And to go with the lackluster graphics and sound, Legend of the North
offers some of the most repetitive action that I've seen in a while. Playing like a bad Diablo
knock-off, you'll find yourself running around for hours trying to get much of anywhere.
Now, I must admit that I started to enjoy the game as I played it more and more. But every once in a while I find games that are amazingly rote to be entertaining, in a 'how far can I take this?' sort of way. I ran around for literally hours, making potions and oils and whatnot, not because it really got me anywhere but because it amused me. I'd imagine that most gamers, on the other hand, would just put the game down in disgust.
The first major flaw of the game appears when you try either the tutorial or the actual game -- your character walks like he's in some sort of slow-mo field. You can speed up the game by pressing the + key, but make sure you slow it back down before you get into battle -- using potions is nigh-impossible when you're getting wailed on three times faster than you should be. This sort of constant speed-tweaking is absolutely obnoxious, even if it becomes 'second nature' as you play the game.
Another flaw is the large difficulty curve. It's challenging to find anywhere you can go at the beginning of the game without getting slaughtered, and after playing for hours your realm of expansion will have only grown by a few screens. This sort of thing isn't fun -- artificial difficulty is never amusing. Take a look at a game like Diablo II, where the difficulty ramps up naturally, and then look at Konung. It's a world of difference.
But the number one issue I had with the game was the way the screen scrolls. You have to mouse to the sides to make it scroll, but there's a limit to how much you can make it move. Going north or east isn't too bad -- there isn't any interface in those locations -- but going west or south is an exercise in repetitive strain injury. You have to move the mouse down to scroll, back up to click where you want to move, and back down. Ugh.
That's not to say that Konung doesn't have some nice touches. The ability to make your own potions, which start out dilute but become stronger as you use more ingredients, is actually quite cool, and the skill system, while limited, gives visible improvement. By the time I was done 'drug-running', I was getting almost 100% more use out of each herb than I was when I started. But for the most part, the game feels awfully repetitive and uninteresting, without the wide variety of happenings that made the Diablo games interesting all the way through.
Konung supports network play, but it's only over a LAN, so I could not test it out.