Strategic Simulations Inc., 1993
Strategic Simulations Inc., 1993
Athas, the world of Dark Sun, was once a planet full of life. It was turned into the desert by power-hungry and mad wizards thousands of years ago. Here we follow the story of four unlikely heroes. Slowly rotting away in a prison of city-state Draj, awaiting their death in the gladiator arena. Will they rise and change the face of unforgiving Athas? Or will they become more forgotten souls whose corpses will be buried under the never-ending sea of sand?
The game starts with party creation. Dark Sun is an AD&D campaign setting, so things should be quite familiar. You can choose the race of your characters, their alignment, their professions and adjust basic attributes like strength, dexterity or wisdom. There are no skills, feats or perks as we expect from the games of today.
There is, however, one thing that sets it apart from other RPG games of its time: Psionics. Each character has psionic abilities that allow them to disintegrate animate objects, absorb diseases or transform your arm into a weapon. Beware though, almost all intelligent creatures on Athas have such abilities, and they will not hesitate to use them.
在逃离围栏之后主线任务便开始了：召集自由的村民并与强大的德拉基城邦作战。城邦正在准备一场战争，旨在消除所有所谓的前奴隶。这便是《浩劫残阳》的又一大闪光点：开放性以及非线性。你想帮助所有村庄一同并肩作战又或者你一个也不帮孤军奋战？没问题！想要调查一个偏远的洞穴，跟旅行商队打个照面亦或是深入一个疯狂巫师的住所？下一步该怎么走去哪儿都由你决定。游戏被分为 30 多个区域，每个区域都是巨大的开放世界，有丰富的任务和内容，为游戏增加了 40 多个小时的流程。
Your party begins as slave gladiators, forced to fight monsters to the death in the arena. The world of Dark Sun is presented in top-down, slightly isometric view, and fights are turn-based. The well-designed interface is entirely mouse-driven, presented with self-explanatory icons and is very easy to use.
In between the fights you wander around pens talking to their inhabitants, solving small puzzles and mini-quests. This is where you'll slowly notice some of the great elements of Dark Sun. The dialogues offer a great amount of text and options for the players, and most, if not all, of the quests have multiple solutions, allowing you to choose whichever approach you like.
Since you don't want to spend the rest of your days counting hay straws and occasionally fighting for the amusement of Average Joe, you need to escape. If you want to use the brute-force approach you can hack your way out, even teaming up with another gang; or if you want to avoid confrontation altogether you can try to bribe the Templars. This gives the game an enormous amount of replayability. You can play Dark Sun over and over and you will always find new quests and new ways how to complete them.
After escaping the pens, the main quest begins: to rally the free villages in a fight against the mighty army of city-state Draj. They are preparing a military campaign that is supposed to wipe out all ex-slaves. This is another example where Dark Sun shines: its openness and non-linearity. You want to help all villages or none at all and face the army by yourself? You can! Want to investigate a remote cave, visit the travelling caravan or go deep into the lair of a mad wizard? It's up to you where to start and where to go next. The game is divided into over 30 areas, each a huge open space with many quests, adding to nice 40+ hours of gameplay.