offers more robust game play than an action oriented RPG like Diablo 2
, although it tends to be a little lighter than games like Icewind II
. There are plenty of NPCs to interact with, lots of quests to engage in, an overarching storyline line that is well integrated into the game, and tons of combat.
Starting the game is deceptively simple: Choose a male or female Survivor, Warrior, or Wizard character class, select a difficulty level, a portrait, and give your character a name. That's all there is to creating a character, and from that point on it's just a matter of adding skills and modifying the basic statistics in order to mold your character as you see fit.
Leveling is frequent, especially initially, and each time you level you are given a number of points to allocate to the character's basic attributes of Strength, Agility, Intelligence, and Constitution. Additionally, you are given skill points you can use to add skills and spells to the character's repertoire. It is extremely difficult to decide whether to spend the single skill point you receive on a new spell or on a skill, but this aspect of character development adds great depth to the game.
Besides developing your character, you will also spend a good portion of the game interacting with NPCs. They usually initiate conversation on their own, although you can also do so at anytime. With most NPCs you can not only talk to them and obtain quests, but also barter with them, which includes identifying and repairing items. Bartering is based on the attitude NPCs have towards your character, which can be improved through giving gifts. And although you can obtain skills to repair and identify items, it's very handy to have an NPC available to handle this important task early in the game.
Combat is of course what you will be doing most in DD. The combat system is streamlined like most other action oriented RPGs. Simply click on your opponent, and your character will strike them until they are dead. You can pause the action at any time to give new orders, but as soon as you issue the order, action is resumed. Accessing your equipment, potions, and skills is extremely easy while in combat, and each character class has a special move, which can be used to great advantage.