3D action games too intense for you? Traditional role-playing games too dull? Then have a look at Silver. A role-playing game at heart, there’s plenty here to delight the more shallow player (myself included) who just wants to pick up a sword and get hacking without having to go through the tedious process of learning skills, buying equipment and so on.
The action takes place on a world called Jarrah that’s conveniently designed like a wheel, with one central ‘Haven’ and many outlying islands connected by bridges. Ruling over Jarrah is an evil sorcerer (the Silver of the game’s title), helped by his equally unpleasant son and daughter. It is this son, called Fuge, who draws you into the game by kidnapping your wife. Not a very nice thing to do, so you set off with grand-dad, who’s a dab-hand with a long sword, in pursuit.
Along the way – and it’s a very long way indeed, with hundreds of varied and well-drawn locations through which you must progress – you’ll meet other heroes wishing to join your gang, some of whom you’ll be able to control at specific points in the game. There’s magic around, of course, so expect magical weapons as well as demons, imps, dragons and who-knows-what other mythical monstrosities. Controlling your character(s) is quite easy. Click to tell them where you want them to go, click to pick things up or use them, and click and drag to fight. It’s a nice, simple interface that does all you want it to but doesn’t get in the way.
Silver is a refreshing change from all the ‘thee’s, ‘ye’s and ‘henceforth’s of traditional role-playing games. True, it is still set in a mythical sword and sorcery world where your average heroic warrior thinks nothing of smiting a dragon or two before dinner, but it’s all done in a cute, tongue-in-cheek way. Where more traditional heroes might joust on horseback, the little characters in Silver are more likely to let rip with the magical equivalent of a napalm cannon. In this way, and in the graphical design of the short but unfeasibly powerful hero characters, Silver bears more than a passing resemblance to last year’s popular PlayStation title, Final Fantasy VII. Although it’s not quite as weird. Fortunately.