Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Developer: Stormfront Studios, Inc.
N Amer - 11/14/2006
Eragon is the newest licensed game to tie-in with a big-budget Hollywood movie (which is based on a book), similar to the LOTR games that came out a few years ago. Eragon is even developed by the same people as LOTR: Two Towers, Stormfront Studios, which gave me some hope for this title, but those hopes were quickly dashed after a couple minutes of play.
I'm honestly not too sure what Eragon is all about, I know there's a dragon that fits in here somewhere, but all I've been able to discern is that your character enjoys killing people. A quick trip to the internet informed me that Eragon is about a farm boy who finds an egg with a dragon inside and now he has to save the world, or something to that accord. Eragon does a terrible job of presentation, any semblance of a decent story is nowhere to be found, although that shouldn't matter, since it's doubtful the game will hold your interest long enough for you to care. In a literal matter of minutes, it becomes clear that the story doesn't matter, because if the developers don't care to explain it, than it probably isn't too important. Cutscenes are better off skipped, since we don't live forever and wasting time watching them accomplishes nothing, just like playing the game itself!
Eragon is about as basic as you can get, the first level serves as a boring introduction to the ways of the game. Y jumps, X blocks and dodges, while A and B allow you to attack with your sword and holding R and then hitting A shoots an arrow from your bow. While the game has a few basic combo moves for you to try out, they're completely unsatisfying to pull off and due to the game's incredible ease, you'll most likely never even need to use them. Attacking in the game is a clunky affair, with the extremely basic combat failing to immerse you in even the slightest way. If the slow, snore-inducing sword combat doesn't tickle your fancy, you can use the surprisingly well done bow and arrow combat. Holding R brings out your bow and the longer you hold A, the more powerful and accurate your shot will be. The right thumbstick is used to switch between targeted enemies and it works pretty well, even if you're being rushed by foes. The bad part about the bow and arrow parts is due to a flaw in the game itself; the fixed camera. Yeah, we know fixed cameras are supposed to be more “cinematic”, but I'd rather be able to see who's attacking me than being able to look at myself. Eragon is definitely guilty of being a button masher and the game throws a ton of enemies at you, it's just too bad that they're no fun to fight. Magic plays a role in the game as well, but the fun factor of it is diminished greatly, because it cannot be used at any time. Despite being a game about dragons, these mythical creatures are seldom present and the few missions where you do control the dragon are just as boring to play as the rest of the game.
Eragon isn't a bad looking game and it's decent looking for an Xbox game. It even supports 720p hi-definition graphics, like the Xbox 360 version. With the game being on a fixed path, it probably isn't pushing the Xbox too hard. Environments are fairly detailed, with a couple destructible items. Character models aren't that bad looking either, but when the same enemy model is reused over and over, that's nothing to be boasting about. The sound effects in Eragon are pretty standard affair for this type of game set in the middle ages. Your typical fantasy music is present, as are generic combat attacks, which sound pretty poor by comparison. One point of praise is the voice acting, which is actually well done in both gameplay and the cutscenes.
Eragon is a painfully easy game to play, whether you're playing by yourself or with someone else. At one time, I started the second level and did nothing, while my CPU controlled buddy did all the work. I was down to about a third of my health, but dropped power ups refilled my health and by the end of the battle, I was back up to more than two thirds of my health. I suppose it's convenient that the game plays for you, because I sure don't want to play it. While the game's very simplistic combat may seem to be aimed at younger gamers, the Teen rating nullifies it as anyone old enough to play the game isn't going to find any fun in it. Eragon is an awful game and a chore to play, there really isn't anything fun or interesting to be found whilst playing it and I can't recommend it to anyone.
|Review Scoring Details - Eragon|
I haven't played a game this boring in a long time. The hack 'n slash nature of the game takes the genre to a new low, offering some of the most dull combat I've ever seen.
Eragon looks like a pretty good Xbox game and supporting 720p is definitely a nice touch. There's nothing spectacular here, but as far as the graphics go, this game isn't too shabby.
This is your standard affair sound for this type of game. Typical mythical fantasy music is present and doesn't really detract or add to the game. While the sound effects are dull and lifeless, the voice acting is well done for the most part.
I can't imagine this game giving anyone trouble, it's pretty easy and if you're playing in 1 player mode, your CPU buddy will do most of the work for you. Eragon doesn't offer any real semblance of a challenge.
To me, this just comes across as a poor man's LOTR. The poorly told story does the opposite of drawing you in and many things here just scream 'derivative fantasy game'.
Eragon is a big fat dud, plain and simple. The combat is incredibly boring and generic that the game becomes a chore to play almost right off the bat. While this isn't a bad looking or sounding game, none of that matters when playing the game makes you wish for it to be over. For a genre that's essentially based on repetition and tedium, Eragon takes it to another level and offers nothing remotely enjoyable.
Even for a licensed movie game, Eragon is a disappointing, tedious affair.
Reviewer: Derek Pettinelli
Review Date: 12/11/2006