Paladin 2 logo

Impressions bring us yet more of the Omnitrend control system and sub-Legend/Laser Squad fun...

Paladins: are they just too goody-goody for their own good? Apparently so. Face it, they are not as much fun as Trolls, they are not as hard as Fighters, and they are certainly nowhere near as potentially dangerous as Mages. They are just sort of, well Okish at everything.

So why have Impressions (or rather Omnitrend, the programming team behind this game) decided to name this adventure-cum-strategy outing after one? Probably because, like the game itself, paladins are decidedly average in everything they do.

Paladin II has a very familiar feel to it. In fact that is understating the case - if you have seen Breach II or Rules of Engagement then you will be able to spot the game engine a mile and 13 leagues off (it was put together by a certain T Carbone, who seems to know a decidedly average system when he sees one). If you haven't, but you have played or seen the Laser Squad, then you will have some idea of how this game is played.

It is a turn-based outing into mythic mini-adventures in which you must fulfill pre-defined victory conditions. You get to play the Paladin who leads his party (Paladins are a male lot) into a bunch of wildly exciting and jolly sticky situations.

For every quest you successfully carry out you are awarded points, as you are for each member of your party you take through to safety. Your aim is to get as many points, complete as many of the quests and generally work up as much interest as possible before moving on to the Quest Builder (see below).

Frankly, it's all standard fare. The only difference between it and Breach II or Laser Squad is that because you have few ranged weapons, you have to be up close before indulging in combat. But this isn't to say Paladin II doesn't have a lot to offer to players who really enjoy the mechanics of dungeon exploration, party movement and some hack 'n' slash thrown in.


This game is outdated and, as such, it costs too much

Got a problem?
My main problem with it isn't that the sound and music are virtually non-existent (the odd door opening or sword slashing does not an aural feast make), nor is that the graphcis are uninspiring (having spent ages trying to talk to a maiden, looking at every chest, exploring every fireplace, only to realise these staples of the adventuring trade are merely scenery). No, my main problem with this game is that it is outdated and, as such, it costs too much.

Quite simply, you could happily play out all of these scenarios on paper with roughly the same effect. Because the sound is so bland, because the graphics are so poor (don't believe the horse-waste on the box about 'Superb graphics' showing a nicely drawn picture of a dead Paladin.

The caption should really have read 'Paladin II contains this reasonable picture of a dead Paladin, the rest of the game is bland'), because of these factors, a few pieces of grid paper, some pencils and your friends are far better to use than your Amiga. Even your imagination can produce betters sound and better graphics than this.

Eleanor Rigby
However, if you always cut yourself when sharpening pencils, if the lines on graph paper make you dizzy, if you have little imagination and very few friends, then Paladin II has plenty to offer you. But if you look at something such as Legend, which does the party adventuring, dungeon-exploring style play so much better, you can see how aged Paladin II is.

Thank God for the Quest Builder and the chance to make your own ways. Sadly the game is £10 too much and five years too later, but you can't have everything can you? No, but you could try a little harder than this.


BLAME THE EDITOR

One of the saving graces of this (and many other) games is that Paladin II comes with what's known as a Quest Editor/Creator.

What this means is that once you have finished the quests that accompany the game proper, you can set about inventing your own worlds, with your own victory conditions and even your own enemies (within reason).

While this does add massively to the longevity of theg ame, you are really somewhat constricted by a formula; destroy X per cent of enemies, rescue Y, capture Z and exit the target area. Still, it is a healthy addition to Paladin, and one that is ideally suited to the type of player who enjoys strategy wargaming from every angle.


Der Blender

Paladin 2 logo

"Anfangs sieht es ja ganz nett aus, aber je länger man damit spielt, umso weniger Spaß macht es" - so sprach der große Stratege Joachim, und recht hat er. Hauptgrund: Die 20 Quests sind einfach zu geradlinig aufgebaut...

Normalerweise heißen die Arbeits-Einheiten bei einem Strategical zwar Missionen, aber Paladin II hat wie sein einstmals sogar recht berühmter Vorgänger einen starken (Fantasy-) Rollenspiel-Touch, was ihn in die Nähe von "Warriors of Releyne" oder auch "Hero Quest" rückt.

So verfügt der Paladin z.B. über entwicklungsfähige Charakterwerte und ein Inventory, er kann kämpfen, zaubern und auf einer Karte nachschauen, wo er schon überall war. Bei etlichen Quests wird er auch von bis zu neun Kollegen begleitet, die sich ebenfalls vom Spieler steuern lassen, aber keine Charakter-Entwicklung durchmachen.

Doch wie gesagt, der Arbeitsalltag unseres Paladins erweist sich auf Dauer als eher eintönig: Gelatscht, gesammelt, gekämpft und gezaubert wird immer schön rundenweise, und die Aufgabenstellungen sind auch ständig nach demselben Strickmuster aufgebaut - befreie alle Gefangenen, finde alle weißen Schriftrollen, zerstöre alle schwarzen Schriftrollen usw..

