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Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul, or simply Evil Islands (Russian: Проклятые земли), is a PC game by Nival Interactive that combines role-playing, stealth, and real-time strategy. It is the third game of the Allods franchise, after Rage of Mages and Rage of Mages 2: Necromancer. Evil Islands introduces a new interface and full 3D graphics.[ ]
The game has a mix of real-time strategy and roleplaying elements such as leveling up, acquiring new abilities, learning spells, and buying new weapons and armor. Each quest can be done in many ways, for example using stealth to get past obstacles, going in alone and killing everyone or taking one or two companions with you. However some quests require the player to pickpocket a foe or to take an item from somewhere and use it elsewhere. There are many different ways to get to each quest with each path having its own dangers. There's a Deep weapon and armor making feature that allows the player to craft his or her own equipment using blueprints from a town blacksmith and materials found by looting dead bodies or bought from the shopkeeper. However some looted items such as a Banshee cloak or Wolf's fang can't be used for crafting, but instead can be sold for money. Magic can also be used with spells such as Heal, Fireball, Eagle sight, Celestial Lightning, Invisibility, Weaken, Haste, and other such spells for both offensive and defensive use. Bows and crossbows are also available for ranged combat. But the game uses more physical fighting than actual spell casting or archery for combat. But because of the games open ended nature the option to use those methods for combat are still there.
The player can make Zak run, walk, sneak, and crawl. Running causes a lot of noise and attracts the attention of nearby enemies and also decreases Zak's fatigue, so he will eventually have to stop running and rest. Crawling has the slowest movement rate but enemies are less likely to notice Zak when he is crawling, and stealth is increased further during the night. Foes that Zak has to face include but are not limited to Goblins, Orcs, Lizard men, Ogres, Dragons, Humans, Undead, Trolls, Boars, Beholders, and many other beasts each with their own strengths and weaknesses, making the player think on tactics such as watching at the enemy movement paterns or scaring some boars into a pack of wolves to ensure they don't join the fight and aid a single more powerful enemy.
The game's story consists of a person called Zak who finds himself at a base of ruin in an unknown land called Gipath. After he wakes up Zak finds a group of people praying and as they spot him they run off and alert a nearby village shouting "The chosen one has come". Zak soon finds this village and the people who live in it. While inside the village the village Elder, named "Silver Tongue", briefs Zak on how they believe he is this chosen one and how he has come to save their village from Goblins and other such threats that roam the land. Soon after he has done these Quests he finds a plot about a betrayer who plans on killing him. And the story also unfolds even more over three different lands, and how he wants to regain his lost memory over the course of the games story.
Evil Islands also has an online muliplayer feature allowing you and other people to do quests, level up and generally do the things you do on the single player side of the game but with human players. Quests are different from those of the single player story and have different objectives and rewards. The multiplayer portion of the game is also much harder than normal play especially without other players, encouraging people to group up. Multiplayer gaming at the time when the game was released was still fairly new, making the game standout from other roleplay games for it's time.
At the time from a technical standpoint the games graphics were some of the best on a pc video game. The game featured real-time shadows where shadows moved depending on the time of the day. Rain & Snow could happen at random. And the animations for the characters and creatures are fairly detailed. And the game textures are colorful and crisp providing some nice eye candy while playing the game.
Reviews for the game where mostly positive, with IGN giving the game 8.9 out of ten, and prasing the graphics and goofy characters. While Gamespot gave the game 7/10 noting that the combat animations are good and the fighting is well balanced for different styles of play.
Unknown to many. There was actully an expansion for the game, however the game was only ever released in Russia and even then it received mostly negative reviews and sold poorly.
Since a few years ago the official website and the forum for Evil Islands has been taken offline for unknown reasons. The forum ever since release provided fans and the community a place to share user mods and patches who tried to delay the slowly dying playerbase. It was still possible up until a few years ago to find groups of people still playing the game online, but many high geared people where often kicked from games for being accused for cheating, because of gear. Problems like this prevented the game from being played by more than a small bunch of people online at any given time. People may however still be playing this game, however the game is quite rare to find.