No, wait! Dragons, come back! We didn’t mean it! Without you, any excitement inherent in this Russian roleplayer’s narrative is dispelled! Too late, they’re gone. And so is any real engagement with A Farewell to Dragons.
Based on a pulp-fantasy book and inhabited by the usual elves, dwarves and humans, a dusting of steampunk (read: there are trains) isn’t enough to rescue the world from the mysterious forests of RPG super-cliche. Your party, recruited through tasks and conversations, adhere so rigidly to the templates handed down by their predecessors that to deviate from the expected formula is in-game suicide.
Sticking to the main plot without hours of boar-murdering grind leaves your characters woefully underpowered. They’re made weaker still by their combat tactics, as taught by a crack team of morons: your primary healer, a dainty little mage, will charge into hand-to-hand combat, inevitably dropping half a health bar in the process. The inclusion of a pause button makes most scrapes winnable, but rarely fun, as you attempt to wrangle the mouse round your team of idiots.
Loot drops are regular and peppered with interesting weaponry, and the leveling system offers a three-pronged approach that allows control over your party’s strengths – were they not always having their faces chewed off by wolves.
With another dragon-singed RPG looming large this winter, it’s hard to see anyone who’ll be keen enough to say that final goodbye to our scaly chums; you’d have to be seriously upset with them to dedicate serious time to the unspectacular A Farewell to Dragons.
Jan 13, 2010