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Ring: The Legend of the Nibelungen

Platform : Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98
5 customer reviews

Price: $25.89 + $3.89 shipping
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Product Description

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Destroyed long ago by an alien species from distant space, what was once home to the human race has been reduced to rubble. It's the 40th century A.D. and you're wandering the ruins of Earth. Play up to four characters in this spectacular 3-D adventure game that will immerse you in an epic conflict based on the heroes and gods of the Nibelungen legend.

Ring is based on Richard Wagner's greatest epic opera, The Ring Cycle. Wagner's opera brings to life philosophical questions like the birth of the cosmos and the complexity of the human soul. Featuring a nonlinear story line, stunning 3-D worlds, and Wagner's mesmerizing soundtrack, your every step in this adventure is fraught with intrigue.

Play characters such as a lone Valkyrie warrior, the Loge (the fire spirit), Siegmund (half man/half wolf), or Alberich (the dwarf tyrant). Employ powers unique to each in preparing the opera for its final performance and the end to tyranny and madness.

Review

Taking the phrase "space opera" a bit too literally, French developer Cryo has created this science-fiction adventure game based on Richard Wagner's The Ring. And while Wagner's opera seems like a questionable premise for a computer game even as it stands, setting it in the "40th century AD" just seems like a mistake. High-concept is one thing; bad concept is another altogether.

Ring: The Legend of the Nibelungen is an adventure game in the Myst tradition, filled with strange locations and environment-based puzzles. The graphics engine is actually quite good and provides the sort of freedom of view that was the Holy Grail about two years ago when games such as this were still commonplace. While you still can only move along predetermined paths, you can look all around at will from each stopping point, with little degradation in graphic quality.

And while this technical accomplishment is notable, it would be more so were the game better looking. The technical quality of Ring's graphics may be great, but the design itself is uninspired despite the influence of French comic book artist Philippe Druillet, whose distinctive work influenced the look of the game. Characters look bizarre but not very interesting - Alberich the dwarf tyrant looks suspiciously like a cyborg version of a Blue Meanie. For the most part, the environments are bland and colorless.

The confusing story, which takes elements from the source material and mixes them with a paper-thin science-fiction premise, doesn't help matters either. For instance, in the first chapter of the game, you must steal gold from the Rhinemaidens in order to forge the titular ring. This pretty much follows Das Rheingold, the first opera of Wagner's cycle. But in order to steal the gold, you must first drive around in a little mine car that uses a monster for an engine, and find some antigravity cells for your boots.

Further, the lackluster puzzles serve only to drive the final nail into the coffin. The puzzles essentially involve hunting around the screen for hotspots then trying every object in your inventory with every object you can interact with. There's very little rhyme or reason to the logic behind the puzzles and, worse, there's little to no information as to what exactly you are supposed to be doing at any moment. This means progressing through the game becomes a process of blindly stumbling upon some successful string of actions. But to make matters even more frustrating, not only can you die in the game whilst blindly stumbling, but you will undoubtedly do so dozens of times without warning. And dying in Ring doesn't even refer to death in the traditional sense: The only evidence that you've made a fatal mistake are eulogies like "To renounce love, you must have a love to renounce. You have failed." Heavy stuff indeed, but perhaps a bit too severe a punishment for trying to open a door.

Of course, the one great part of Ring is the soundtrack. Performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the sound quality is good and makes playing the game more bearable. Unfortunately, its presence is sporadic, but welcome nonetheless when it does come in to underscore some moment in the game.

There are many problems with Ring, but the greatest one is that it is so utterly uninviting. A cold world filled with uninteresting, incoherent characters, bad voice acting, puzzles involving little or no logic, and an almost absolute lack of direction all add up to create a world that is unpleasant for all but its musical accompaniment. --Ron Dulin
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review


Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • ASIN: B00002S62A
  • Item model number: 378217
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 10, 2002
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,104 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By rw9 on April 22, 2000
PROS: 1. The opening to Ring doesn't really feel like a game or an opera. It feels more like an MTV video, except that the graphics are so provokingly beautiful. At one point, you come out of your dream vision and realize that you need to use an inventory item, and you awaken with a start. Of course the item that works is a far cry from what you would expect. Then off you roar into your Tolkienesque medieval-fantasy-dreamscape again.
2. In general the dialog in Ring is very well written, with a feel for poetry and metaphor (and the delivery by the actors) that seems more Shakespearean than operatic. Charlotte Rampling, who voices the role of the Earth-Mother Erda, has the loveliest speaking voice I have ever heard.
3. During the game, you get to play as four different mythological beings: Alberich, Loge, Siegmund and Brunnhilde. Alberich looks like the mating of a troll and a stalagmite, and ad-libs a great scat version of the Valkyrie theme. Loge, an Egyptian fire spirit, adds new meaning to the words "slippery" and "ruthless." Siegmund, the Terminator with a red ponytail, has a hopeless, fatal passion for his twin sister. And Brunnhilde, the true heroine of Ring, is garbed like an Amazon warrior with feathers and face paint. She is the only one in this fascinating crew to have even an ounce of moral sense. Experiencing the story through these various characters is a lot of fun and gives you access to mythical worlds using some of the most colorful, imaginative graphics I have seen. (Play the characters in the order I've mentioned if you want the story to make sense).
CONS: 1.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C Jones on July 16, 2000
Graphics are wonderful! The storyline is intriguing and the music enhances the scenes. The puzzles/tasks were mostly logical. I was unable to complete the game when I reached the "timed" puzzle. I did not have enough time to complete. I realize that I could have started over and probably done better, but I didn't love the game enough to do it. I prefer games with some lightness in them--this one was so emotionally dark! I will probably try again on a cold rainy day when I have nothing better to do.
I would recommend this game to dedicated, persistent gamers looking for something "different".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rw9 on March 31, 2000
Pros:
1. The opening to Ring doesn't really feel like a game or an opera. It feels more like an MTV video, except that the graphics are so provokingly beautiful. At one point, you come out of your dream vision and realize that you need to use an inventory item, and you awaken with a start. Of course the item that works is a far cry from what you would expect. Then off you roar into your Tolkienesque medieval-fantasy-dreamscape again.
2. In general the dialog in Ring is very well written, with a feel for poetry and metaphor (and the delivery by the actors) that seems more Shakespearean than operatic. Charlotte Rampling, who voices the role of the Earth-Mother Erda, has the loveliest speaking voice I have ever heard.
3. During the game, you get to play as four different mythological beings: Alberich, Loge, Siegmund and Brunnhilde. Alberich looks like the mating of a troll and a stalagmite, and ad-libs a great scat version of the Valkyrie theme. Loge, an Egyptian fire spirit, adds new meaning to the words "slippery" and "ruthless." Siegmund, the Terminator with a red ponytail, has a hopeless, fatal passion for his twin sister. And Brunnhilde, the true heroine of Ring, is garbed like an Amazon warrior with feathers and face paint. She is the only one in this fascinating crew to have even an ounce of moral sense. Experiencing the story through these various characters is a lot of fun and gives you access to mythical worlds using some of the most colorful, imaginative graphics I have seen. (Play the characters in the order I've mentioned if you want the story to make sense.)
Cons:
1. Ring has one difficult sound puzzle in which you have to play back a melody piece by piece.
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By Blondie on March 25, 2008
This was good. Not what I was expecting, but good. The best way to describe it is futuristic/religious. The game is non-linear. You choose the sequence of worlds you complete.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "savarak" on February 18, 2000
The graphics were sub-standard, the movement is linear. It's "360" degree movement is basically being able to turn your head around a pinpoint spot, which has really no use. As a teen, the opera music, albiet harmonic, was tediously repetitive and overall unappealing. I did not read the Ring novel, and have absolutly NO clue as exactly what is going on. The mouse control feels slow and unresponsive, especially for a PII 400 w/128 meg ram system. The feeling you get when playing this game feels more like being stuck in a box with the bland environment and non-logical puzzles and terrible voice acting. I gave this a 2 because the installation and UNINSTALLATION were flawless. Pity I bought this game from CompUSA on a whim. I'll just consider this a bad investment. Don't make the same mistake and avoid this game.
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