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BenderBot

IGN:
The Dwarves Review

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Dwarves fit in with high fantasy as comfortably as Stratocasters fit in with rock 'n' roll, but outside of a few standout works like The Hobbit, they're usually confined to sideshow roles over the likes of elves and humans. Much like the 2003 bestselling novel on which it's based, The Dwarves upends that tradition by placing dwarves at the vanguard, and generally it's a story worth hearing. Judged by the story alone, I'd go so far as to call this one of my favorite RPGs of the year so far, but the deficiencies of its tactical gameplay make it tough to recommend – especially when you can just read the book instead.

In some ways it spins a conventional fantasy yarn, and in appearance, the inhabitants of the land of Girdlegard differ only minimally from their counterparts in the likes of Warcraft and The Lord of the Rings. That familiarity extends to the plot itself, with its treacherous wizards and undead hordes. But much as in Markus Heitz's novels, it's the characterizations that allow it to stand out, and developer King Art Games captures them well with banter pulled straight from the books, consistently seasoned with commendable voice acting and attractive cutscenes in a style that resembles artistic stop-motion animation.

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