I had the chance to preview the beta of Avadon 2: The Corruption, a fantasy RPG by Spiderweb Studios. Having played very few RPGs, I was very excited to delve into the world of Avadon. I was not disappointed.

If you enjoy reading fantasy novels, you will love the plot-heavy element of the game. Avadon chooses to focus on story instead of cutting-edge graphics. I found this to be rather refreshing, as a good story can be hard to come by. The in-game music is great, and immediately sets the mood. You can play as a Blademaster, Shadowwalker, Shaman, Sorcerer, or Tinkermage of either gender. Immediately following character selection, you are whisked away into the tale of the rise and fall of Avadon.

The story has an interesting premise: You’re a warrior in the midst of civil war. Five nations have banded together against their enemies, the Farlands, to form The Pact. The warriors of Avadon: The Dark Fortress exist to settle any quarrel between the five nations. However, the warriors of Avadon were assaulted and few remain. The well-being of The Pact hangs in the balance, and it’s up to lone warriors like you to bring peace to your homeland. You can either try to defeat your foes or join them.

Force lightning!

After the story is set up, your character appears in a house that is seen from an isometric view. This is the perspective that you will be playing in for the rest of the game. You are instructed how to move your character, pick up items, and how to fight against foes. In-game movement favors speed over realism: when your click where you want your character to go, they move at a break-neck pace. I enjoyed this feature, as it saves you a lot of time. Avadon’s map is very expansive, and getting places in a hurry is a must.

The combat system is incredibly simple. There is a small square grid beneath your character’s feet. When this grid overlaps with the grid of a foe’s, a battle sequence is initiated. The combat style is turn-based and becomes more expansive as you learn new spells and attacks later in the game. It reminded me of the early Final Fantasy games. What RPG is complete without an early-game rat battle? Combat is taught to the player in an easy fight against a rat mob, giving new players time to adjust without feeling intimidated by a dangerous foe.

Game objectives are presented through expansive dialogue with other characters. I found the dialogue to be rather confusing sometimes, as the characters would often veer off-topic while presenting you with your objective. Players are presented with multiple “response” options during conversation that will affect how the other character responds. I loved being presented with options, but this sometimes caused conversations to go in circles. However, this is an easy fix that I hope will be addressed while the game is still in beta.

Avadon 2: The Corruption is a great RPG for beginners and experts alike. I enjoyed immersing myself in the game’s story and feeling as though I truly had a part in what happened to Avadon. I am very excited to see the final product. You can try it for yourself after the game’s release sometime this fall.