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Eye of The Beholder 3

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:John Miles

GAME DEVELOPER:Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

GAME PUBLISHER:Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

Copyright 1993, Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI)

Eye of The Beholder 3 is a disapponting final entry in the popular Eye of The Beholder trilogy, and a good example of how important a good design team is. After hiring Westwood to develop the first two games, SSI took control with their own design team to release this episode. The result is a slow, uninspiring, and very tedious RPG which relies more on endless hordes of skeleton warriors than stellar gameplay to keep the game moving.

The plot picks up where EOB2 left off. This time, you are asked by a suspicious character to rescue Myth Drannor. Strangely enough, you accept the offer and are teleported to a graveyard not far from the city. From there, you will fight through hordes of undead to the city’s temple, to face the God and defeat him.

Let’s start with the good, since they are few and far between. EOB3 features several new ideas compared to the prequels. The gameworld is much more diverse: there are open areas (forest and the city), a thicket maze, and an underwater level. Many new spells and magical items are added – so many that you probably will not be able to try them all. Most of the new spells are quite useful, especially non-combat such as “Haste” and “True Seeing,” the latter of which will not only show you hidden passages, but will also warn you about which items are blessed cursed. Another good improvement is the multiple character selection option, which allows several charaters in your party to attack simultaneously. The plot also is quite interesting, with several unexpected twists and turns along the way, although the ending isn’t nearly as good as EOB2.

Okay, that’s enough– now for the bad. In sharp contrast to the excellent atmosphere and addictive gameplay of the first two games, EOB3 is just plain boring to play. Most puzzles are of the trivial find-the-right-combination and find-the-right-item types. Combat, similarly, is more boring than fun– the game relies on sheer number of undead to provide the challenge, not on any good monster AI. Even the “ultimate boss” of the game, the Evil God you face in the temple, is disappointingly easy to kill. Die-hard RPG fans who have finished EOB2 will definitely feel that disposing of Dran Draggore in that game was a much more difficult– and rewarding– task.

Overall, EOB3 is a disappointing end to what could have been one of the best RPG trilogies of all time. Had the Westwood team still been in charge of the design, we would have seen a much better result instead of this tedious, uninspiring release. Even when judged on its own merits, EOB3 could be considered at best just a barely above-average RPG title. Fans of the first two games may want to play it anyway just to see how the story ends, but all other RPG fans should stay away from this boring underdog.



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