Temple of Elemental Drivel


After the whole palaver with my Underpowered Dell, I've been going back through my pile of games and and digging out games I played (or never played) a few years ago. Why would I never play a game? Time and hardware are the two main reasons. I don't always have enough time to play a long game, and the hardware I had at the time may not have been able to power the game.

One which I always wanted to try was The Temple Of Elemental Evil (hereafter TOEE) by Atari. Now that I have a relatively decent desktop with a good graphics card, you'd expect this game to be fine. This is a PC that can handle Half-life2 and Far Cry - you'd expect a top down adventure game to no present a problem. I mean, four years ago, I was able to play Neverwinter Nights with everything full on.

So what do I get with TOEE? Crashes, sure. just like the reviews said: "Temple of Elemental Evil is buggy and crashes".

But it was worse than that. Even when it was working it was appalling:

  • Everything is controlled with the mouse; there's no obvious keyboard shortcuts;
  • There was no apparent way to rotate the view for those cases when all of your party are obscured by walls/trees/etc;
  • There was no apparent zoom facility, essential for those combats with twenty zombies;
  • Saving the game took about two minutes;
  • The combat system is very messy and takes a lot of getting used to;
  • Low level characters are spectacularly inept at combat; although low-level monsters can hit everything nine times out of ten.
  • Sometimes, it didn't save where I wanted it to, but before the big combat instead of after: very perplexing and frustrating;

After a frustrating few hours playing this complete travesty of a game, I decided to do a quick comparison and see if Neverwinter Nights really was as good as I remembered it. I still had installed on my archive disk, and yes the interface is smooth and responsive, allows zooming in and rotating and in general is a pleasure to use.

I immediately uninstalled ToEE and updated Neverwinter Nights. This one deserves a replay.

A big thumbs down to Atari, and a big thumbs up to BioWare.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on February 15, 2006 2:11 AM.

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