I've just played through the first three stages of Enclave; here's my thoughts on the game so far:
Enclave opens with a rather boring prologue (mainly because it's nothing more than narration and all we get to see are pages from a book; you can skip all cinemas if you want to though), setting up the game's backstory and explaining how the game begins.
The story is very typical of a fantasy-based game; there's an evil demon trying to take over the world, he's killed by a wizard, but the explosion from its death creates a rift that divides the land in half. One half becomes a more peaceful society living on the half of the land with magical elements, but the other becomes a warlike-race and wants the other half's land. Eventually, the rift begins to close, and the darker half begins to invade the "lighter side's" land. You begin the game as a warrior who has been thrown into prison for opposing the land's tax, but suddenly, the darker side begins its invasion, and you must now escape the prison before it literally crumbles around you.
Enclave is a action/adventure game similar to the Dreamcast release Draconus: Cult Of The Wyrm. However, where as Draconus suffered from a clunky control scheme and a bad frame rate, Enclave plays very well and the frame rate generally will not get in your way.
The control scheme in Enclave will be familar to Xbox owners who have played games like Halo and Max Payne: The left stick will move your character, while the right stick will allow you to look in direction/aim. Pressing in the left stick will make your character drouch, and pressing in the right stick will let you jump. The L and R buttons are for attacking, blocking, and hitting switches, and the face buttons allow you to change your weapon and use items that you pick up along the way, such as torches and health potions. The black button will also let you switch from the third to a first-person viewpoint at any time as well.
Aiming weapons such as the crossbow is a snap, since a green target will appear over ALL enemies in a surrounding area, and you can then move your control stick, which is represented by a green dot on the screen, towards an enemy. The dot will change to red if you have a clear shot, and the game will even allow you to shoot enemies from very far away.
From: LyteEdge | Posted: 7/31/2002 6:06:27 PM | Message Detail
Combat in Enclave works well. R is your attack button, and holding it down produces a different melee attack from each weapon that you use. L blocks, but since you can move about freely, even when in the middle of a melee combo, dodging enemy attacks entirely is also possible. During combat, you will often find yourself surrounded by enemies, but so far, I have yet to feel like I've been put into an unfair situation; the AI seems to be very well-developed and plays "fair," and you will also sometimes have AI partners helping you during battle.
Enclave is divided up into different areas with a certain number of stages in each one. The first area, for example, is two stages long, and once you've completed it, the a cinema will kick in, and you will gain another character to use. You can also use the gold that you've found to buy new weapons/armor, as well as new items. The game will also allow you to replay stages that you have completed, letting you go back and collect more gold pieces and replaying the stage using any character that has been unlocked.
Visually, Enclave is an extremely impressive-looking game, with high-resolution textures, no pop-up or draw in, and the always-impressive "Xbox water effect." There's no doubt about it; not only is Enclave a sharp-looking title, but it's easily one of the best-looking games currently out. On the first stage alone, watching the dungeon you are in crumble and literally come down on you is very cool, as is when you go up certain staircases and the enemies will push down crates or wagons on you! The characters move smoothly and animate well, and although the frame rate does suffer from time to time, it never gets to a point that it will affect the game play. The sound is also very good, with the types of noises you would expect from a fantasy-based action game, and the voice-actors do a great job in the storyline segments.
Closing Comments: Unless the difficulty drastically changes later on in the game, I don't understand why some Enclave reviews lavel it as too difficult. The game controls very well, and the camera will not get in your way; getting too close to the screen will make your character go transparent or shift into the first-person view for a brief moment if it's very close, and this works very well in combat situations. The missions are not simply just linear "hack and slash," allowing you to search the large levels for gold pieces or other items, and the fact that the game allows you replay levels should you want to means that you can go through the game at your own pace and not have to worry about running out of money for new items. Enclave also lookgs to have a lot of replay value, as once you finish the light side's game, the dark side is unlocked, and there are supposed to be hidden modes and characters to unlock as well. While the game's story seems pretty typical and even has some plot holes(why is there no story showing how you get the second character? She just shows up in the next cinema!), Enclave is an action game, and it can be overlooked; my only complaint is the save system, as you can only save between levels, and it would have been nice to be able to save anywhere a la Max Payne.
If you've been looking for a good fantasy action/hack and slash title, give Enclave a shot; it's easily the best of its genre to hit a console system in a long time, and at least right now, I'm baffled as to why this game hasn't received higher score in most of its reviews.