On the surface, Legend: Hand of God seems like a shamelessly derivative, punishingly unimaginative isometric action/RPG...
Oh, were you expecting a second, more positive part of that sentence? Sorry, no dice - this game is pure surface. But try to remember this exact feeling - wanting more and never getting it - because if you choose to play Legend, you%26rsquo;re about to become intimately acquainted with that state of mind. What you will get from Legend is a fairly by-the-numbers Diablo knock-off: you kill some things, get more powers, get better gear, repeat. While a lot of games could be boiled down to that description, it%26rsquo;s not a reduction here: that%26rsquo;s the whole shebang.
There are several different character classes (all the RPG classics), but they don%26rsquo;t offer any practical shake-ups for the formulaic gameplay. The different paths down the limited skill trees just translate to different animations to watch while you%26rsquo;re clicking beasts to death. It%26rsquo;s little comfort after hours of monotonous clicking, but the animations of your character%26rsquo;s attacks differ depending on the type of enemy you%26rsquo;re fighting, so, for example, you%26rsquo;ll make dynamic leaps when you%26rsquo;re trying to bring down a giant.
Thankfully, the action is set in some really lush environments, which are especially impressive when lit by your companion/light source/cursor, a gratingly sassy light elf. Think Tinkerbell, if Tinkerbell could talk and used that ability to antagonize people. Your conversations with her are one of the few ways the game%26rsquo;s story progresses, but it%26rsquo;s so positively threadbare I won%26rsquo;t relate it here. Suffice it to say you%26rsquo;re trying to collect a holy relic - the titular Hand of God - to stop an unholy evil. Sorry for the spoilers.
Very little of this is bad, just numbingly average. What makes Legend downright intolerable is a difficulty that spikes so wildly it turns this inoffensive trip through the countryside into an absolute chore. To wit: when I had to fight a gigantic dragon, I was killed countless times by two of his swipes, even as I pounded healing potions. My most powerful attack, a fireball, barely took a sliver of his life. The solution I finally found? Walk into an adjacent cave where, inexplicably, the dragon could not follow, and spam it with fireballs for (no exaggeration, I timed this) 11 minutes. That kind of crap would make us put our fists through our monitors in a good game. For a title like Legend, it%26rsquo;s a first-class ticket to the recycle bin.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 41% (tolerable)
Aug 27, 2008