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Kult: Heretic Kingdoms

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Kult: Heretic Kingdoms is an isometric computer RPG, combining 3D technologies with the intuitive environment of an isometric game. It was developed by Slovakian studio 3D People, with a storyline written by a script team that includes Chris Bateman and game mechanics designed by the International Hobo team. It was published in North America as Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition.

Plot

Hundreds of years ago, the game world's God was killed by a hero wielding the Godslayer sword. Centuries later, one of his descendants used the power of that sword to institute a theocratic rule, before eventually getting defeated. The Inquisition is then established to stamp out any forms of religion in the land. The protagonist, Alita, is an inquisitor-in-training, but also another descendant of the Godslayer sword. The story begins after the mythical sword gets stolen by a group of religious zealots intent on resurrecting the God. The player is tasked with retrieving the legendary artifact. Throughout the course of the game, a series of choices made by the player can lead the protagonist to choose a variety of paths, following or breaking with the Inquisition and changing the game's ending.[3]

Gameplay

The game is played from a third person, isomorphic viewpoint with the main character at the center of the display. The primary character skills (melee, ranged attack and speed) begin with relatively low ratings, but can be improved as the game progresses and the character gains levels of experience. To augment the character's capabilities, she can acquire attunements by using various items in combat. Each time the character rests, she can select some of the acquired attunements to effect her abilities. Most of the attunements have a prerequisite that must be satisfied for use. Thus there are attunements that require the heroine to fight without wearing armor. This system rewards the player for trying new weapons and armor acquired from battle. Attunements become permanent once acquired.[4]

The damage system in Heretic Kingdoms uses both hit points and blood points. The character can heal an unlimited number of times, but with each healing the blood points drop; thereby limiting the maximum number of hit points. As a result, during extended combat with multiple heals, the maximum hit points will steadily decrease and the character will be more vulnerable to a hit that will kill her. Both hit points and blood points can be fully restored by sleeping at one of a limited number of campfires, Inn beds, or (if you have purchased a house) in a private bed.

An unusual aspect of the game is the existence of a parallel reality called the Dreamworld. This is inhabited by incorporeal entities such as wraiths and ghosts. The character may briefly escape a perilous situation in the real world by entering the dream world, and use this to travel about. The time allowed in the dream world is limited, however, and that realm has its own set of hazards. The dreamworld can be used to collect essence points that unlock attunements more rapidly.

Reception

ESC magazine reviewer Andy Grieser gave the game an 8.0 rating (out of a possible 10). He complimented the crisp graphics, and the innovative attunement system and the "Dreamworld". However, he criticized the superior strength of magic over melee, and thought the Dreamworld setting was underpopulated.[5] Gameover reviewer Steven Carter gave it a 78% rating, with high scores for graphics and gameplay.[3]

The game scores an aggregate 71/100 on Metacritic, based on 16 reviews.[6]

References

  1. Cohen, Peter (2006-10-20). Kult: Heretic Kingdoms action RPG released for Mac. MacWorld. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  2. Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, System Requirements. 3D People. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Carter, Steven. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition. Gameover Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-02-11.
  4. Lafferty, Michael (2005-04-20). Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition Review. Gamezone. Retrieved on 2009-03-10.
  5. Grieser, Andy (2005-04-13). Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition. ESC Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-02-11.
  6. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-03-10.

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