Each of the characters in RAW Realms Of Ancient War has their own opening to the campaign, drawing you into their unique personality and story. I chose The Warrior for my first run at this title, well being a bloke I would. Anyway each of the characters has their own abilities and weapon sets, the warrior setting off with two swords, a heavy attack and the ability to produce fire for his magic. It is not long before RAW Realms Of Ancient War throws you straight in at the deep end, surrounding you with hordes of enemies, reminiscent of the good old Gauntlet days when I spent many a week fighting them off. This is where you notice that the controls for the game are very simple and well thought out. I think they have overcome the age old problem of good old hack and slash dungeon games here, as most don’t cross over well, if at all, mainly due to the complicated controls.
Allowing you to map the buttons for certain powers was a very good idea. If anyone knows Gauntlet or other games of this genre, you will know that there will be a ton of enemies generating, mostly of the same type, and RAW is no exception. But that is the nature of the beast! RAW boasts a wide variety of enemies and bosses for you to slash and pummel through. Not far into the game you will also get the power to possess larger enemies at certain times and use them to either recover your health, or smash through the horde.
Now, this is where I found a problem with RAW Realms Of Ancient War – if you die during a battle and have no regeneration left you will have to start the level all over again, including your experience points and any items you may have found. This is a bitch to say the least, but I am sure easily fixed with a patch. However, until such a patch is available, if it ever is, RAW Realms Of Ancient War is greatly let down. The levels however, are quite expansive and detailed for an XBLA title. As with all titles of this genre, loot is plentiful and levelling up to increase your power is a must. There’s loads of options for you to level up, and plenty of equipment for your character to wear and use to aid them on their journey. Local co-op is definitely a must play in this title, but be warned, to survive you will have to help each other, there is no room for heroes here.
The levels are very detailed and well designed, in fact RAW Realms Of Ancient War is a slick looking title, having hit the mark graphically and carried on. I was really surprised at how sumptuous some of the levels look and feel. The whole visual side of the game pulls you into the world you are trying to save, and the camera angle was spot on. The sound was great all in all, apart from one major flaw, I want to hear my sword slash through flesh and bone, but there seems to be no sound for this in the game… ugh… why!. This is definitely another place that needs attention ASAP.
RAW Realms Of Ancient War, fills a gap that has been open for far to long on the console market, and hopefully has paved the path for more of the same. It does exactly what it says on the tin, giving you a true hack and slash game in a true dungeon feel. The problems need to be fixed, and they are fixable, I want to hear my sword slashing and hacking guys!!!. If you are a fan of games like Gauntlet and Diablo, then look no further. RAW will give you a real challenge that extends through some very large levels. Would I recommend it? HELL YEAH! I absolutely had a ball playing through with the warrior, and now I want to do the other two. The fun and sheer amount of hacking and slashing is enough to keep anyone entertained and satisfied. RAW only loses points due to the fact that there is only so many times you want to replay a whole level from the start, trying to get back up to where you were in experience and loot. Fix it Wizarbox please, and soon.