Eragon

The swords-and-dragons epic "Eragon" falls victim to the same sad fate as most movie tie-in games: Because the game had to be released concurrently with the film, the title ends up unpolished and incomplete. Given more time, the developers might have tapped into "Eragon's" potential.

The swords-and-dragons epic “Eragon” falls victim to the same sad fate as most movie tie-in games: Because the game had to be released concurrently with the film, the title ends up unpolished and incomplete. Given more time, the developers might have tapped into “Eragon’s” potential.

What we’re left with is a beautifully rendered third-person action game with limited controls and, even worse, very limited camera movement (virtually nonexistent).

It’s a constant struggle to see where the enemies are attacking from during the sword fights and magic-casting battles across the medieval lands. At times, the camera pulls back so wide that the characters are only a tiny 1/10th the size of the TV screen’s height. Couple that with the fact that there may be up to seven bad guys attacking the main character and his partner, and it’s nearly impossible to tell who is who.

Most of the attacks are very similar to each other and produce the same result, giving “Eragon” a pedestrian, button-mashing feel. The magic does spice things up, albeit not enough.

Some of the actors from the film lend their voices, but not any of the big names; Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz and John Malkovich are all absent. (The actor who plays Eragon, Edward Speleers, did his own voice, but he is hardly well known.)

The visuals are at times gorgeous, and the storyline makes the film sound interesting, but the clock expires on “Eragon’s” fun shortly after that. Perhaps with more time…

Eragon

Production: A Sierra presentation of a game developed by Stormfront Studios for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Reviewed on Xbox 360.

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