Faery: Legends of Avalon is a light role-playing game from the company partnership of Focus Home Entertainment and Spider. Playing to the strengths of new comers, you have to know almost nothing about the role playing genre to really get into it, and I feel that really does a lot for this game. What could have turned into a complicated, over saturated RPG is a fun, unique romp that gives you hours of entertainment for a small barrier to entry.
The story of Faery, centers on a created character, which you can name. The story begins a long time ago, when magic fed the world, and Fairies lived among the rest of the population. On a small island, Avalon, King Oberon reigned, and he decided to withdraw his people into enclaves because the human population began to detest the Faeries, away from the human world. However, with all of them leaving the world, the realms of magic began to disappear one after another, until one day, your character, in my case Xavier, is awoken, and tasked with saving these lands that keep disappearing into an unsettling mist. The story unfolds slowly, but once you get an hour or so into the game, it really picks up and drives you to want to finish it, and find out what the older worlds have in store for you.
The game takes a cue from Mass Effect, and includes relationship building via dialogue choices. Each choice either heightens or destroys your good graces with a character, with the “good” dialogue choices being highlighted in blue, while the “bad” choices are highlighted in red. This system is pretty well put together, aside from the fact that I felt as these choices had absolutely no effect on the outcome, and I feel like I was being forced to choose good, as bad made the efforts of progressing the story much harder. However, the voice acting, even though it is affected by these elements, is very poor. There is not a single spoken voice in the game, and the text that is used comes across very awkwardly worded, and almost sounds like it’s trying too hard to be a fantasy game, which reminds me a lot of Two Worlds.
The gameplay of Faery is your typical, run of the mill turn-based RPG. You choose an action from a list of attack, offensive magic, and defensive magic and defend. As you increase your level, from experience you gain from completing quests and defeating enemies, you are able to transform the look and abilities of your character, you truly construct a character that is unique to you, which I thought was very slick. Aside from the traditional gameplay, and character upgrades, there are not many other things to do in terms of gameplay, other than traversing the world via flight, dungeon crawling, speaking to the inhabitants of each world, and finally embarking on fetch quests. Lots and lots of fetch quests. These can get tedious, but even despite the tedium, I had a drive to play the game, and see what kind of crazy situations I was going to get into next.
The one truly shining feature about this game is the art style. The best way to describe it is if Folklore and Zenoclash had a baby, and that baby had some Borderlands mixed into it. They take the character models from Folklore, and mix them with the bizarre sounds and aesthetic of Zenoclash. They have a semi-cell shaded graphical style, which is where Borderlands comes in. All of these elements combine to make a game that I really was happy to look at, with brilliant use of color and style. The overall graphical presentation is also very well done, and really is a marvel for such a compact downloadable game.
As a whole, the game is simple, but still fun. I kept having a drive to press on. The game definitely came out of left field, and did surprise me with the quality, when I knew nothing about it going in. It is good to see a sleeper hit like this on the downloadable channel every once in a while. If you have the time to spare, or want to be introduced into the RPG genre, definitely give the game a shot, as I feel you will not be disappointed.
Review copy provided by publisher.