Eragon for the Playstation 2 is based on the movie and book of the same name.
Unfortunately, like many games that are based on movies, it suffers from all too familiar problems.
Generally movie games seem rushed out of production to make it to market in time for the Hollywood launch. This gives developers less time to design the game, and then–more importantly–test it out for bugs and problems.
Eragon the Game started with an interesting premise; there is a dragon you can ride on, and you can fight and use magic. This gave the developers a lot of freedom. This amount of room also gives them freedom to hang themselves.
The fighting in the game seems to take center stage, and as such is the best laid out and designed. You can do a bunch different moves and combo’s in the game.
The fighting is in a closed-open world. It’s three-dimensional, but it is played more as a 2D game. You can move around, but it is always move from one room to the next. There aren’t many nooks and cranny’s or side paths that you can go through. The way to go forward often isn’t obvious either. Sometimes it will look like you can just jump over a little stream but the game won’t let you get off the edge of the path. You actually have to jump and crawl across a log, or beam that you may not have noticed at first. Other places you have to break the wall at just the right place.
The fighting includes using a bow and arrow. This part really doesn’t work well in a 3rd person game–especially if you’ve played the Wii recently. The arrows shoot towards a target you select by tabbing through the enemies. They get more accurate the longer you hold the button before releasing, but the player has little control over where they are shot. The game gives you unlimited arrows, which can be nice since you may waste a bunch to missing targets. The bow is very useful though to pick off targets before they get close, but can be a pain to hit things sometimes that the game thinks you can’t even if the player thinks they can.
The game also has a fixed camera. It’s shot in 3rd person, but the camera can not be controlled by the player. The game mostly keeps the camera in locations that work, but occasionally it’s annoying not being able to see something that you want to. Also, Eragon could be fighting an enemy in the corner, and it would be hard to see him.
The Magic isn’t too intuitive either. You can perform different spells by different sets of buttons, which can be a pain to remember sometimes.
Was it push for triangle, or pull?
The “special” spells require certain objects to be in your area. Sometimes, you’ll be told to push over some logs or pull up broken pieces to form a bridge. This is requires charging up your spell by standing still, and trying to cast it for a while. This can be aggravating, because there is a charge for casting a generic spell, and then on top of that some spell require more time. These special spells can also be annoying that they aren’t obviously there, unless you constantly try to cast a spell to look for the icons. Though they are neat when they happen, because bridges are made or fall, Your dragon will come to rescue you hitting certain enemies, or Eragon will use spears to throw at the enemies doing great damage.
The Spells can be very handy sometimes though. You’ll cast a quick push or pull and the enemy falls to it’s death without hurting you at all.
The flying missions are interesting on their own. From the back of the dragon, the player can control flight, shoot arrows, swing the dragons tail or perform quick bursts of energy. Doves flying through the air will restore your health.
The controls on the flying levels aren’t quite as responsive as I would like sometimes. Unlike flight simulators, there seems to be no way to invert the controller. Pressing up/forward makes the dragon go up, pressing down/back makes the dragon go down.
The game was fun to play though even with these problems. People that enjoyed the movie or book will likely enjoy playing as Eragon, and actually flying on their own dragon.
Overall, it is decent for a game based on a movie, but it would have benefited from more time to figure out how to work in all the options it gave and polish the camera and controls a little more.