The wait is finally over and the time that many gaming enthusiasts have finally come when the Playstation 3 has finally hit store shelves. When you look at any console launch, we tend to focus on the first party titles, which usually have had the longest development cycles and usually are the games that give us the best idea of what to expect from the console. Well there weren’t a lot of first party titles, but one of the more exciting ones was Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom a game from the successful Untold Legends franchise that makes it first attempt on the consoles. So how does Dark Kingdom manage to use the PS3 to bring the action RPG genre to its first taste of the PS3? Read our full review to find out!
Sony has been long and hard at work with their Untold Legends franchise for quite a few years now, trying to bring a great RPG to the PSP, which has brought some good efforts but still no killer application that has helped progress the PSP’s library. With that being said there is still a huge group of gamers out there that really are into this style of game, and thus Sony has seen the need for another Untold Legends. Thus for the launch of the PS3 they have prepared Dark Kingdom the first console version of the franchise. How successful is the transformation?
So let’s talk about Dark Kingdom, which means we should start with the story, which places you in the land of Duret. The story behind Dark Kingdom is that of a good versus evil sort of plot that we have seen a thousand times before in other RPG’s. Dark Kingdom doesn’t go out of its way either to make you interested in what is going on in the game as you never really feel that connected with the story. Your basic premise is to restore evil but as you go you will see some evil twists and turns that do manage to keep the game an interesting one to follow.
There are three classes of characters to choose from (bit limited) which are warrior, scout, and mage, probably the three most used character classes in any RPG game out there. To me it was like the developers took a page from RPG 101 and decided that this was the easiest and most thought provoking way to go about it. It really wouldn’t have hurt to give us some more options in terms of characters, but alas I digress. The characters do play like you would imagine, with the warrior giving out the most damage and the mage uses his magic to take out enemies. The developers didn’t go for much in terms of characters, but for those who like tradition this will work well for you.
Dark Kingdom is really what you have found on the PSP with a prettier looking package. The name of the game is experience, and as you go through each stage of the game you will be taking out hundreds of enemies and from these enemies you will get more experience and new items. The whole function of the game still remains very familiar to anyone who has played an action RPG before. The game does have four difficulty settings and I found on the two higher difficulty settings the game to require a much more intense degree of strategy, whereas the bottom two levels felt much more like a button mashing extravaganza. The controls in the game are good and the combat works just as you would expect. The level design isn’t what I would consider 100% creative, but for the most part you get a new look and feel throughout the experience which keeps things feeling fresh.
The game does have online play, and it plays very well, when able to find a game. This isn’t the most expansive online experience of all time, but the online play works and it works well. The online play is a great way to get experience faster, and an even better way to just have a good online time with some friends and experience even more of what the game has to offer. In the end, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is not what I would consider a next generation RPG, but instead a good RPG that has a lot of potential to be great in future releases.
One thing I really was expecting more from Dark Kingdom was in the graphics department, which left me feeling a massive need for improvement. The character models are good, and even the environments had some upside, but there was nothing in this game that just stood out to me and said "wow". The game has just enough in about every category you can speak of, and seems to be lacking in the originality category, as once again you get the feeling that a lot of this game was taken out of the RPG handbook. In the end, this is not a game that manages to take advantage of the PS3’s capabilities.
No matter what anyone may say, this is still a very good RPG that just doesn’t live up to what people were expecting from a PS3 launch title. When you put that to the side, you still have a very capable RPG that has good mechanics, an interesting storyline, and enough content to keep you busy for a good deal of time. The online play is good, although I think it can only improve as more and more people continue to grab a PS3 and make their way online. In the end, this is still a very fun RPG that has some very fun and then at times frustrating situations.
I really was expecting more from Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom when I heard it was going to be a launch title for the PS3. However now that it is here, I see this as a great stepping stone for future action RPG’s, as this is a game that has a lot of great potential, but still needs some new original ideas to take it to the next level. If you like action RPG’s you’re going to enjoy this game. Just don’t expect a completely new experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.