[Disclosure: A review key was provided for the contents of this article]
Renowned Explorers is a PC game in which players complete missions and gain renown through use of things such as supplies, intelligence, aggression, and through wasting time. No, that last part probably isn’t how the game’s creators would put it, but it’s a large part of making it through a significant portion of this game.
After completing two missions within a short period, one is left with little of value to remember, other than the pleasantly bright graphics and depth of characterisation before — yes, before, rather than during — the period in which a player goes on a mission. That said, even a strength such as how deep the characterisation is seems almost overwhelming in its thoroughness, particularly in comparison to how quickly a mission can end and the lack of detail in missions which end too soon with little of interest to remember.
One question that the reviewer struggles with is: who exactly is this game aimed at? Renowned Explorers’ charming visuals and explorative adventure theme that are probably the most inviting things about this game, and make it seem accessible to all. However, there is too much reading, even to someone who usually enjoys that activity at various levels, even if it sometimes tires them out.
The game lacks focus. The in-game combat’s slow turn-based nature makes it dull, especially in comparison to, say, Final Fantasy XIII, which is also turn-based but much quicker and therefore more compelling. Furthermore, the series of tutorials is rather lengthy: about as long, in fact, as my first mission attempt.
Additionally, the game seemed to spend less time on indulging the player on the gameplay there was on how to get a grasp on the mechanics. For instance, there seemed to be more time spent figuring out, with the help of these tutorials, how to play the game (although they were not as informative as they could have been).
It would be greatly appreciated if there were greater depth in terms of graphics, landscapes and the extent to which one can look at it and draw their own conclusions rather than have textual displays rattle on about discovering a new plant or someone falling over as if either of those things are a big deal.
Also, while The Emperor’s Challenge, its expansion pack, is obviously different in comparison to the original game, whether this difference is significant or even worthwhile is up for debate, since it seems to be pretty much the same thing.
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