The Hand Of Merlin Review (Xbox Series S)
Our The Hand of Merlin Review has us playing this turn-based rogue-lite RPG in which Arthurian legend meets with sci-fi horror. Recruit mortal heroes to explore lands rife with otherworldly evil, make narrative bending choices in unique interactive encounters, and search for the lost fragments of your soul across the multiverse.
The Hand Of Merlin Review Pros:
- Decent graphics.
- 4.7GB download size.
- 1000 Gamerscore.
- Five difficulties – Story, Easy, Normal, Hard, and hard mode plus.
- Select a Warband before you start a run.
- Three types of characters – Mystic, Ranger, and Mystic. Unlock new characters in each of the roles.
- The story is told via a book and on the pages, you will get multiple choice encounters and decisions that impact your run.
- World map level select.
- Tutorial pop-ups as you play along with a reference menu to recap.
- Renown is earned from playing and every 50 allows you to upgrade your characters/Warband.
- Turn-based combat that takes place on a grid, you use action points to cast skills, magic, and attacks.
- Cover affects how easy you are to hit. A percentage chance will show above the necessary character/opponent.
- Fast forward button when it’s the opponent’s turn.
- Destructible elements within the combat environments.
- Text pop up when hovering over menus.
- Status effects, damage numbers, etc will bang up on screen in real-time.
- End of combat breakdown.
- Ranking up allows you to pick a new random skill (choose 1 of 3), and your character also gets attribute boosts (choose 1 of 2).
- Upgrade equipment at Blacksmith’s.
- Game settings – main menu camera speed, animation speed, end turn confirmation, move confirmation style, show unit fill, show unit outline, and tile grid visibility radius.
- Save and quit option.
- Resources such as food will affect how your Warband acts, if you are low on food then your Warband will have reduced health and armor.
- Has a choose your own adventure feel to it all.
- Interactions can have you shuffle a pack of cards and pick one for an effect/result.
- Different nodes inhabit each mark on the map and they can give you a clue as to what to expect such as dungeons, recruitment, or combat. As you move around the nodes can corrupt and become useless.
- Bestiary fills in as you uncover new enemies and characters.
- Play how you want.
- You can rewatch any cutscenes you encounter.
- Travel to new lands.
- Nails what it is going for.
- The story gets proper mental, Starts off like an old-world experience then…Well, it goes places.
The Hand Of Merlin Review Cons:
- The menus are everywhere and really clunky to use.
- Combat is not that fun purely because moving around and attacking is a chore.
- Doesn’t really set the story up well.
- Slow pace.
- Just knowing who is your team and who is your enemy is not easy as they all look the same.
- You just get bombarded with information and it is all quite overwhelming.
- Cannot rebind controls.
- Steep learning curve.
- Leveling up stats is underwhelming.
- No way to see the controls.
- The camera control is slow.
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The Hand Of Merlin:
Developer: ROOM C GAMES
Publisher: Versus Evil
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- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Accessibility - 6/106/10
- Length - 8/108/10
- Fun Factor - 8/108/10
The Hand Of Merlin is a choose your own adventure roguelike with turn-based combat. Don’t go in thinking it will be easy to get into, far from it as the game loves just bombarding you with pop-ups and menus and it’s like I say overwhelming but also forgettable as you can’t take it all in. Shame to start off rough as once the game opens up and you get used to it all the game gets good. The story is told through a book with pages turning as you go, as it’s a choose-your-own adventure you will constantly have game-altering decisions and encounters to play out. It is slow but that’s the genre. Combat is turn-based and is again a bit clunky as you never fully know the controls, and the camera is slow and wooden. Actually playing the combat is up there of how to do it, never really pushes itself but it’s solid and can rival your X coms with the huge stable of actions and abilities to use. It’s a weird mix only because the story is slow and plodding along and the combat is faster and more balls out. The mashing of genres does make sense though because it kinda balances itself out but both of them have their issues. The Hand Of Merlin is a fantastic adventure game but it doesn’t make it easy to love, you will have to woo the menus and treat the mechanics to dinner before you get all its offerings. Proving that it definitely more a grower than a shower