Avencast: Rise of the Mage

Sept 20, 2007

Point. Click. Kill. Loot. Repeat. That's the pattern that entranced us in the days of Diablo, and that's the blueprint that developers of dungeons crawlers have remained faithful to - almost to a fault - since then. But while Avencast: Rise of the Mage looks like another "me too" Diablo clone, it's trying something different with controls, combat, and cutscenes, and we like what we see.

Movement will be controlled FPS-style with the WASD keys, while your mouse controls targeting - much like a third-person shooter. As you progress through the game, you'll be able to allocate points to each of Avencast's three skill trees. There's Blood magic, which is mostly focused on powerful melee attacks, Soul Magic, which is more geared toward ranged spells, and Summoning, which speaks for itself.

"We're trying to mix the good things from other genres - like the beat 'em up genre - with an action RPG, which hasn't really been done before. So the idea is that you can cast all your spells by pressing combos," says Michael Schiestl, Executive Director of developer, Clockstone.

We're curious to see if casting by combos adds to the dungeon crawling experience, or if it winds up feeling more like a chore. Luckily, if the idea of tapping forward, then left, followed by a left-click to do a fireball sounds too cumbersome, you can opt to map your skills to hot keys for quick casting.