The problem is that despite character development options, the bulk of actual play just isn't enjoyable, thanks in equal part to combat mechanics and technical troubles. Whether you're casting spells, slinging arrows, or swinging swords, beating down monsters means clicking the heck out of anything that moves.
That's not necessarily a bad thing: simplistic gameplay can be a blast. Unfortunately, while other games concentrate on action-packed carnage, Mage Knight: Apocalypse interrupts the flow constantly with amateurish pathfinding issues that hang your companions up on the simplest of obstacles, a spastic manual camera, and enemies that seem to enjoy standing idly in corners. A few of the linear hack-and-slash missions seem like real stumpers until you realize the last wave of goons got stuck and need to be lured around an obstacle.
There's never any sense of jeopardy from the decent looking but utterly braindead bosses, and though you'll find yourself dying frequently, there's no incentive to develop strategy since your nitwit companions can't navigate, and all damage done to bosses survives your resurrection. Other irritations mount on the side, like the loot system that forces you to micromanage your backpack to the point of agony, character interjections that fill your screen with text while you're trying to fight and shops that overwhelm you with hundreds of purchase options at a time. That the storytelling is hopelessly unexciting doesn't help, either.
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