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Gods Hands-On Preview
Garrett, 2005-08-31

Battle, fury, deadly blades and spells, fire and explosions... destruction! That was all I saw when I was created. Since then... I haven't seen anything else. Bellarion, our world, was at war. The War of Gods. After Xarax, ruler of Gods of Bellarion who was responsible for the balance in the world, was murdered, each of the Gods claimed the right for the Divine Throne. At last, they all agreed that they should arranged the Ultimate Challenge in which the Gods would cross their powers to show who is the most powerful to rule them all. But the Gods who failed were still not willing to submit to the winner. They summoned their armies and attacked the worshipers of other Gods. By the deaths of their worshipers, Gods lost part of their power and weakened. This deed could not have been left without reply.

After 2000 years of battles, Bellarion lies in ruins. Vast and black deserts of ashes, chasms sinking into the lava, earth torn and frozen into the lifeless glacier - that's what most of our world became. Gods with their armies fortified in the heavily protected fortresses - which grew fast like mushrooms after rain - and sealed their territories with deadly magic traps. All those years the battle was drawn. Nobody could win. Until…

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The God of Darkness, Mortagorn, found a new weapon. New Clerics from his castles appeared in the battlefields. Each of them armed with a pale crystal at the end of their staves. When a cold light shone at the direction of their enemies, soldiers just fell dead to the ground. Niether magical nor physical protection was effective.

Mortagorn dominated most of the battlefields. His armies marched forward. Unstoppable, spreading like cancer. The other Gods could not withstand long in their defences if a new counter-weapon was not found. Gods searched for it through out all of the world of Bellarion. But no magic, nor their divine powers worked.
As the last hope, Arswaargh, The God of Fire, created me from his own astral body - a divine avatar - to send me through the space and time to seek other worlds where there might be the weapon we need. Without it, we were all doomed.

As a last resort in the war of Gods in the sphere of Bellarion, Arswaargh, the God of fire, has sent you into another world to seek the counter-weapon against Mortagorn. When you fell into this world, your divine powers of avatar were absorbed by the gods of this sphere. You must find the gods of this sphere, gain back your power and search for the counter-weapon.

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So far , so good...the above lines are taken from the games intro and do a good job describing the background story of Gods. I felt quite confortable while playing a preview version of GODS - Lands of Infinity - actually I felt very confortable, as the game reminded me of some of my all-time favourite games, i.e. Ultima Underworld, Ultima 7 and Might & Magic. But first thing first...

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The preview version does cover more areas than the public demo, actually it does cover about 60% of the game, compared to approx 15% in the demo.
You start the game with the character of Vivien, the main charcter of the game, as she arrives in the city of Slavingrad, the captail of Slawonia. As I understand, there is no character creation process as you will always take the role of Vivien, a goddess from another world who comes to this word and has no powers at all any more (or she has to recover them again, as her mentor Arswaargh, the God of Fire in Bellarion tells her...anyway, she's off alone now on the search for the gods.

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Gods looks and plays like a classic rolepaying game in the fine and sweet tradition of such epics as Ultima or Might & Magic, as mentioned above. The city is full of life, even though you cannot enter most of the buldings, but there's so many NPCs walking the city, and you can talk to most of them.

The game itself looks very nice - despite its aged graphics engine. Gods is by no means a next generation product regarding graphics, such as Gothic 3 or Elder Scrolls 4 - Oblivion, however, it offers a beautiful look with nice graphics, which look as if they were intended to look so retro in order to create a nice medieval fantasy mood rather than wow-effects due to state-of-art graphics.

The interface is also very nicely designed, offering all game options via a single mouse click! Combat is taking place turn-based on extra combat screens, which reminds me little of the combat in Betrayal at Krondor or Final Fantasy: turn-based, strategic and with all available options ready at hand...no need to learn complicated special keys.

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The next thing that I noticed and loved was the music! While it is no Hollywood-style orchstral score, the tunes create a nice fantasy mood just like the graphics do and drew me deeper in the game.

All in all, Cypron has created a beautiful and promising Retro-RPG, and I mean that in the most positive way! Where other developers seem to pay attention to great look & sound, this game creates an old-timer atmosphere and brings back memories of long gone games. Let's hope the full game will feature an interesting story and many nice side-quests!

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