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Everquest: Platinum

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Media: CD/4
Players: Massively Multiplayer

Graphics & Sound:

Much to the dismay of wives and girlfriends, Everquest is still going strong after 5 years and 7 expansions. Many have fallen to its icy grasp of addiction, and for those who haven't, the enablers at SOE have done everything they can to get players to take the plunge. Everquest: Platinum joins Everquest Trilogy and Everquest Evolution as yet another slickly packaged gateway drug, offering everything that the EQ universe has to offer in one reasonably priced box.

Given the extensive nature of the review (and the inherant laziness of one reviewer), check out past reviews of Everquest: Evolution and Everquest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath for more in-depth coverage of past Everquest expansions (which are all included in the package).

Graphically, very little has changed in the lands of Norrath. The game's looks get the job done and still look good for a 5-year old game. The graphics engine has recieved a slight upgrade, which is very nice and noticeable, but don't expect it to reach the heights found in recent MMORPGs. Most of the improvements include subtle things like stars in the sky and tweaked magic effects. It's not Final Fantasy XI, but its not a bunch of stick figures running around either. And it runs rather smoothly, which is always a plus.

Taking the engine for what its worth, the new areas included in Gates of Discord look great. The architecture of the areas fits within the game's overall style, but also gives players some interesting new things to look at. About 20 new enemy models have also been included, giving you something new to fight as well.

Sound design hasn't changed, so refer to the previous reviews for that information.


Remember playing "let's pretend" in the backyard. You'd take the role of a knight or wizard and your friends would be your companions. Together you'd journey through your backyard while fending off the evil wizard (usually that grumpy old neighbor who keeps shooing you off his front lawn) or taking on the giant dragon (that big tree in your backyard that you ended up killing due to repeated bat strikes). Everquest doesn't stray far from that concept, only now your imagination is augmented by graphic visuals, you're not outside and can't torture the old guy next door.

Everquest: Platinum gives you plenty of ground to cover in your adventures with your friends. In addition to the original Everquest, every expansion released thus far is packaged in Platinum, including the recently released Gates of Discord.

The entire Platinum package gives players everything they need to jump right into Everquest. You begin by creating your character based on class/race and then set out into the world. You can meet new people from around the globe and have adventures, or live the life of a wandering hermit somewhere in the mounatins. The entire experience is what you make of it. The added bonus of all the expansions will ensure that you have the most up-to-date experience possible and will provide you with months of content to play through. The real plus of the bundle is that it has enough in it to appeal to both the rookie player who has never played the game and the veteran player who may be returning to the fray after years off.

Shifting back to the more recent expansion and incarnation of the game, Gates of Discord adds a new region and new lore to the Everquest saga. The discovery of the continent of Taelosia has prompted the Wayfarers (last seen in the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion) to begin charting the land and helping its people, the Beludu, and their enslaved worker golems. Gates builds on ideas introduced in past expansions. Instanced dungeons return, but are much more intricate than previous incarnations. Each time you visit one of these zones, you'll travel through the same map, but you can now choose to venture into them for either experience and loot, or to partake in a quest that will grant your character flags that allow you to visit additional zones in the new area. The quests are unique and involve more than just killing as many things as you can. Don't be surprised if you have to answer a few riddles along the way.

Other additions include a Tribute system which allows players to clear out their equipment hordes for limited time stat increases. This should help long time players clean out some of those items that have been taking up space. Also, for the first time since Shadows of Luclin, a new character class has been included, the Berzerker.


Most of the more recent expansions, like Lost Dungeons of Norrath and Gates of Discord are meant for higher level players. However, there is still enough challenge for lower level players. How much of Everquest you experience with Everquest: Platinum will be largely up to you and how you interact with other players. Trying to remain a lone player is a sure fire way to find yourself frustrated with the game. If you group up with other players and cooperate, you'll find it makes for a much more appealing experience. The challenge you get out of the game derives from how much you give it.

Game Mechanics:

Getting situated in Everquest: Platinum can be a little daunting for a first-time player, but quickly becomes routine in a few days once you know what you're doing. The movement and menu systems are easy to use and navigate. Everything you need is only just a click or a key press away. In addition, shortcuts are also available to help make often used tasks more manageable and quicker to get to.

Mechanics remain relatively unchanged in Gates of Discord. The only real change involves group dynamics and the addition of leadership experience. By gaining leadership experience, group leaders can more effectively guide their parties through hazardous terrains and dungeons. These abilities include things like the option to highlight certain enemies or mark paths or viewing the health of a target. Other high-level abilities and spells have also been added, including the return of powerful (and rare) Ancient spells.

Running strong after 5 years and 7 expansions, and with another expansion on the way this September, there's still enough fuel left in the tank to keep players busy for a long time. If you've never tried a MMO and have been wanting to or are an EQ vet wanting to return, there's no better ticket than Everquest: Platinum.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/2000/ME/XP; Pentium II 400 MHz or Higher; 16 MB 3D Video Card (32 Meg 3D Video Card Recommended); 450 MB HD (1.5 MB Recommended); 4x or Faster CDROM Drive; 256 MB RAM (512 MB Recommended)

Test System:

Windows XP; Pentium 4 1.7 GHz; Radeon 9100 128 MB; 40 Gig HD; 640 MB RAM

Sony PlayStation 2 Drakengard Sony PSOne R4: Ridge Racer Type 4

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated