This is one of my favorite games. I discovered it by accident about 8 years ago, when i was browsing through my friend's brother's game collection. I must say the game changed my view on modern games.
Evil Islands is a russian RPG that published by Nival Interactive in 2001. While I had found the game in 2001, I played and finished the game throughtly in 2008.
EI uses a 3d engine, which tormented my Geforce 2 machine in 2001. Pretty demanding and goodlooking game for its time. And, with the settings can be maxed with my modern rig, EI still provides lots of beautiful landscapes and such. All the forest, swamp, snow locations are beautifully crafted.
There is a clear distinction between quest areas, and combat areas. You can talk with people, receive new quests, arrange your inventory, and equip new gears only on quest areas. You begin the game as a man who can’t remember about its past. Aldo, story seems a little bit cliche, there are some twists and turns in it. But, dialogs and story are mediocre. Not bad, but don’t expect too much. In combat areas you can explore and fight as the name suggests. You can’t browse through your inventory, change armor, distribute your stats in combat areas, but you can change your weapons at least. It can sounds like an awkward system, but believe me system works like a charm.
Evil Islands uses a tactical combat system similar to Baldur’s Gate. We can pause the game, give commands then unpause, etc. This system was implemented nicely with a few innovations such as stealth system. Stealth, unlike other games, very important in EI. With appropriate skill, and a bit of luck you can creep behind an enemy unnoticed and stabbed him. Successful backstabing means multiple damage. A good blow to the head can even kill an enemy with one strike. Another nice addition is you can determine which limb you strike. Striking to the arms makes enemy’s arms slow and unable to strike, while legs makes them unable to run, and as i mentioned before head means critical hits. These rules also is applied to your characters too. So, wearing a helmet is a must. You can also increase the speed of the game, that can be very useful since sometimes there’re too much combat.
Experience and skill system is cruel. With each skill you choose, the exp points to advance at this skill and others increases. So you must choose wisely between using a sword or an axe. EI is a very difficult game. At normal difficulty this game is way too difficult from most other game’s very difficult setting. And, this is the best part for me.
For only 10 dolar you can buy this little gem from Ebay. So give them it try.