Meridian4 and Rebelmind are small companies, and we applaud their efforts at making good games with the limited resources they have. Unfortunately, we must still compare games by small developers to those by big ones, lest we show favoritism, and the limited budgets of small companies put them at a decided disadvantage in this comparison.
The intro movie tells about the Emerald Tablet, an artifact of great power, being stolen. Next thing you know, you find yourself wandering into a war-torn 19th century town and getting held at gunpoint by some loon who thinks you?re a demon. Turns out demons have been attacking the town, and the local graveyard has been overrun by zombies. Well, to make a short story shorter, you manage to discover a hidden alchemist?s laboratory, and there?s a bit of exposition with some dialogue that doesn?t explain anything (if you manage to follow it at all). Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that the Well of Souls has been opened and monsters are streaming out.
For all the faults The Chosen has, there really isn?t that much to object to on a spiritual front. Though the box informs would-be players that the game offers gruesome battles, this is entirely untrue, to the point that, at several points in the game, we wondered if it even had any blood. It does, we found, but in very small quantities. Also in very small quantities is the mild language, which is found here and there in the game. Magic is the only thing present in enough amounts to give the discerning player pause. During the game, you?ll manage to bind some powerful demons into your service and call them later. While presumably it?s to help you free the world of their influence, that?s a moral line we?d rather not cross. Still, the game is pleasantly free of the appearance, or even mention, of alcohol or anything even remotely sexual.
The Chosen: Well of Souls is one of those games that could have been better with a little more work. Overall, it feels very unpolished, and rather like playing a beta of a genuinely good game.
» By Joshua Bennett, Plain Games. Published 10/30/2007 11:37:35 AM.