Blue Byte‘s 1996 PC release, Albion, is a classic science fiction role-playing game.
Albion mixes traditional 2D graphics – in this case overhead, isometric style – with first-person 3D sections. You begin the game on a spaceship playing Tom Driscoll – a pilot on a shuttle sent by the DDT corporation to scope out a nearby planet for mineable minerals. Tom’s ship malfunctions, causing him to crash, and he finds himself on the target planet
The fantasy storyline is quite good. Especially for a German developer – the English dialogue is full of humour and is very well-written for the most part.
Getting going in Albion is a challenge, but once you’ve got a party member with you the game really opens up. Combat is turn-based and simple enough to get your head around, and exploration is generally fun.
With perseverance (or a walkthrough) you can create a party of up to six characters, which makes combat a lot more interesting. Actually, it makes the whole game a lot more interesting.
Albion is a superb game overall. It isn’t too well known and is quite hardcore as an RPG, but it is beautifully constructed and absorbing to play. It’s still available to buy online now. I suggest giving it a go if you’ve never played it before and like unusual RPGs.