Based on the solo RPG books by Joe Dever, Lone Wolf is the last Kai Master of Sommerlund and the sole survivor of the bloody massacre of his clan by the Darklords of Helgedad. He smashed the mirror known as Dhazag-Oud - The Mirror Of Death - and now stands inside the fortress of Khazan- Gor.
As the mirror shattered, seven unearthly creatures arose from the remains and fled to the fortress, each with a shard of the mirror. It's your task, as Lone Wolf, to explore the fortress and kill each creature, thus ending the evil power of Dhazag- Oud.
As a Master of Kai, you've studied four of the ancient Kai skills. Before play can begin, four skills must be chosen from Psi Surge, Mindshield, Animal Kinship, Invisibility, Sixth Sense, Divinity, Weapon Skills and Healing. It's up to you to find out which are the best skills to choose, but Sixth Sense is a must 'cos it's the only way to avoid dead ends and traps.
As you stomp your way through the many rooms that make up the fortress, you're attacked by many various forms of evil creature. Gargoyles spit missiles, krows swoop down and drain your energy, and evil mirror images of yourself attack without mercy. You can kick and punch your attackers, or with a press of the fire button, whip out your dirty great sword and hack a few limbs off.
Energy bars are the things to watch in battle. When an opponent's blow connects, your energy bar drops, and when you hit back, his drops. When your bar drops to zero, one of the wolf heads at the bottom of the status panel (there are four) turns to a skull. When all four skulls are shown, Lone Wolf dies. Thankfully, when an opponent's bar is diminished, he engages in bucket-kicking larks, too.
It's a long time since Audiogenic announced the imminent arrival of Lone Wolf, the computer game - about two years, in fact. According to Audiogenic, the game's been rewritten, but it looks and plays the same as the preview copy.
The main character is certainly big and well drawn, as are the rest at the sprites, but control response is a little on the sluggish side, annoying when trying to negotiate a particularly tricky trap. One curious feature is the ability to switch between colour and monochrome graphics modes. Useful if you're playing on a black and white telly.
Despite the long wait, Lone Wolf is a playable slash-'em-up that I highly enjoyed; it should appeal to arcade adventurers everywhere.
I really enjoyed playing Lone Wolf. It may look like just another beat-'em-up but it has a lot more in it than that. The variety of attackers keeps you on your toes and as the number of Kai skills you can carry is restricted to four of the available eight, each game can be different! it look me a while to get started: unless you know exactly what to do and when, you can get stuck on the early screens for hours. There are annoying elements to the game. The maniac birds that fly about make you drop to the floor at the slightest touch and you can't swipe at them when you're climbing a ladder. However. Lone Wolf is an excellent game, a mixture of beat-'em-up and strategy that'll keep you glued to your computer for ages. To add an extra special touch, you get a free solo roleplaying adventure book with the game (generous, eh?)!
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