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Score: 70%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Strategy First
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Adventure/ RPG/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

Clansí graphics are very, very Diablo-esque. Itís got the same dark feel, even when youíre in the starting forest area. The character graphics are terribly similar as well -- pre-rendered animated sprites. Itís like Diablo Lite when you look at it. There are even the Health and Mana markers that fill up or down depending on how much you have, only theyíre skulls. There is a greater amount of variation between the levels in Clans than in Diablo, but otherwise, theyíre a dead ringer for the Blizzard classic. The maps for each area that youíre in are small, with some of them having lots of neat details like zapping lightning and semi-reflective water, while others being what looks like basic tiling of floor and such. The exits between rooms that are on the two walls closest to you -- the game is done in three-fourths perspective, like Equinox or Solstice, and the classic, The Immortal -- are shown by big red arrows, which brought back even more of the feeling of the old Equinox series of games. The animation is solid, but basic, with a few character animations for each action.

The sound effects in this game are passable, with clinking and clanging and groaning monsters and such. The voice acting is actually quite good, about on the level of... you guessed it... Diablo.


In every way, Clans plays like Diabloís poor bastard child. The quest is practically the same -- rid the world of the evil. You pick a ďclanĒ and dive into the forest to head for the castle where all the evil is originating. You can play as a Warrior, which is actually a pretty well-rounded character, a Barbarian, your brawny chap, the Elf, your necessary spell-slinger, and a Dwarf, which seems like a compromise between Warrior and Barbarian. The game seems concentrated on combat classes, which is probably because the magic gameplay is very weak. For example, the Elf starts off with a fireball scroll. Click on it, then right-click furiously on the enemy and youíll spew five or six fireballs before you run out of Mana. Whee. The fighting is similar, a simple right-click system, but this game offers none of the experimentation that Diablo did. There are swords... and axes. Thatís it. No interesting weapon types to play around with. You can chain spells together to make them stronger, but thatís more of a pain to execute than itís worth.

The inventory system is less than intuitive, although itís easy to use items like potions and such. And herein lies the biggest problem of this game -- itís damned near impossible to play. Even creep-and-saving, I couldnít consistently get past the first area without reloading 20 times. And since one of the items you desperately need -- a healing potion -- is randomly dropped, most of the time youíre just out of luck and die. Ugh. In every way, this game is inferior to Diablo and other games of its ilk. The mapping method is interesting for its throwback to Equinox and Solstice, but it doesnít give the dynamic feel that the sprawling dungeons of Diablo did.


This game is impossible. Getting past the first level without reloading 20 or more time requires divine intervention. I tried all the classes, too -- they all get their butts kicked. The game only gets harder, mind you -- pretty soon youíll be leaving this game in disgust because it just doesnít relent. Thereís a fine line between challenging and impossible, and Clans regularly crosses to the impossible side.

Game Mechanics:

Clans tries to execute itself well -- namely by copying the Diablo interface almost exactly. Sure, you can put more rings on, and the other equipment isnít done the same way, but the way the screen and everything looks, makes you right at home if youíve ever played Diablo. The game is much, much harder, and inevitably, much less interesting. The enemies are dull, there are two weapon types, and the game just drags.

More variety, more locations, more monsters, and less Diablo would have made this game much better. As it is, itís only a reminder of how great Blizzardís game was and how no game has yet come along that could successfully copy its fun. Clans is purely mediocre, bordering on poor when it comes to difficulty. Only get it if youíre a die-hard Diablo-esque fan.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

Win 95/98, DirectX 6.0, P120 (P200 recommended), 32Mb RAM, Direct compatible SVGA video card, Direct Compatible sound card, 250MB HD space, 4X CD, Microsoft Compatible mouse

Test System:

AMD K6-III 450, 256MB RAM, 6x24 DVD-ROM, SoundBlaster Live!, Creative Labs TNT2 Ultra w/32MB VRAM

Windows Civilization: Call to Power Windows bleem!

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated