Tag Archives: Jeremy Soule

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, PC

LucasArts/Bioware‘s 2003 release, Knights of the Old Republic, is thought by some to be the best Star Wars game ever made.

It’s a hardcore RPG in the style of Neverwinter Nights (also by Bioware) and other realtime/turn-based hybrids of the early 2000s.

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Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, PC

This Enhanced Edition of Icewind Dale brings the Infinity Engine up-to-date, with nice zooming and screen movement options, and clearer icons, so playing the game has never been easier or more fun than this.

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Icewind Dale, PC

Icewind Dale is the second Infinity Engine-based RPG, developed by Black Isle Studios and released by Interplay in 2000. It is based on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, with a 2nd Edition AD&D ruleset.

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Skyrim, PC

Or – to give the game its full title: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – a legendary, open-world RPG with a dragon-riding, fantasy horror setting, and a chilly, Nordic, snowy feel to the landscapes.

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Neverwinter Nights, PC

BioWare‘s 2002 release, Neverwinter Nights, is a bit of a giant on the RPG scene.

Not only is it a detailed and engrossing Role-Playing Game par excellence, but it also plays host to a huge modding community. It’s also well-known as a multiplayer game too and features campaigns that can be played single or multi-player, and also features Player-versus-Player (PvP) combat.

As a single-player game Neverwinter Nights is a treat for anyone who loves RPGs. The Aurora Engine is a little clunky at times (inventories especially), but is more than capable of making any scenario enjoyable and engrossing.

Playing Neverwinter Nights feels like a mixture of Fallout and Warcraft – mixing real-time and turn-based gameplay with a multi-character party/control system. The game is a mixture of exploration, dialogue, and tactical combat and uses 3D graphics to represent the game world (unlike BioWare‘s previous games, which used 2D graphics). And – like any good RPG – the quests come thick and fast and are managed in your journal. Items, spells, weapons and armour are organised via pop-up menus.

When you enter combat you are encouraged to use the game’s extremely useful ‘pause’ function. Like ‘VATS’ in Fallout 3 (or Fallout New Vegas), combat in Neverwinter Nights features the ability to stop the action; move the camera; and stack up commands, all while the action is paused. You can play the combat out in real time if you’re good enough, but the pause feature definitely tips the balance in your favour. Followers and party members can also be macro-managed very precisely using this ‘stop time’ function, or you can leave the AI to let them do what they want. It’s good to have the choice. Once you’ve gotten used to the control system, though, you’ll see that this is a seriously complex and tactical game – very challenging in places; especially on the hardest difficulty setting.

One aspect of Neverwinter Nights that I love is the music. It reminds me of Bernard Hermann‘s classic movie scores that he made for Ray Harryhausen‘s famous films (particularly 7th Voyage of Sinbad), with a sprinkling of more modern John Williams. There are a couple of musical cues that seem very familiar, but to me it makes the game comforting – even though the gameplay is very tense at times.

I can’t recommend Neverwinter Nights highly enough if you like RPGs.

The 2006 sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, is more of the same and just as good, and better looking overall.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights
GOG.com: Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition on GOG.com
Steam: Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition on Steam

Giants: Citizen Kabuto, PC

This obscure 2000 release from Planet Moon Studios and Interplay pretty much sank without a trace on first release – in spite of being a great game. Thankfully, Giants: Citizen Kabuto has been given a new lease of life, thanks to GOG.com (and other outlets) giving it a re-release, and it seems to have found a new audience. Looking at the reviews on GOG.com in particular it seems that this game is receiving a lot of love.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a mission-based 3D action game that can be played single-player or multiplayer; first-person or third-person, and is basically a shooter, but with some resource management and real-time strategy mixed-in.

In single-player you start by playing a guy in a spacesuit (called Baz) who must find his friends among the hostile environment. And, after you’ve found them, you can command them to do things for you. Later on you get to play other races as the game opens up.

Still available on GOG.com and Steam, Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a video-gaming gem that is absolutely worth tracking down and playing. It’s an easy game to get into; is challenging and detailed enough to draw you in, but not frustrating, and runs beautifully on modern computers. Get it bought!

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giants%3A_Citizen_Kabuto
Steam: Giants: Citizen Kabuto on Steam
GOG.com: https://www.gog.com/game/giants_citizen_kabuto

Oblivion, PC

Or, to give the game its full title: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – the fourth game in the popular Elder Scrolls series.

Oblivion is not as free-form as Morrowind (its predecessor), but is thick with detail, humour and atmosphere, and is a great game in its own right.

These screenshots were taken on my first Oblivion playthrough, back in 2006.

Click: The Elder Scrolls series on The King of Grabs

More: Wikipedia