Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny

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Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny
Lands of Lore II - Guardians of Destiny.PNG
Cover art
Developer(s) Westwood Studios
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Series Lands of Lore series
Platform(s) DOS, Microsoft Windows
Release September 30, 1997
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single player

Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny, colloquially referred to as Lands of Lore 2, is the critically acclaimed second installment of the Lands of Lore series. It brought about a drastic change in gameplay style from its enormously successful predecessor, opting away from the original's D&D turn-based style in favor of more action RPG elements. Guardians of Destiny was released in 1997 and is a real-time, first-person RPG.

Plot[edit]

The plot follows Luther, Scotia's son, who is imprisoned by the soldiers of Gladstone and accused for being a member of the Dark Army. Luther is cursed to be morphed into either a monster or a lizard, thanks to which he manages to escape. While the Draracle guides him, Dawn and Bacatta (from the previous game) initially chase, and later aid him. Luther must go on his quest while avoiding his many pursuers.

The player controls Luther on his quest to solve the curse. Randomly he will change forms, gaining the respective advantages (strength, or increased magical ability, and the opportunity to enter small spaces and discover secret areas). The power to change forms willingly is eventually bestowed upon the player in the game.

There are a myriad of locations to explore. They include, but are not limited to, the Draracle's Caves, the Draracle's Museum, the Huline Jungle, the Savage Jungle, The Dracoid Cemetery, the Claw Mountains, the Huline Temple, the Ruloi Citadel, and the wondrous City of the Ancients. The locations, in addition to the soundtrack, have been widely praised since the game's release in 1997.

The player can choose between two branches, good or evil, which then evolve into seven possible endings. Endings include when Luther loses the final battle with Be'lial and the land is overrun with nasties, when "good" Luther triumphs and the Draracle discovers Luther in bed with Dawn, and when "bad" Luther triumphs, shown from behind raining destruction on the land as a powerful god. Other endings include not being quick enough to escape from the Armory in Belials Laboratory, which shows Belial smiting the Huline Village with an energy blast, being killed by the Draracle when Luther kills Belial on the Evil ending branch, and being seduced and killed by Dawn before the fight with Belial if the player acted badly towards her during the game. Going to the entrance of the starting cave a second time, at the beginning of the cave results in being killed by the soldiers stationed there, a different cinematic can play, depending on the form Luther is current in at the time of his death.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
PC Gamer (UK) 83%[2]
PC Gamer (US) 87%[1]
PC Zone 92/100[3]
Next Generation 3/5 stars[4]
Computer Games Strategy Plus 3.5/5 stars[5]
Computer Game Entertainment 89/100[6]
PC PowerPlay 92%[7]

In PC Gamer US, Keith Sullivan argued that Guardians of Destiny is "very good game", but that its engine was dated in comparison to Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Quake. He believed that those who look past its graphics and "accept it for what it is" will have "a rollicking good time."[1] Cindy Yans of Computer Games Strategy Plus summarized, "This is a solid title with an excellent storyline, interesting characters and a rich, convincing world to explore, but the FMV fiasco, awkward controls and the now-quite-dated graphics engine, along with a very anticlimactic ending, make for a not-quite-stellar adventure RPG."[5]

A reviewer for Next Generation wrote, "Lands of Lore is a worthy sequel, but it's also something of a mutt — part RPG, part adventure". The writer concluded that, while the game "may have its quirks", it is "an entertaining romp" for those willing to overlook the issues.[4] In PC PowerPlay, David Wildgoose hailed Guardians of Destiny as "perhaps the most complete game I've played" and praised its mixture of genres. He believed that it was "a new level" of quality for Westwood.[7]

PC Zone's Jamie Cunningham called Guardians of Destiny "yet another Westwood masterpiece", and believed that it "dispenses with all the point-and-click statistical mumbo jumbo, and puts an end to the myth that RPGs are boring."[3] Andy Backer of Computer Game Entertainment summarized Guardians of Destiny as "flawed and frustrating but brilliant."[6] Writing for PC Gamer UK, Andy Butcher concluded that "if you can put up with its patchy nature and uninspiring graphics, Lands Of Lore II: Guardians Of Destiny does have many, many hours of fun to offer. But if you were expecting a classic of the genre, you'll be ever-so-slightly disappointed."[2]

In a negative review, Computer Gaming World's Scorpia called the game a "horror" and wrote, "Guardians is not an RPG nor an adventure nor an action game, but a patchwork of all three, and a threadbare one at that. For any RPG-starved gamer, this one is a disappointment beyond words."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sullivan, Keith (January 1998). "Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on December 9, 1999. 
  2. ^ a b Butcher, Andy (December 1997). "Fragmented". PC Gamer UK (51): 119, 120. Archived from the original on May 23, 2002. 
  3. ^ a b Cunningham, Jamie. "Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny Review". PC Zone. Archived from the original on January 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Staff (January 1998). "Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny". Next Generation. Imagine Media (37): 159. 
  5. ^ a b Yans, Cindy. "Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on February 9, 2005. 
  6. ^ a b Backer, Andy (November 1997). "Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny". Computer Game Entertainment (5): 69. 
  7. ^ a b Wildgoose, David (October 1997). "Lands of Lore II". PC PowerPlay (17). 50, 51. 
  8. ^ Scorpia (February 1998). "Bad Lands". Computer Gaming World (163): 231, 233, 234. 

External links[edit]