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Review: Silverfall - PC

by Steven Williamson on 19 March 2007, 14:27

Tags: Silverfall , Koch Media, RPG

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Nature or Technology? You decide...

Initial customisation of your avatar is fairly basic. Firstly, you choose whether you wish to play the game as an elf, goblin, human or troll and then have the option to amend the appearance of your character through a familiar slider method. The exclusion of choosing a class is replaced with a comprehensive and complicated looking skill tree where you can assign points to a multitude of different skills.

As you level up, through completing quests and slaying monsters, you’re awarded attribute and skill points which can dished out via the skill tree to improve skills such as melee and ranged combat or light, and shadow magic. As you rise through the levels you’ll be able to equip better weapons, armour and magic all of which aid you that little bit further in your quest.

All sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? Well, it is for the most part.

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The skill tree consists of three main areas: Combat, magic and other. Each of these skill paths are broken up into skills associated with them. For example, combat consists of melee, shoot and technique, whereas magic has element, light and shadow. It’s up to you where to place the points you earn depending on your own preferences. If you love bashing the hell out of monsters, you’ll undoubtedly feel more at ease using your well-earned points on your melee skill, but if, like me, you prefer to stand back and let the magic do the talking you’ll choose that path. The combination of skills that you can choose is pretty much unlimited and as a result means that Silverfall has a decent amount of replay-ability as you seek to try out new techniques.

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What sets Silverfall apart from being just another run of the mill RPG is the area on your skill tree known as ‘other’. The central theme of the game is Nature vs. Technology, which I’ve interpreted as a new take on the premise of good vs. evil. Your choice of path influences the storyline, the environment, the skills that you can use, characters that you can recruit and items you can use within the game. For example, choose to go down the technology route and you’ll have access to powerful firearms or be able to create mechanical beasts to aid you in your quests. On the other hand choose nature and you’ll be able to take a more non-direct approach and morph into the likes of a werewolf. In Lamen’s terms the difference between the two is the choice between using natural powers or technology to win the day. Silverfall heavily revolves around this theme and there are some cool ideas that the developers have come up with: for example, in an early quest you can use technology to unleash swamp gas pumps on the marsh or choose to destroy a waterfall if you’re the nature destroying type. Choose the tree-hugging path and the world that you set off to re-build will be rich in vegetation and nature.

It’s this concept, which is extremely well implemented and weaves in and out of the main storyline seamlessly, that gives Silverfall its own sense of character and charm.