Eragon is a game based on a movie which was itself loosely based upon a series of books. And all that watering down led to something that just wasn’t good enough to live up to what the fans expected or wanted.
Eragon was released in 2006 alongside games such at Saints Row, Scarface: The world is yours and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess so alongside such well received games it’s not hard to see why Eragon might have struggled. Although you could also have blamed the repetitiveness and lack of any real understanding of what people liked about the source material.
Eragon by and large was a weak game release, with little in the way of plot. I suppose that’s the problem you get when you’re based upon a movie which received its own fair share of flack for condensing, changing or cutting up a great deal of the source material from the books. It also happened to be based on one of the worst reviewed movies of 2006. I guess they couldn’t wait to find out the reception for the movie before chucking out a game plug in.
I’d like to say at this point that I really enjoyed the books. Despite the criticism they receive for drawing too much upon other notable franchises such as Star wars, Lord of the rings and Harry Potter I think they’re well written, enjoyable and have plenty of originality and spark of their own. Unfortunately this isn’t something the game captured well.
I will say that for all of the problems the game had, if you need to burn a couple of hours and be relatively entertained then this game might be a good choice for you. However it doesn’t have a great deal of replay which in my opinion is the thing that sets it apart most from the source material because I’ve been able to return to the world of alagaesia (the world in which Eragon is based) a dozen or so times since I first read them.
Other elements which were enjoyable were the graphics which were surprisingly good and the cutscenes which were reasonably well produced and when I first played through them they gave me a palpable sense of excitement for the rest of the game.
Now that I’ve said something nice I can be harsh again. The worst mechanic of this game sad the hidden level crap. On each level of the game there is a secret dragon egg. You as the player need to find it and if you find the egg on each level you will unlock a super special secret bonus level at the end. Before I reveal the scintillating secret level I want to explain a bit about the gameplay of Eragon. Each level starts with narrative and a cutscene which I’ve already mentioned I liked it’d followed by endless grinding and combat for start to finish where you take on enemies until you reach the end of the level. So you’re reward for all that seemingly non stop grinding is a bonus level inside the throne room of the big bad of Eragon (King Galbatorix) wherein you fight against a literally unending series of enemies. And I’m not exaggerating the level only ends when you give up. For me that was after about half an hour of frantic button mashing. If anyone keeps playing for longer and it turns out that at the 31 minute mark something interesting happens then please let me know.
I ragged a bit on the never ending brawling that the game throws your way. And sure they’re are plenty of games that also work on the same mechanic but this just wasn’t interesting enough to make it worth playing more than once or twice. The fighting mechanic gets progressively better throughout the game however as you upgrade and learn new skills. For example the game becomes a hundred times more enjoyable once you learn to use magic because they you actually start to feel like you’re getting somewhere rather than endlessly banging swords with monsters double your size which should be able to decapitate you in an instant.
The only other notable thing to mention is that at points you can fly Saphira. I’d have been considerably more annoyed if the game based around a Dragon rider had no actually dragon riding in it. The controls during these scenes aren’t perfect but they are a welcome break from the rest of the game play.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org