Legend of the Void 2: The Ancient Tomes
A day in The Void just wouldn't be complete without some bandits, skeletons, necromancers and wolves attacking you. Following the first Legend of the Void game without skipping a scene, Legend of the Void 2: The Ancient Tomes by Obelisk Games is an intense, item-heavy browser-based role playing game that takes a very serious approach to the genre, aiming to emulate the experience of a full-fledged console or PC RPG without all the overhead. The result is a great sequel that continues right where the first game left off, dumping you in a world packed with monsters on a quest to, well, just stay alive.
At the beginning of Legend of the Void 2, you find yourself dumped inside The Void with no idea how long you've been here. You do notice, however, your traveling companion Rogan is missing. You discover it's been many days since The Black Gate erupted, and things have gone a bit amiss, what with the monsters everywhere and general terror throughout the villages.
Legend of the Void 2 is a top down experience that can be controlled with the mouse or a combination of the mouse and keyboard. Move through each small area interacting with people, searching paths for loot, and gathering up as much treasure as you can. You'll make frequent stops to re-equip yourself with new items or just manage your inventory. Inevitably you'll encounter enemies, but since a good bulk of Legend of the Void 2 is combat oriented, you can expect a smart, intense sort of ride.
Battles are turn-based and alternate with your party and the enemy swinging at each other with all they've got. Attacks, spells, and other abilities are stashed in the menu bar at the bottom of the screen, simply click on the skill you want to use followed by the enemy you want to attack. Many moves require mana points to use, limiting the frequency in which you can roll them out. All skills need a few turns to recharge, so unleash your strategic hell accordingly and you'll be staring at the victory screen in no time.
Analysis: Legend of the Void 2 doesn't feel like a browser RPG, a statement intended as a compliment in every way possible. From the setting to the story, the lavishly complete equipment and skill screens, and the impossibly long list of items you can find and use, you get the sense there's a big world to be explored. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but after a few minutes you get the hang of item management and skill updates and are ready to take on the world.
Combat is a good chunk of the game. Enemies aren't afraid to hit you with their sharpest swords and most stinging-est spells, so you have to keep on your toes, watch your party's hit points, and use your skills and items accordingly. Special tomes give you abilities once charged, giving you a lift if the battle drags on for more than a handful of turns. And if it's all a bit too much to handle, you can change combat difficulty in the options menu, switching it from "casual" all the way to "legendary". Be careful with that last one!
The only shortcoming with a game this hefty is the inevitable learning curve, but Obelisk Games managed to smooth that out as well as can be expected. Legend of the Void 2 may not grip you right away, but it only takes three or four minutes to start your addiction, an almost imperceptible amount of time when compared to most role playing games. After that, it's all looting, exploration, combat, and even more combat. A superb sequel and a standout RPG in its own right, if you're looking for something a little more serious and a little more challenging than the norm, you've found it!