Die Maus/Menü-Steuerung ist dabei wunderbar umständlich, zudem darf nur am Beginn einer neuen Spielrunde abgespeichert werden.

Und die Grafik? Nun, Vogelperspektive, ansonsten ähnlich öde wie die üblichen Stratego-Waben. Und der Sound? Die FX gleichen einem Schlaftabletten-Chor, lediglich die Titelmusik klingt ganz vernünftig.

Wen das alles nicht abschreckt, der kann sich weitere Quests per Editor erstellen oder gar eine komplette Quest-Disk (mit 20 Stück) bei Impressions bestellen. Aber wen schreckt das alles nicht ab? (mm)



Paladin 2 logo

Tense, nervous headache? Take Paladin II (That's it, you really are fired. - Ed)

Okay, so who exactly were the Paladins, and why were there only two of them? These and many other corny intros to reviews with no possible way of making a joke out of the name available from yours truly. Anyway, back to the review.

The Paladins were a bunch of awesome knights who travelled the countryside carrying out brave deeds. You know the sort, killing dragons, destroying evil, protecting the weak, drinking 20 pints a night and still firing arrows in a straight line.

As you may have already guessed the new release from Impressions puts you in the role of the main man, the Paladin, the dragon slayer.

Paladin II is a very simple game in concept. You move around the screen killing things and picking up objects. So if it's so simple, what is it that makes it even remotely playable? Read on...

It's one of those games that one the face of it doesn't look all that impressive. The characters are small and there's very little detail, not to mention the animation, which leaves a lot to be desired. So if it looks so bad why I am I still playing it? Maybe there's something in the gameplay that makes me keep coming back.

The gameplay inPaladin II may sound somewhat limited by what I said earlier, and, to cut a long review short, it is. Moving your characters round the screen is tedious and frustrating and the combat is hardly exciting.


One thing has been well thought-out: the control system

Watching your man wave a sword vaguely in the right direction and seeing a skull appear on screen when he hits his opponent is hardly riveting stuff. The screen scrolling is jerky and makes the game seem so much less responsive to any actions you make.

One thing that has been well thoughtout is the control system. The icons are clearly laid out and operating everything couldn't be simpler. It's just a shame that after a couple of goes you won't want to bother. Combat is easy, although somewhat disappointing. In fact everything about the game is very user friendly but when the action, or lack of it, is such a let down, the whole thing suffers.

I must admit though, one thing I did really like are the cool static screens. The intro dragon is brilliant and the dead Paladin shots are dead cool, if you'll pardon the pun. (No, you're fired. - Ed) But statics are not enough to lift a whole game.

The construction kit adds a new dimension to the game, as you can set up the missions to your own design. You can't add any new elements to the gameplay, though, so even your own games will suffer form a lack of action. Still, it all goes to bump up the value for money rating.

It's not as though Paladin is that bad a game. It's quite fun trying out all the different missions but you soon realise that they're all pretty much the same. A typical mission would consist of move, kill, move, move, move, rest, kill and move. There isn't a huge amount of interaction which means no depth of gameplay, and when you're spending this amount of money you want something with a little more oomph than this.

It's just too limited and gets too boring too soon.


ICON GET NO SATISFACTION.
Paladin 2
  1. You're on stony ground as you enter a fortress.
  2. Rodney doesn't sound like a hero's name, doesn it?
  3. When these main character stats get too low it's time to rest or die.
  4. The control icons look confusing but the control system is easy to learn.
  5. Here Rodney the, er, Rodney, all dressed up with nowhere to go.
  6. If you see items lying around, you can pick them up and use them. Neat, huh?


Paladin 2 logo

Impressions £25.99

I doubt if many people have seen the original Paladin. As I remember it was a poor imitation of Laser Squad, so you can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw Paladin II. After all, following their poor start, you would think that Omnitrend would have realised where they went wrong. Well, that was my hope.

Sadly that isn't the case. Just to give you a little run down, Paladin II is a low-level wargame, where one unit means one man. It is set in a Bard's Tale style scenario, with you as the honourable knight battling evil wherever you find it, accompanied by a bunch of useless punching bags.

As ever, the game is played in turns, and the computer player always has the advantage. As wit legends of old, your Paladin is set a number of quests to complete, which build up in difficulty. The graphics are quite poor with bits being represented by a small skull and a kill by a larger one. The character's ability to do anything is governed by the amount of movement points that he possesses.

I usually really enjoy this sort of game, but this left me cold. It looks naff and sounds awful, but those features are usually never at the heart of a game like this. The things that this game lacks is any strategic elements. You sort of wander around aimlessly, looking for things to kill. A strategic title with no strategy? Avoid it.