I'm always excited by Diablo-style action-RPGs, and although I didn't expect great things from Dawn Of Magic, I was initially impressed.
There's a lot going on: 12 stables of magic in which to park your spell-casting horse and an interesting primary/secondary method of hybridising your horses, along with a 'dark path' teleporting power that works better in gameplay than you think it's going to. Yes, Dawn Of Magic has enough familiarity and innovation to raise a mouse's eyebrow. And you can have that as a box quote.
Despite my initial giddyness though, my high hopes were to be whittled away. I still enjoyed the game, but it was despite the obstacles developers Sky Fallen threw at me. Combat suffered from the expected action-RPG nonsense of clicking on moving things on a moving background while you move, but the awkwardness goes way beyond that.
The inventory has room for 500 items, but only displays a few at once. Browsing is potentially exhausting.
The town-quests are unembarrassed to the point where NPCs actually say: "Do this mission many times over for extra skill points." Thanks. I won't.
Also, levelling-up doesn't feel like the event it should be, especially because each level is four mini-levels, with even fewer rewards. Progress is steady, but carries little momentum.
This game should be better. I'm almost tempted to say it is better, but it's choked by its own clumsy presentation and inability to develop its own ideas. It's got the ball, it's facing the right direction, but Dawn Of Magic just isn't running.
Not a new dawn