If you’re not familiar with the developers, Spiderweb Software have built up somewhat of a cult following for their classic, text-heavy turn-based RPGs. If you are already a fan of theirs, Avadon 2: The Corruption is, at least from what is discernible from the preview build, another serving of exactly what you would expect from their work. The trouble with evaluating a game like this is that it’s fairly niche; not everyone will like the large amounts of text throughout the game,but that doesn’t mean it isn’t written magnificently. Therefore, this preview will be written primarily on the perspective of how the game differs from its predecessor: Avadon: The Black Fortress, which you really should have played by now anyway!
Avadon 2 follows on directly from the main plot in Avadon (assuming that you didn’t try anything funny!). The main difference is that you start as a lowly scout in the midst of a rebellion instead of an almighty and unquestioned Hand of Avadon. Instead of a feeling of power you have to deal with danger and authority, which is an altogether different kind of thrilling. While your status changes throughout the game, the main storyline focuses on how Avadon clings to it’s former authority and power to try to keep the Pact safe despite the damage it sustained during the last game.
In traditional Spiderweb fashion, every mile of your journey is artfully narrated. While Avadon felt perhaps a little more safe, Avadon 2 has so far proven to be more apt at pulling at the heartstrings, hitting the game off with plenty of both light-hearted humor and devastating tragedy. The writers are clearly focusing on developing stronger relationships between characters and the player.
The graphics and UI are very similar to the previous game, except with a few touch-ups and a brighter splash of color. That’s the theme of the evening it seems – questing and fighting are also mostly the same except for a few minor adjustments. Secret switches are less impossible to notice, and there are more minimap notes to pinpoint the harder to find hotspots. You can also enter a zone from any direction which reduces a lot of running that was required in the first game.
The difficulty is still overall a little easy, at least for the beginning portion of the game. There are more opportunities to participate in quests meant for a higher level though, giving you access to several difficult optional battles. On a more general note, the fights themselves are wholly more interesting. The battles include a range of new mechanics forcing you to employ different strategies such as focusing down lackeys to prevent special moves or risking releasing monsters to fight for your side. The talent system is also mostly the same as before, but there are less requirements to reach the end-tier skills. This means that you can focus on a specific side of the talent tree without having to fill out the entire bottom half.
The fact that you can now choose your gender will definitely be an important feature for some, and there are a full set of character art and portraits for both versions of each class. Speaking of class features, there is also the inclusion of the new Tinkermage class which works out somewhat like a cross between a shadowwalker and a… turret-crafter? You get to place down a variety of different turrets that provide heavy AoE damage as well as some status effects, making him a strong contender for the damage-dealer of your team. As the turrets generally shoot in cones and have a limited range, it also adds to the strategy of a battle as you have to be aware of your placement.
Overall, there really aren’t that many big changes in the Avadon sequel, but all of them are positive ones. If you loved Avadon: The Black Fortress, you’ll most likely love this new addition of fantasy goodness. This also means that anything that annoyed you is still in there – a lot of the core mechanics like the UI and inventory system are all the same.
Avadon 2: The Corruption’s release date is estimated to be sometime towards the end of October 2013! Meanwhile check out the official trailer video: