Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Console Edition was developed by Forge Replay and published by 505 Games. It was released on the Xbox One and Playstation 4 on March 16, 2016 for $14.99 (£11.99). A press review copy was provided to The Hidden Levels.
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Console Edition is a hybrid game that combines reading a book to move the story along as well as quick time events. The game also adds depth with JRPG type elements as well as a lock picking mini game. Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is essentially a book where you create your own story based on your choices. From the beginning of the game you determine what kind of attributes your “Lone Wolf” will have and this will shape what you are most successful at during the writing of your story and combat encounters. The game has unlimited replay ability due to the multitude of choices you will make during game play.
What I Enjoyed:
Artistic Style – The book is beautifully illustrated with some scenes being animated. The maps and the menus are all very appealing. The combat and lock picking are in full three dimensional animations with an incredible transformation from the pages of the book and back again. It gives you the feeling that you are jumping off the pages of the book and into this incredible world. The text of the story is nicely done and you have the choice of three different fonts and five languages. As you unlock monsters, locations, and items you can view them individually and move around every item 360 degrees in the gallery.
Lone Story – The world you play in was created by Joe Dever back in the 1980’s when he first started publishing books. The story is brand new and it fits into the world already more than 30 books and 15 video games strong. The writing that moves the story along is some of the best story telling I have ever read. I looked forward to what story I would make with his words based on my choices. The book has four acts and several chapters per act you will need to complete to finish writing your book. Soon after you will want to start over with new choices to see how it plays out otherwise.
Combat – The turn based, time based, JRPG hybrid combat is awesome once you get the hang of it. At first I had trouble dispatching even the simplest of enemies; Once I figured it out I was killing like the powerful liege I am in the game but not without the challenge expected from the more advanced monsters. You have vitality, Kai power, and an endurance bar you will want to keep a close eye on as this will determine how well and what moves you can preform in battle. You will have plenty of ways to attack or defend against your enemies and the combats are never dull or repetitive thanks to this. The finishing moves at the end of some fights are another nice addition that makes you feel powerful.
What I Disliked:
Pace of Start – At the beginning of the game you start off making choices on the type of “Lone Wolf” you will be and this part moves along quite well. However, after this initial decision making process you’ll have several pages of the book to read before you have any more decisions to make. The first real story line decision does not lead to any action but only more pages to read till you get to your first action. For an avid book reader this wasn’t that bad for me although this was a video game and would benefit from breaking up the reading at the beginning with some training or tutorial due to how deep it is.
No Real Tutorial – The game does attempt to explain some things you will need to know in the form of pop up text however after investing so much time in reading up to your first real action this is simply a disturbance rather than any type of help. This game would have benefited from a step by step tutorial in the form of some sort of practice towards the beginning as many games do. Especially being that this combat system is much different than anything previously played. There are a few things that were not explained or I missed that took me several attempts to figure out how to do like equipping potions to use during combat.
Random Illustrations – It appeared that the smaller illustrations while reading the story where random and repetitive. These would appear mid page and didn’t seem to follow what I was reading at the time. Some felt like they belong in other parts I had read already and some seem to appear over and over again. The large full page illustrations fit perfectly in the story and mostly where animated.
Imagine sitting back and reading a book and then that book coming to life before your eyes and you control the direction of the story. This is why I thoroughly enjoyed my experience while playing Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Console Edition. Although there are a few things that could have been improved they are minor compared to how gratifying it was to create my own story. I look forward to playing though this once again to see how my decisions shape the story this time.
Score: Buy it now
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