STAFF REVIEW of Enclave (Xbox)

Monday, August 5, 2002.
by Tony Ingrassia

Enclave Box art With all the variuos reports on this game i wanted to make sure that i gave it time and judged it accordingly. What i found was 2 minor annoyances and a pretty stable and exciting game. Enclave takes place in a breathtaking world visually, and the charecters are perfectlly suited to the fictional world. A combination hack & slash, puzzle solver, and a quest keep you moving along this adventure. A word of advice, if you play this game and just rumble through it mashing buttons and not taking the time to explore and master your skills you may feel this game is lacklustre. If, on the other hand, you give it a fair shot, you will find this game is very worthy of your time & investment.

If you like fantasy based games, swords, and magic. This game will apperal to you. You can play the game in 2 campaigns, the Light and The Dark. Dark campaign is unlocked after completing the Light campaign. Different charecters and degree of difficulty are you bonus for beating the Light Campaign and undergoing the Dark. There are a total of 12 charecters, 6 for each campaign, varying in skills and atributes. You unlock new charecters as you progress, and can trade in your basics for weapon,armour, and magic upgrades. Combat controls are easy enough to get used to, the teargeting system is nice, it will give you a color (Green,Orange,Red) which corresponds to how well of a shot or attack you will have. Needless to say, a red targeting halo, with the cursor on an unsuspecting vitims head will drop him immidiatlly. Different charecters are better suited for different levels so you may want to experiment. You have a set amount of gold you can discover along with other little bonuses in each level, take the time to find some loot and spend it freely to upgrade your charecter making your next level a little more manageble. All in all the game is a wonder to see, the sounds of the environment are well done. Utilizing DD also draws you in when you hear arrows wizzing by your head. Again, if you explore, and truely give this game a chance, it will not dissapoint. Now the 2 reasons this game falls short of the perfect 5 for me...1,Multi-player. I only want to now why?? Why was it not incorporated into this game. 2,Level Saves. At bear minimum this game could have used a check-point style save system a-la-Halo, but what we are left with is having to finish the level before you are able to save. Small consilation, prior to facing bosses you do have a check-point save in place, which leaves me asking, " Why not throughout the game". Enjpoyable none the less, worth your time to make up your own mind.

Well, this is were the game makes up alot of ground. Visually awsome, very similar to Hunter the Reckoning. Clean, smooth, no frame rate problems, nice textures, shadows, etc...As in Hunter, the camera angles on rare occasions are a problem. I'm not sure if it pushes the XBOX power to it's limits, but it's very nicely done.

The charecters voices are acceptable, a little repetative, but not anoying. The ambient sounds are prefect throughout. The effects are well suited to the game, from slashes of your sword, to the sound of your crossbow as it fires. Well balanced.

I think this game was a few tweeks from greatness. It may be overlooked because of it and thats unfortunate. Take a hint from Tecmo maybe and release an update disk. If there is a Enclave 2 it would have to be perfect to warrant my investment seeing as this one was so close.

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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