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    Enclave - Page 2

    Instead of allowing saving at any point in the game, Enclave uses checkpoints – generally not more than 1 or 2 per level. These are usually well enough placed to be useful, such as after completing a difficult stretch, or before a major challenge. Any less would probably have made the game extremely irritating in terms of having to replay certain areas too many times, but too many more would have made it too simple. There is also a “hard” difficulty setting which removes the save points in order to make the game much more challenging.

    Click for a larger image

    The game engine does suffer some drawbacks, the major one I’ve found to be is missing some swings or shots that appear to go right through an enemy without causing damage. This is an aspect common to RPG’s where by chance, or in game calculations the character is supposed to miss a shot at an enemy. However, I am not sure whether this was intended, or just a bug for Enclave.

    Additionally, the AI can often demonstrate a significant lack of intelligence. In some missions the friendly units do tend to have somewhat of an inability to aim, hitting my character as often as the enemy units. Additionally, more than once the NPC’s would get stuck on an obstacle and have trouble moving past it - or worse, on occasion enemy units advancing to attack make a beeline towards your character, sometimes falling into deep crevasses. Some enemy units can also be rather easy to take out, and the game is only really challenging when fighting multiple units or taking on ranged enemies.

    The graphics in Enclave are quite impressive, however this comes at the price of a fairly CPU intensive engine, and not to mention 2.5GB of Disk space – one of the highest requirements yet on the market.

    The textures are quite detailed, and capture the feeling of the type of environment that the mission is set in. These include hell – like caves, insides of castles, a village, outdoors and more.

    Click for a larger image

    There is some nice eye candy, such as when your character manages to block an enemy arrow. The arrowhead appears through the shield, or you’re unlucky enough not to be able to block it then the arrow will be shown embedded into your body for a few seconds.

    On the downside, some of the attack motions do get a bit repetitive, with the majority of melee attacks a 3-swipe sequence. The spellcasting is also quite similar, the only difference between different attack spells being different colors, speeds, and sizes of bolts flying towards the enemies rather than unique visual effects.

    The sound effects in the game are quite well done, and will work in 3D audio. The sounds of an enemy’s death throes or an arrow launched swiftly towards a hapless enemy are clear and crisp.

    The music, however, tends to be a bit repetitive. At times it can be a chilling accompaniment to a dark, foreboding environment, but at others it will stand out and remind you that you are in fact listening to a musical track while playing the game.

    Click for a larger image

    Overall, Enclave is definitely a fun game to play, although it does seem to lack refinement in certain areas. These are mainly due to a few gameplay issues discussed earlier, as well as well as the repetitive nature of the music and animations. A lack of multiplayer availability will also cramp the games replay value. Enclave does however have many positive aspects that will make it a fun and interesting game to follow through with many hours of varied gaming available.

    Overall score: 78%


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