Yeah, yeah, Microsoft is revealing its fancy new Xbox in less than an hour (*yawn!*)… I’m MORE excited that I managed to score a boxed new/sealed copy of Drakan: Order of the Flame, a game I’ve been wanting to play since it was released back in 1999. Amusingly enough, I worked in a game shop that had a copy, but I didn’t pick it up back then because I wasn’t into PC gaming as much back then. I’d played the demo on a friend’s beefy gaming rig and liked it, but didn’t want to dive into something that would require me buying an expensive 3D card (well, a better PC, because mine was a crappy model that could only run a bunch of DOS and early Windows 95/98 games).
Anyway, yes indeed, it installs and runs perfectly on the laptop (so far), but I hear from the grapevine that I need to grab a patch or two because the game has at least two major bugs from what I’ve read. The late Surreal Software whipped up a solid action game with light RPG elements starring two unique characters in Rynn, a young woman who finds out she’s bonded to an ancient dragon named Arokh after her tiny village is destroyed by an army controlled by an evil sorcerer…
As you can see, what’s inside the box answers a few questions as to why this and other PC games almost always turn up for sale without manuals INSIDE their cases – the manuals were a few times larger than the case! It’s one of the reasons I was looking for a complete copy of the game, but all that other stuff is interesting as well, particularly the Psygnosis game catalog that shows a few titles that were eventually never commercially released. As for how the game looks compared to today’s games? Well, it’s definitely dated, but when taken as a product of its time, it’s quite lovely to look at. there’s also a Direct X 9 mod that bumps up the visual quality, but I’ll check that out later. Surreal made an excellent sequel to this exclusively for the PlayStation 2 called Drakan: The Ancients’ Gates, which is worth tracking down if you like dragons in games (and the sword-swinging lass who gets to ride one) and a pretty decent story (although the game’s abrupt ending is a bit disappointing). It would have been great to see a third game in the series, but the developer instead created two games for Midway (The Suffering and The Suffering: Ties That Bind) and worked on a few canceled projects before folding.
I’ll probably revisit the game in a future feature, but for now, I’m going to get ready for that big Microsoft event that’s supposed to change the gaming landscape (but won’t, really)… back in a bit.