If you’re the sort that looks to the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s and reminisces on the golden age of cRPGs, where year after year classics such as Ultima, Wizardry and Planescape: Torment came out in droves, there’s one developer you should keep an eye on: Jeff Vogel. His company, Spiderweb Software, has been doing the rounds in cRPG development for over twenty years, and their most recent series, Avadon, has just received its final entry, titled The Warborn.
I’ve yet to play the second game in the series, but having played most of the Avernum games and The Black Fortress, the first Avadon game, I can elaborate on what to expect: the Avadon series differs from the Avernum games in the sense that the story and campaign play out in a linear fashion. Whereas Avernum thrusts you into the titular cave and has you figure out where to go next by trial and error, with some subtle guiding in the form of quests but otherwise entirely open-ended, Avadon places an emphasis on your interactions and on the different party members you can recruit, with a hub from which you can access the game’s quests.
What drew me to the first game, which I played from start to finish in a couple of weekends, seems to be present in the second game and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is in the third: Avadon is a series about significant choices, often morally grey, politics and character interactions. The fact that you only create the main character and recruit the other party members lends a Bioware aspect to the series, where your party members have goals and stories of their own you can elect to pursue. It’s now out on Spiderweb Software’s store page, GOG, Humble Store and Steam for $20 or whatever your regional price is, and with a -10% discount on the last three.