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DEVELOPER: Starbreeze   |   PUBLISHER: Conspiracy Entertainment   |   RELEASE: 07/29/2002

With the summer coming to an end it’s great to see XBox pumping out original titles left and right. Unlike Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft had plenty to keep their XBox faithfuls busy over the hot months. Bringing us games that were good enough to take advantage of Blockbuster’s Summer game promotion. Sure there were a few stinkers in there but as it turns out there was enough to keep us more than occupied at MS’ green box o’ fun. With summer coming to a burning end Universal is giving us Enclave to try and beat the heat, does it work? Read on XBox friends.

Enclave kind of slipped in under our radars, no one really knew it was coming out. So when the game arrived here we really didn’t know what to expect from it. It looked like a Morrowind rip-off with better graphics. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you can for a second imagine a Max Payne control style, set in medieval times, with the ability to play in first or third person. Now that you are confused try and imagine the best textures and lighting I have seen in a long time. One thing everyone admits about Enclave is that DAMN it is pretty!

That is the main aspect that initially draws players in. The graphics are absolutely stunning, high res textures flood the environments. The lighting effects absolutely draw the player into a world that does not exist, and the XBox shows off what it can do when put to the test. The problem with the visuals is at times the frame rate fluctuates between being tolerable and annoying. You can really see the game chug when multiple enemies invade the screen yuck!

The core of Enclave lies in it’s game play though. You are only given one character and scenario at the beginning, but work your way through the game and you begin to unlock new characters to play as. You can also use your gold that you collect to buy new weapons and armor for all of your characters. Each character has specific abilities that aid them on their quest so choose the right person for each level or you will end up becoming frustrated. There is also a dark campaign alongside the light one. This gives you the opportunity to play the role of the villain. This is a great bonus but I wish it was available from the start! The game provides plenty of replayability because there are so many ways to do each mission and each character is unique enough to warrant another play through.

Alongside other XBox title Enclave stands out for it’s visual appeal and nice amount of replayability. It falls short on a few levels making it a good purchase for fans of this style of game. My suggestion is to rent it first and see if you enjoy what it has to offer. The amount of times you can go through the game is plentiful so there are no worries of finishing it anytime soon. The addition of two campaigns and upgrading your warriors makes Enclave a decent title on the shelf of XBox games. Another solid title for my green wonder console!

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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