December 2001 Archives
Developer: Magic Lantern Playware
Reviewed on PC
System Requirements: Pentium II 333 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 12 MB 3D video card, internet connectivity for multiplayer
Based on the popular CBS TV show, Survivor: The Interactive Game gives you a chance to hop into the Outback to test your mettle playing as a cast member from either the original Survivor, the Australian Survivor or as a character you create yourself. Just like the show, there are essentially three segments of the game. In the first phase you perform chores around the camp, chat with your friends and build alliances to try to vote out your enemies. In the second segment, you'll play mini-games. Sometimes the reward is something fun to replenish your flagging emotional and physical reserves – other times the reward is immunity from being voted out. The final stage is the vote itself. Just as in the show, you gather around the fire and then place your vote to determine whose torch is snuffed and who survives to compete another day for the $1 million prize.
Developer: Mythic Entertainment
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: Pentium II 450 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB 3D video card
The legendary King Arthur is dead, and his kingdom has fallen into pieces. A land once unified has splintered into three distinct – and warring – realms. The realm of Hibernia has a Celtic feel, and players may take on the role of Elves, Celts, giant Firbolg or tiny Lurikeen. Hibernia is a land of magic, and nearly all the Hibernian character classes use magic in some form or another. Midgard is a cold, Nordic realm, populated by strong melee fighters (and a few powerful spellcasters, to boot). The player inhabitants of Midgard include Norsemen, Dwarves, rock-skinned Trolls and small, blue Kobolds. Albion is the remnant of Arthur's realm and has the look and feel of Britain. All the player inhabitants of Albion are human but are subdivided into Highlanders, Saracens, Britons and Avalonians, the realm's premier spellcasters. All told, a player may choose from among 12 character races and 33 character classes, each with its own unique abilities and skills to train.
In Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC), a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, you choose a realm in which to play, then build your character by fighting monsters inside your realm. When sufficiently powerful, you may wage war against the other two realms. Unlike many other MMOGs, DAoC eschews player vs. player combat in favor of realm vs. realm (RvR) combat. You may not attack players in your own realm. By contrast, you may attack any member of another realm you happen to meet. You are not permitted to communicate with members of other realms, so you'll have no trouble deciding who to attack – if he isn't one of You, he's one of Them. Realm combat goes still further. In addition to simply hacking away at your opponents, you may create siege weapons to attack and occupy enemy keeps. Each realm also contains powerful relics. If you steal another realm's relics, everyone in your realm gets a bonus. And, with risk come other rewards. Fighting for your realm earns your character realm points and prizes unavailable to those who choose to stay out of the fray.
Realm combat is, however, largely a voluntary matter. In order to get to other realms, you must travel to special portals at the edges of your realm, then fight your way through frontier zones stocked with powerful monsters before you even approach the enemy realm proper. This means that you may avoid realm combat by staying deeper inside your own territory (a good idea until you hit a high level). Should you so choose, you could spend your entire career questing and treasure hunting in a way familiar to all who have played roleplaying games before. You may adventure with up to 8 players in a single group but are also free to play solo, though not all character classes are equally well-suited to the solo life. But never fear, as friends are always close at hand, and DAoC permits players to create their own in-game player associations (guilds), complete with a name of the players' choosing and unique guild insignias. Never had a posse? Welcome to Camelot – you've got one now.
Note: For more background information and screenshots, be sure to take a peek at our Preview of Dark Age of Camelot.