Avernum is the Empire’s underground penal colony. There, those who are uncomfortable for the ruling Regime are thrown in via magical portal to never be heard from again. You have been exiled to the dark, volcanic pits of Avernum, filled with foul monsters, constant warfare, and thousands upon thousands of your fellow prisoners. This is your punishment for not fitting in, for daring to speak your mind against the powers that be. You have a choice: accept your fate and die in this cold, dank underworld or take up arms against the tyrant who stripped you of your life, your status, your freedom. Will you be the first to escape Avernum?
Avernum: The Complete Saga features six complete dungeon crawling RPGs designed for anyone who longs for an epic quest, enjoys a fascinating and engaging tale, or misses the classic days of role playing games. Included in the set is Blades of Avernum, a collection of smaller adventure modules, such as A Small Rebellion, The Valley of Dying Things, The Za-Khazi Run, and Diplomacy With the Dead, and gives you the complete freedom to create your own adventures and cunning characters to share with your friends.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, 1.6 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM (512 MBB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 300 MB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.6.8 or later. Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz+ Memory: 1GB of RAM Graphics: 64MB of video memory Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled. Compatibility notice(Mac): Avernum 4, 5, 6, and Blades of Avernum are NOT supported on volumes formatted as Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive) and 32-bit Intel Core Duo processors.
Posted on 2013-01-15 11:53:33 bymrmccormo:
Having played PC games since the late 80s, there is always one thing that keeps bringing me back: content. I'm sure other long-time PC gamers will be able to mention one (or two, or ten) games that have lasted them hundreds of hours. That isn't unusual for PC games. A lot of them were built to last. Whether it is a long list of playable races, a ton of expansion packs, or a tonread more of quests, there are THOSE PC games that never seem to run short of new things to discover.
Avernum is such a game. It's ALL about delivering you a huge amount of content, so much content that you'll always have something new to discover. The graphics are simplistic, the menus can be a bit clunky (but not compared to other 90s-style PC games), and the game could use a bit more organization when it comes to quests. However, the immense amount of content found in this game is more than enough to last you for dozens, if not hundreds, of hours.
And I'm only talking about the first game.
Avernum Complete Saga includes all six games in the series. The first three take place primarily underground in dungeon environments, whereas the final three games are mostly above ground with a few dungeons thrown in for good measure. The combat itself is simple to understand. However, that does not mean combat is simple. There is a wide variety of different enemies, and you'll have to use actual tactics to bring them down. Also, there are a lot of different magical abilities to play around with.
I completed the 6th Avernum in early 2012. I can't even begin to calculate how many hours I spent in the series. Each game will last the average player about 30 hours. What do I mean by "average player"? I mean, if you go through the main storyline, do the occasional side-quest, explore a few extra areas, and fight a few extra battles, it will take you about 30 hours. If you explore a lot more, it will take double the time. If you try to find every secret and complete every quest...goodness, I cannot imagine how long it would take you to beat one of these games, let alone all six. Avernum 3 is especially chock-full of secrets and hidden areas.
A downside of the Avernum series for the modern gamer is the exclusive use of text. There is a LOT of text. Even if you just breeze through the main storyline, there will be a lot of text to read. Seeking out secrets and reading the fluff lore scattered around increases the amount of text exponentially. A game designer (not of this series) named Brian Fargo once lamented that modern RPGs have lost their "literary sense". Old RPGs like Ultima, Wizardry, and Baldur's Gate use to have well-written text that really made you feel like you were digging into a novel. Avernum is the same way, but expect to be bored if you don't want to read.
I rate this game 4 instead of 5 stars for two main reasons. One, the games lack direction. There is a difference between "lacking direction" and "freedom", and I believe Avernum falls into the former camp. The mediocre journal and map system makes it difficult to keep track of your progress if you're hunting down a lot of side-quests, especially in the early games (the later games are improved in this aspect). My second reason is the menu and graphical design. I understand that the budget for this series was tiny, but there are some design choices - especially with the menu - that could've been changed in later games, but weren't.
As mentioned before, Avernum is all about content. The graphics won't wow you. The menus might frustrate you. The "same"ness of the dungeons, especially in the first three games, might bore you. But if you want a massive realm of content to explore, Avernum should be #1 on your list of games to play.
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Posted on 2013-01-15 07:48:08 byrob.liefeld:
So Avernum is finally here.
The whole series.
After the Geneforge series, I guess it was just a metter of time.
For starters: this is one of the longest running sagas when it comes to CRPGs. The original Exile I (which have later been remade into Avernum) came out in the mid '90s!
This is the series that put Spiderweb software on the map, and ever since this is considered theirread more definitive work.
So what it is exactly? Avernum takes place in the underground land of... well Avernum, where your party of (fully customizible) characters had been casted away (thus the original title Exile). And it takes three whole games to get back on the surface.
One might think, that this must be the most epic dungeondrawler ever, but it's as far from a rougelike as possible. You see, there are established towns cities raised by the generations of banished folks, so the game is much closer to the Bioware AD&D classics.
Almost everyone has a word or two to say to you which makes the games pretty immersive. There are also a lot of things to do besides quests. Secrets a scattered all around the place, and you can even set up a market, as far as I remember. The game is also extremely openended, you can basically ignore the main quest for as long as you want to, and you're free to do whatever you want...
...which bring me to my first problems with the game. It is VERY easy to get lost in all this stuff. The journal and map system are a bit vague, and I often found problematic to get back to some people after I've completed their errands. They stay put, I just forget who they are and where they are. This takes away from the immersion as well as two other aspects. These later two has to do with the budget of the games. Which are obviously very low.
There is no voicework to speak of. I got used to read immense paragraphs of texts, but a little "hello" or some battlecries and such would've been a huge improvement.
Also, the graphis are butt-ugly. They are functional, but they have no personality whatsoever. I have to say, these are the dullest looking games I've ever come across. This made me remove one whole pont from the maximum five.
I'd be really happy to see another remake :)
In the end, I'd strongly suggest this series for a try to all RPG fans, just keep in mind, they might need some time grow on you.
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Posted on 2013-01-16 17:39:15 byFonsia:
I've been playing Spiderweb games since I discovered Nethergate. Their games, all of 'em, are made by one guy: Jeff Vogel, working out of his basement in Seattle. The game play tends toward quite simple, but don't let that make you think these games are easy. Despite the simple graphics, they will challenge you and keep you addicted for literally hundreds of hours with all sixread more games--making this the best buy on GOS.
The main thing Jeff has going for him is his writing skills, which tend toward humorous irony. The little NPGs in his games have actual personalities. For example, there's Tor, who'll give you supplies when you first arrive in Avernum. Tor is depressed. Even the dragons have personalities. These characters inject a level of humor into the games that you just don't find elsewhere.
The quests are endless, the worlds are open, the battles will keep you busy, and there are even a few actual puzzles here and there.
Those of us who play Spiderweb games tend to be loyal and completely addicted. It's no accident that Vogel has been making a living for more than 15 years of these games. They're more than worth the money.
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