Heimdall 2 (Second Review)

Title		Heimdall 2 (Second Review)
Publisher	Core Design, 1994
Game Type	RPG
Players		1
Compatibility	1 MB (Seperate OCS/ECS and AGA versions)
HD Installable 	Yes
Submission	William Payne

A game released towards the end of the Amigaís glory-days as king of the
games formats, Heimdal 2 was one of the few games appearing at the time
that I remember looking and playing as good as the games I was seeing
appear on the 16-Bit consoles. Radically different from the first game,
Heimdal 2 was played out entirely with isometric graphics, instead of
switching to a more RPG-style interface for combat scenes as happened in
Heimdal 1. This gave the game a more integrated feel, I personally thought
the original felt slightly disjointed.

Heimdal 2 was  a big game, with an epic quest spanning several worlds, all
accessed from a central cavern with lots of portals, which became
activated one by one as the game progressed. The adventure was very well
designed and never felt too linear, and gave a real sense of
accomplishment when Loki, the evil Norse god who once again returns to
torment Midgard, is finally defeated.

This time around, there are only two characters to control (Heimdall, and
a female Valkyrie, Ursha) and the fun selection process (remember throwing
the axes at the wench, and catching the greasy pig?) are absent, which is
disappointing as these were one of the most innovative sections of the
original, it would have been good if Core could have thought of some
equally original equivalents for this game. However, apart from that
trifling detail, Heimdall 2 surpasses its predecessor in graphic quality,
sound quality and gameplay experience.

The magic system is impressive and easy to use, based on a set of runes
which the player collects as the story unfolds, with the most powerful
spells only accessible when a full set has been uncovered.

All in all Heimdall 2 is a very polished package which holds together
impressively well. There's nothing too taxing, so there shouldn't be too
many points where the player gets hopelessly stuck, but there's plenty of
them so it isnít over too quickly. The only problem is that die-hard RPG
fans might feel the game lacks some depth, and its certainly less of a
standard RPG than the first game, being deprived of a character selection
process or combat mechanism separate from the main game. Definitely more
console-orientated but none the worse for it in terms of pure gameplay.

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