Hired Sword 2 (C64)

Summary

An Ultima style RPG game hiding underneath the school boy humour facade. Hours of entertainment on offer for fans of the genre, just don’t take it too seriously.

Overall
73%
73%
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User Review
3 (4 votes)

Commodore 64 fans of the classic Ultima RPG style of game play are in for a treat with the release of Hired Sword 2.

Primarily developed by Roy Riggs with sound and music coming from Mike Richmond, Hired Sword 2 sees you play the role of a mercenary who likes to squander his money and morals on the guilty pleasures that life offers. But one evening you become enchanted by a seductive elf with long flowing white hair and after waking up following a night of passion with your new love, you find that she has disappeared and you set off on a quest to find her.

If you are expecting a serious tale of wizards and dragons then you better look elsewhere as Hired Sword 2 is drenched in 1980s style crude teenage humour that is sure to have the #MeToo movement in a fit. Political correctness goes all out the window as Hired Sword 2’s narrative is littered with double entendres and sarcasm.

Featuring 20 maps, 36 different types of enemies and randomly generated weapons and armour, Hired Sword 2 sets out to provide an immersive top down RPG experience. This game is all about exploring, looting and fighting and you will be doing a whole lot of this.

The combat system is flexible to use in that you can just button mash your way through most of the time, or alternatively take advantage of some of its advanced features.

When you walk into an enemy creature, you kick off the combat mode screen where you will be given the choice to fight, look at the initiative stats so you can decide whether you actually do want to fight the creature or flee. You can also review the moves available for each combatant and the statistics behind each move.

When you elect to fight, the combat starts by rolling for initiative. If you lose then there is nothing that really happens but if you win then you get to see your opponents next move as indicated by the triangular bracket, allowing you to consider what your most appropriate move will be next.

Once your move is selected, the dice are rolled and compared from highest to lowest with the combatant with the most number of higher dice winning the roll. For every die that beats your enemy, they will lose a life point. Defeat your opponent and you are rewarded with loot and experience.

Inventory management is a time consuming part of the game, it does provide quite a satisfactory feeling of being able to tailor your character’s capabilities to suit your style of play. You can only carry 16 items in your inventory and with the vast amount of looting available you will need to be constantly managing your items to ensure that you are keeping items with the highest capabilities while discarding those with less capability.

While hunting down your mysterious blonde elf, you will be given side quests to complete, many of which involve you trying to impress a startling beauty with the hope of being able to receive a pleasurable reward. While completing these will not always result in the outcome our heroic mercenary was hoping for, the game player will often be rewarded with a revealing graphical picture of a female character in a topless pose.

Hired Sword 2’s game play graphics are rudimentary and get the job done. Mike Richmond’s tunes fit the game theme well and are pleasant to listen to while exploring the vast lands ahead. Despite (or for some because of) the game’s childish narrative, Hired Sword 2 is quite engrossing and fun to play. Yes the Page 3 graphical rewards are from a time of the past but it should not detract from a game that does not take itself to seriously but still is capable of entrapping the player in front of their C64 for hours on end.

Hired Sword 2 will be available from Double Sided Games in both a digital and physical edition.

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