Silverfall: Earth Awakening is the counterpart to the first Silverfall game. Unlike some sequels, however, this one can stand alone. Released by Monte Cristo Games this past August, Earth Awakening made a decent splash among fans of the genre. It didnít receive the hype of a Grand Theft Auto or a Final Fantasy, but thatís not its style. Earth Awakening is the sort of game to make followers, not the news. Itís unique, and gamers who got on board with Silverfall in the beginning can pick up right where they left off by importing their character from the original. Not that this is necessary, given the countless array of options for designing a brand-new, knock-em-dead character.
In Silverfall: Earth Awakening, you are the new master of the realm, be you a king, a queen or aÖlizard. You rule the vast, mysterious world of Nelwe, a land full of obscure creatures, rebellious tribes and magical spells. Like any new ruler, you have a load of work to do and a name to create for yourself. Are you going to be fair, just and strong? Cruel, lawless and stronger? Are you a politician and a peace-keeper or a fighter by nature? It really doesnít matter in the end; youíre getting your hands dirty whether you like it or not. But itís fun to have your own persona, isnít it? I mean, you get to hand-pick all of your other traits: your race, gender, physique, skills, magical powers, etc. Personally, thatís my favorite part of the game, right there.
But there is plenty to do if you are the sort who prefers to really develop your character in-game. Create or customize your own objects, from weaponry to magical spells. Thatís something not every game letís you do. You can even play with or against up to 8 friends through a LAN or the over the Internet; or spend all your time rushing from mission to bloody mission. Earth Awakening is big and broad enough to keep you entertained for a long time. If it can capture your attention at all, that is.
It could not catch mine. For all the mystery and magic itís supposed to portray, its execution is far from breath-taking. The controls are fine, flawless even. The music is pretty, but boring. If all youíre looking for is another fantasy RPG that can re-create the elements you have enjoyed in the past and just give them all different names and faces, cool-Earth Awakening is for you. But to be frank, itís more kitsch then art.
Granted, they kept it pretty clean. The inhabitants of Nelwe donít really swear and they are always clothed on-screen. Violence is a big key, this is a hack-n-slash, folks, but the blood looks more like a poof of grainy, red smoke then it does actual blood. And blood is the worst you will see. The gameís ďmessageĒ is equally inoffensive: go kill dark creatures. On the other hand, magic content is pretty high in Earth Awakening, so if thatís a concern then be aware. You are guaranteed to be exposed to it even if you donít make use of it, and if you choose, you can do anything from controlling the elements to calling up evil forces to fight for you. You are a pretty powerful dudeÖor lizard...
Ultimately, Silverfall: Earth Awakening is not all that bad. It is entertaining, especially if you can turn it into a social event by playing with friends; and it is a pretty easy game to pick up whether you have played the original (or any other Action RPG) or not. The PEGI gave it a 16+ rating, which was fair. Earth Awakening is dark and violent and can get a little heavy, but if the magical un-dead and the monsters are not a problem, it is not an especially mature game. If you liked the original Silverfall, you might as well give this one a shot. Besides: you can play a lizard!
Ľ By Alex Dugan, Plain Games. Published 10/16/2008 8:53:11 PM.