Anthony's Film Review

Betrayal in Antara
(Video Game, 1997)

This role-playing game is fairly decent with enough intrigue to maintain my interest...

Let me start with a few observations. The 1997 computer role-playing game Betrayal in Antara is sort of a follow-up to 1993's Betrayal at Krondor. Both games were released through Sierra On-Line. Both games use the same basic game engine. Hell, even their titles are similar. Yet, Betrayal in Antara is not a sequel to Betrayal at Krondor. That's because the games take place in different fictional universes. Also, many fans consider Krondor to be much better than Antara, though for me, it's the opposite, because Antara is an improvement from Krondor, though it's a small one.

As the game's story begins, there is drama involving a ship and a man named William Escobar escaping to shore. On the beach, he is attacked by a creature, and just as he is about to face death, a young boy named Aren Cordelaine comes along and, unexpectedly, uses magic against the creature. William, who needs to get to the capital city of Antara, begins his journey. He also suggests that Aren, who never knew he had magical abilities, could benefit from learning magic, so the boy comes along as well. Along the way, a third person joins the party: a woman named Kaelyn Usher.

The graphics in this game aren't that bad. I didn't like Betrayal at Krondor's graphics because they looked outdated for its time. Here, Betrayal in Antara has nicer colors and nicely drawn scenery and characters. One thing I think would improve the game are the dialogue screens. I am accustomed to games where you see animations of a character as he or she is speaking. In this game, you're just looking at a still picture of the character as you listen to the dialogue, which is also presented as text on the screen. Given that this game was released in the late 1990s, not the early 1980s, I can't see why animations of talking characters couldn't be done.

As for the gameplay, it's what you expect out of any RPG. You buy things, watch your health status, keep track of the condition of your weapons, complete side quests, and build up skills. And of course, you engage in combat. I do enjoy the combat in this game. At a normal difficulty level, the battles have enough of a challenge to be exciting, though I will admit the battles in the last third of the game are pretty tough.

So what is the rest of the story like? Well, it takes a while for things to get interesting. The story is divided into nine chapters, and you actually spend the first two getting your party to a city called Ticoro. After chapter three, something interesting happens: a political kidnapping. But then it doesn't get interesting again until after chapter six when the big plot twist occurs. And I have to admit. The climax of the game was mostly mediocre. It was interesting to finally learn about the villain and the motive, but I really wanted something intense to see, and I didn't get that.

Betrayal in Antara is just an OK game. I enjoyed it enough, though I wanted more. To me, a great game is one that strongly engages the player from start to finish. It is one that immerses someone in a world that feels so real. This means the game should provide excellent graphics, music, gameplay, and story. When I compare Betrayal in Antara to this standard, the game is on the positive side of the spectrum, but it has a way to go. Nevertheless, I had fun with the game, simply because it's not bad.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Betrayal in Antara, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.


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