Dark Envoy, the game from Event Horizon, is an intriguing blend of fantasy and steampunk set in the world of Jaan. As a highly anticipated computer role-playing game, Dark Envoy seeks to entertain players with its real-time with pause combat system and engaging storyline. While it may not achieve the same level of excellence as Baldur’s Gate 3, Dark Envoy manages to hold its own by delivering a solid and enjoyable cRPG experience.
Plot and Characters
Dark Envoy’s plot revolves around the ongoing war between the human Empire and the magical League, providing a fertile ground for the tense and dramatic setting. The narrative explores the personal journey of Relic Hunters Malakai and Kaela, siblings who uncover the world’s secrets through their relic-hunting adventures. The story offers a mix of human drama and high-stakes conflicts, which make it relatable and engaging for players.
The game’s lead characters, Malakai and Kaela, are well-written and likable, offering strong character development throughout the adventure. As the players progress through the game, they can make choices that reflect the siblings’ unique perspectives on the world, adding depth to their story. The supporting cast is diverse, each with their own distinct personalities and personal side quests that provide additional depth to the overall narrative.
Tactical Combat System
One of the highlights of Dark Envoy is its combat system – a real-time with pause approach that seamlessly integrates tactical elements. Players will find themselves engrossed in the combat scenarios, which are brimming with strategic options and environmental interactivity. From stealthy navigation to traps and cover systems, every encounter feels fresh and exciting.
Dark Envoy features four main classes – Warrior, Ranger, Engineer, and Adept – each with three elite specializations. The skill trees within these classes offer a multitude of passive and active abilities, allowing players to create unique and powerful character builds. The inclusion of a Tactical Mode, which slows down time and enables better skill utilization, elevates the combat experience during both boss battles and regular encounters.
Visuals and Audio
While the visuals in Dark Envoy may not reach the heights of other modern RPGs, they remain passable, albeit lacking in detail and memorability. The character models, while serviceable, come across as stiff and in need of refinement. However, the game’s thematic soundtrack succeeds in blending fantasy and steampunk elements, though its repetitiveness can become noticeable over time. Some rough or missing sound effects do, unfortunately, detract from the overall audio experience.
Character Customization and Building
Dark Envoy provides an extensive character customization system, allowing players to fully customize the appearance and class of the main characters, Malakai and Kaela. While companions come with predetermined appearances and classes, the game offers enough variety and flexibility within the main character options. The four main classes, along with their specializations, unlock different skill trees that feature a mix of passive and active abilities, facilitating deep builds and playstyle customization. Additionally, the Research trees, available a few hours into the game, offer permanent upgrades, crafting enhancements, and Enchantments recipes, further enhancing character customization.
Exploration in Dark Envoy, unfortunately, falls short of its potential. Instead of interconnected maps, the game relies on a menu system to move between different locations. While the game does offer numerous intricate dungeons with multiple paths and secrets, the overall layout feels somewhat straightforward. Navigational challenges often involve simple tasks such as pressing switches or timing movements to avoid traps, leaving a sense of untapped potential in the exploration aspect.
User-Friendly Interface and Mechanics
Dark Envoy features a user-friendly interface that effectively introduces players to the gameplay mechanics and systems. Tutorials provide a clear understanding of the basics, making the learning curve approachable for those new to real-time with pause combat systems. Crafting, in particular, is streamlined by allowing players to re-roll items before creation, eliminating the tedium of save-scumming. The inclusion of multiple waypoints within dungeons also eases navigation, enabling quick travel between points. Dark Envoy also offers multiplayer features that allow players to team up for a cooperative experience, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the game.
Dark Envoy’s visuals are modest, resulting in a game that is not particularly demanding in terms of system requirements. However, the optimization could be improved, as visual glitches such as flickering shadows and artifacts occasionally detract from the overall polished experience. During testing, the game ran smoothly at 4K resolution on high settings, offering average FPS rates between 75-85, depending on settings. A wider variety of upscale options would be appreciated to accommodate different player preferences.
Dark Envoy successfully creates an intriguing blend of fantasy and steampunk within the world of Jaan. While it may not match the excellence of Baldur’s Gate 3, the game carves its path by delivering engaging combat mechanics, an interesting storyline, and an extensive character customization system. Dark Envoy is an enjoyable cRPG experience that, while focused on combat, may become repetitive in the long run. Nevertheless, for those seeking a new adventure in the cRPG genre or having exhausted other options, Dark Envoy provides ample entertainment and a well-crafted world to explore.