Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer PC DVD-ROM

Published by Sony Online Entertainment
Developed by Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £24.99

Online RPG’s have grown more and more popular over the last few years and two of the most popular to date have been Everquest and its sequel, Everquest II. Strangely enough we haven’t reviewed a PC version of Everquest to date. We have reviewed the PlayStation 2 version of Everquest, Everquest Online Adventures and all things considered we were quite impressed with the game considering the limitations of the PlayStation 2. The game we are looking at here is the latest expansion for Everquest II, Echoes of Faydwer, which also comes bundled with Everquest II, The Desert of Flames and the Kingdom of Sky expansion packs for just an impressive £24.99. Even if you’ve never played an Everquest II game before you can simply pick up this pack and have everything that Everquest II has to currently offer.

So what does the Echoes of Faydwer add to the Everquest II experience then? Well it adds a heck of a lot and the new content is not just aimed at current players as there’s a heck of a lot available to newcomers too. The game adds a new Deity system that allows players to worship one of the eight gods from the first Everquest game. There are all sorts of quests that allow the gamer access to all kinds of special items and abilities. Cloaks have been added and Guilds can now even have their own customisable cloaks. New armour and spell types have been added along with new horse mounts. These all cater for new as well as experienced players, which is excellent as most expansion packs only cater for those who have already invested many hours in the original game and this is something that can deter potential players from joining in. The expansion also adds 350 new quests to the mix to offer gamers an extended long-term challenge. A new fairy-like winged race known as the Fae have been included and any Fae characters you create will begin in the city of Kelethin. In addition there are 40 new creatures that have been added in the expansion, plus 20 new zones. There’s much more too. Suffice to say Echoes of Faydwer is an expansion that’s as comprehensive as most gamers could wish for.

Having played various MMORPG’s over the last few years the first thing you notice about Everquest II is how polished its presentation is when compared to other games. The graphics are impressive, as is the interface. The character models used in the game all look good and the various environments in the game all look good. The game does appear to be a system resource hog however and the frame rate can really bog down at times. Even when lowering the details fairly considerably the frame rate only improved slightly, which is a little disappointing considering that Everquest II is now a few years old and you would have thought it would have been a smoother experience with any performance issues ironed out by now. At least the drop in frame rate never seems to cause any real problems.

MMORPG’s are generally fine for deaf gamers and for the most part Everquest II offers no obstacles to deaf gamers enjoying what is an impressive game. However, there are some movies that are not subtitled. The movie that plays when you load up the game isn’t subtitled and neither is the movie that plays when you first start a new game. These omissions are more disappointing than problematic. In every other sense the game is fine. All dialogue during the main game is subtitled with the conversations appearing in speech balloons that makes the text very clear and easy to read. All quests are given in text and the journal allows you to access any previous information on the last 70+ quests you’ve received, which is excellent.

Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer is a comprehensive package that’s filled to the brim with content. You’re not just getting the expansion here, you’re also getting the full game with the previous two expansions and all for £24.99 which is excellent value for money. There are tons of quests here, a handsome collection of races to play as (the Echoes of Faydwer expansion adding the Fae race) and many locations to explore. I daresay experienced Everquest II players will be pleased with the wealth of new content that’s been included but the package is also going to be very appealing to those looking to pick up Everquest II for the first time because of how comprehensive it is.

Overall Game Rating 8.5/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

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Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer is both a very good expansion for longstanding players and a comprehensive Everquest II package for newcomers to Everquest II.