Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles

Review

posted 12/23/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
I’m not a big fan of MMORPGs but for some strange reason, Mythic Entertainment’s Dark Age of Camelot has always been able to grasp my attention. Instead of offering the same cut and dry experience as EverQuest, DAoC did an admirable job of redefining the genre and introducing new flavors to help cleanse my palette. Being that the recently released Shrouded Isles does even more to refine and more importantly, redefine the game how could one not help but be impressed by what it has to offer?

Let’s see how Shrouded Isles stacks up against the expansion pack checklist: new character races? Check. New character classes? Check. New visuals? Check. New locales? Check. Hundreds of hours of new gameplay? Check that too. In a nutshell, Shrouded Isles is an impressive add-on that will cater to both hardcore fans and newbies alike.

Let’s skip discussing what the base material is about because if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure that you’re well aware of what DAoC brought to the table. Let’s instead focus on the new aspects that you’ll be able to enjoy. First and foremost is the introduction of three entire new and unique realms. All three of them have very specific themes and within them, allow for the usage of various player classes. Travel between the realms is possible but for the time being you have to resort to sticking within your own realm until you’re powerful enough to venture outward. When you become powerful enough you can head into the opposing realms and steal their relics that, as you soon find out, are essential to making your player even more powerful.

What makes this mode of play distinctly different that of say Ultima Online or EverQuest is that player killing is actually a necessary part of the gameplay. Since the other realms are populated by human players they’ll be the focus of your combat, not AI controlled NPCs. This offers the gamer a much more diversified experience that simply cannot be offered by any of the other competing MMORPGs. To prevent bickering amongst players, communication between realms is impossible, putting much of the fighting to a halt.

I found this to be the most enjoyable of the modes as you can fight alongside your friends in an effort to vanquish the opposition. Divvying up the goods, however, is an entirely different story…

In case human to human violence just isn’t your style, Mythic had the foresight to create servers that promote harmony amongst players. PK (playing killing) is removed entirely and the three realms live together in harmony. Instead of trying to destroy the opposition, you’ll instead be encouraged to work alongside them in completing the game’s many quests and build up your character.
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