Japanese feel to it and all voice acting & sounds are top class.

If you are craving for a game similar to the Diablo series or for a game that has a unique Japanese RPG aspect to it, then Throne of Darkness is the game for you. Can you take challenge the Throne of Darkness? Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com