Druid 2: Enlightenment
for C64

Mr Creosote:
Company: Firebird
Year: 1987
Genre: Action
Theme: Apocalypse / Sword & Sorcery
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 22118
Review by Mr Creosote (2003-09-18)

103 peaceful years have passed since Acamantor and his Demon Princes have been banished from Belorn. Now the evil is back! And it's up to the last of the druids to stop it.

Other than last time, the evil magic has already spread across the outside world. So our hero doesn't just have to enter a fortress filled with monsters, but they are everywhere. Even in his own village, the dead are literally coming alive. Imagine how it'll look in the surrounding woods...

Druid 2 is a lot more complex than its predecessor. The 'levels' aren't structured in a linear way anymore. Instead, you can walk freely between the nine different parts of the land, each of which has some 'theme' (city, swamps, desert,....). In each part, you're basically doing the same: Collect spells, shoot monsters of all kinds and eventually defeat the Demon Princes. This will give you access to the tenth level: Acamantor's tower, which once again spans over five 'sublevels'.

Instead of the three attacks you had in Druid, there is now only one. On the whole, the number of spells has been increased to thirty, though, so there are a lot of 'misc' spells now which are useful in different situations. You can't carry them all at the same time, though - your 'inventory' is limited to eight different ones. To pick up a new one, you sometimes have to drop another and hope you won't need it anymore. That brings in a small strategical component, but it can of course also lead to frustration (“Why did I leave that one there in the middle of the dark caves???”).

While all the new ideas are nice seen for themselves, it's a little overdone with the complexity in Druid 2 on the whole. If I want to play an arcade-style shooter, I don't want to have to worry about an inventory like this. Especially since the game doesn't 'pause' anymore to let you consider which spell to take and which one to leave, because there are no chests anymore - the spells are lying around on the ground, and even when you step on them to take them, the monsters will keep coming. The non-linearity certainly adds to the replayability of course. In the end, it's a matter of taste which game to prefer.

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