可以说《召唤（The Summoning）》这部作品是“《地牢大师/ 迷宫魔兽（Dungeon Master）》遇上《创世纪（Ultima）》”，如果了解过开发者的经历，就会发现这样的描述是非常恰当的。Event Horizon 的第一部游戏——1990 年的《黑暗尖塔（Darkspyre）》——基本上就是一部带一些 rogue 元素的单人版《地牢大师》。该公司的第二部作品《诸神的黄昏（Dusk of the Gods）》，发售于 1991 年，是基于北欧神话进行大幅再创作的开放世界动作 RPG。在游玩机制上它参考了《创世纪》。
The best way to describe The Summoning is “Dungeon Master meets Ultima”, which is little wonder given the track record of its developer. Event Horizon's first game, DarkSpyre (1990) was basically a single-character Dungeon Master clone infused with roguelike elements. Their second title, Dusk of the Gods (1991), was an open-world Action RPG based on a very thorough recreation of Norse mythology, with Ultima-like gameplay.
The Summoning meshes these influences and past experiences into a solid single-character dungeon crawler. Your character can be fully generated or chosen from a couple dozen premade ones. Character development is somewhat innovative, featuring both combat and magic skills that improve with use and the more traditional experience levels.
The gameplay is very similar to Dungeon Master, focusing less on combat and more on resource management and puzzle-solving. Most of the puzzles boil down to a traditional mix of pressure plates, teleporters, rolling balls, pits and key hunts. However, they are expertly designed and never grow stale – no small feat given the game's impressive length.
The game is completely set within a single dungeon, divided into several regions that are unlocked in a linear progression. Within these regions there's a lot of interconnectivity between the levels, as well as a few alternative paths and optional areas.
But where The Summoning shines is in its story. On your way through the dungeon, you'll meet many characters and learn a lot about both your enemies and your benefactors, as well as the world in general. The game features not one, but two shocking twists that is, in the best-case scenario.
There are three basic endings and one hidden true ending. Which one you get is entirely determined by one or two choices made directly before the end. However, those are presented not as dialogue options, but as puzzles, which you can only solve successfully if you paid careful attention to the lore.
The Summoning does not shy away from its roots, at times blatantly copying gameplay elements. However the result of combining two vastly different styles is a unique and very entertaining game, more than deserving of being placed among the classics.