Nehrim reviewed, translation

This is my basic cut-down translation of the recent German-language review of Nehrim on the Gamer Global website. I’ve cut out some minor plot-spoilers and some tedious griping about the shortcomings of the original Oblivion game mechanics…

Nehrim final beta review. Authors: Kevin Stich / Editor: Jorg Langer at Gamer Global. Translated from the German. 26th May 2010

The story can be described in one word, epic. By the end you will have completed between 40 and 50 hours, depending on how many side quests you take on. The background of the world is fleshed out with specially-written books. Although these do not consider the very deep level of history, the big picture is very well done.

There were many times when the game evoked Outcast, and with a similar level of foreign terminology thrown at the player, and a constant flood of new information at the start. But in time you will settle in to the world, and learn piece by piece the history of the country via the successful dialogue.

The side quests: Refreshingly different … the clear emphasis on quality, rather than countless loveless “kill and collect” quests and quest that overburden the player with loot. … many of the quests are done at a level that we would like to see in full-price titles. … the game world is in harmony with the quest tasks.

Dominated by bustling forests, meadows and hamlets which remind the player very strongly of Cyrodiil. Like the Central Province of Oblivion, the middle kingdom tends toward Disney version of real landscapes. And there are areas of secluded woods, with deer, foxes, bears, wolves and other animals. You’ll find waterfalls just waiting for the screenshot photographer. … In local theatres you’ll find gigs by the famous medieval band Schandmaul, illuminated by crystal lamps.

It is important that you carefully listen to the NPCs and where appropriate consult your diary [as not all places will be automatically marked on your map] [there is no fast-travel and] the teleporter network throughout Nehrim not as dense as it is in the middle kingdom.

With your Teleport also comes with the donkey. [teleporting donkeys!?] …

What SureAI delivers in terms of setting is unsurpassed … and even puts a few full-price titles in the shadows. [The German] professional voice-over artists convey exactly the right emotions although there are also a few weak performances …

[The reviewer gripes at length about the original Oblivion RPG mechanics, and complains that some of these are unchanged in Nehrim] …

[But several Oblivion gameplay issues are resolved] …

New plants were created, such as the “Iron Claw”, increase your capacity permanently by one point. [Crafting is hugely expanded over vanilla Oblivion] the meticulous sifting of the game world [via crafting] makes it even more motivating and rewarding, as in Risen. But Alchemists can gather common crop plants to make potions, and become rich too early – this can feel like a cheat.

New blades and stylish designed armor. [and as with Arktwend] many have power magical attributes.

A host of new enemies. …

In the animal world you encounter cows, rabbits, chickens, pigs and foxes – but also elephants and feral pigs. Animals and NPCs interact with each other: because deer are hunted by wolves, travellers are attacked by bandits, hunters will have to move slowly through the woods. In part, this seems a bit exaggerated, and can look like a kind of a “war of the undergrowth”

You have “safe chest” for storage, located in every major town …

There is also teleport spell [activated at the end of quests?] and there is also an escape hatch or a short way back at the end of quests. …

The Oblivion inventory has also been modified and is set out clearly. Except for the drinking, the lists of the original has been replaced by square icons. You may also hide individual object types, making it quick to find what you seek. Certain objects, such as game meat and pelts have no weight. While this is illogical, but it makes it easier to step into the wilderness to hunt

A highlight of Nehrim is the caves and dungeons. In contrast to the relatively bright underground in Oblivion, these are darker and oppressive. […] Beautiful as the dungeons are, in general they are too long, and too many times they suck the air out of the game’s forward progression of the plot.

Your NPC travelling companion also has some common problems with animation, pathfinding and getting lost. …

In larger mellee battles you quickly lose the overview of what’s happening, so “epic battles” often degenerate into wild brawls. Hitting enemies is then sometimes a matter of luck. …

If you roam around a lot in the beta of Nehrim, you will encounter many minor errors. But this is often the case even in full retail products. Some opponents don’t fight back or run the wrong script. Some NPCs fall down the stairs. […] There are some crashes of Nehrim with the beta, and in order to avoid any frustration you should make extensive use of the quick save button.

We are being fair here – this review is not pulling its punches because this is a fan project. But it should also be said that we are reviewing the beta, and bugs are being actively fixed.

SureAI has created a title that is the equal of many role-playing games, and is even superior in some areas. In particular, for the very well-crafted game world and its epic, philosophical history, Nehrim stands miles above other fan projects. Many commercial RPGs go to far less trouble to tell a sophisticated and coherent story.

If you can overlook a few technical deficiencies, you will be dazzled by Nehrim. Nehrim is not one of the many overambitious, half-baked fan-projects – it’s been completely realized, and the years of work can be seen everywhere.

If you thought that Oblivion’s main quest was too short and too shallow, then you’ll be thrilled by the depth and complexity here.

Nehrim is no great risk, because it is free, you only need to own a copy of Oblivion, which can currently be picked up second-hand for about $10.

All RPG fans should play Nehrim at least once!


5 comments on “Nehrim reviewed, translation

  1. No fast travel? That would kind of stink, in thinking of how large the map is.

    I am a cheater and I was wondering if there is a new money system? Without cheat codes I would feel like it also too hard at some points, and at some points it could lose its game feeling.

    Do you get to own any homes? This is also a big thing for me.

    – Lisa

  2. Fast travel via teleporting donkeys, is seems 🙂 Not sure about home or cash.

  3. Real fans of role play and immersion, skip Nehrim. There are no choices here. You are forced into tedious tasks which can only be solved by things like the buggy, undependable Grab function; trying to find traps, levers, tricks, etc while fleeing an enemy who kills you in three hits (but dies to multiple torches) and once more, dealing with rats. This mod is about eye candy; there is no role playing here. Worse, potions are weightless, the carry capacity is far too high and loot, even early on, is too common. Nehrim is for those who want to play Oblivion in a world that looks like it was designed by the Unique Landscapes team with quests by the creators of Mario.

  4. Jay, from what you say it sounds very much like you’re condemning it on the basis of playing the first half of the tutorial/prologue. This is a long 40-50 hour game. Perhaps you could comment again after completing it? Your opinions might have changed by then.

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