Out Of Exile: Avernum 2 Crystal Souls Out January

Your friendly neighbourhood Spiderweb is at it again. We missed the original announcement of Avernum 2, which is the sequel to the remake of the expanded remake of 1995’s Exile: Escape From the Pit. I played the original back when I was a rebellious young isometric RPG lovin’ teen and John had a jolly good time with the first part of this rebuilt series back in 2012. Plot-wise, we’re in Empire Strikes Back territory:

Now the Empire will have revenge. They have invaded Avernum, taking cave after cave, destroying your people. Your land needs a hero, and it needs it now. If you can’t find a way to stop them, and soon, you are all doomed.

Lawks.

There are some big numbers in the feature list. Numbers like FORTY, which refers to the number of hours of playtime. MORE THAN FORTY in fact, so let’s go with FORTY FOUR. Then there’s SIXTY. Any guesses? It’s not the number of swords, no, it’s the number of “spells and battle disciplines”. There are over ONE HUNDRED towns and dungeons, as well as HUNDREDS of magical artifacts and DOZENS of side quests.

I’ve been a fan of Spiderweb for as long as I’ve been playing the games and even though I’ve lapsed in recent years, I always make a plan to carve out some time for each new release. Forty four hours isn’t an impossible commitment so maybe this will be the one that sucks me back in. It’s due for Mac and Windows in January. It will be available to buy direct from Spiderweb or through Steam.

17 Comments

  1. Haborym says:

    Did they put dual wielding back in? Cause I loved dual wielding.

  2. Kaeoschassis says:

    Crystal Souls was far and away my favourite of the old Spiderweb games, was absolutely hooked on it in my youth. Exile’s worldbuilding was surprisingly solid. Been looking forward to this remake-remake for awhile.

    • thaquoth says:

      This.

      Crystal Souls was fantastic. I actually first played it at an age too young to understand anything that was going on, and then printed out the sprite files (which were just bmps) and made my own games on paper. Good times.

      I thought the new engine went a little too far with streamlining everything, but Escape from the Pit was still great.

    • Nasarius says:

      Exile 2 and 3 are still Jeff’s best games, IMO. Too bad they’re more or less impossible to run on 64-bit Windows. The graphics and writing have improved in later games, but the newer game systems have become less and less interesting with each iteration.

      • Rizlar says:

        Much preferred the old tiles, thought they worked a lot better than the Geneforge style isometric graphics. The things I would do for a playable version of Exile 3! :'(

        • LucidSnake says:

          I hear ya Rizlar. Here’s what I did to have a playable Exile 3: Simply download virtual box (it’s a free virtual machine program) and create a Windows 7 x86 virtual machine. You have to have a copy of the OS though. From there you can download Exile 3 for free from Spiderweb’s website. It works perfectly (although you may have to play around with the sound).

      • Niko says:

        There’s no Wildfire spell in Avernum, right?

    • Haborym says:

      I personally liked Blades of Exile best, but then again, that’s the only one I really played. Did play a bit of Blades of Avernum though. Kinda preferred BoE better though.

  3. Llewyn says:

    Any suggestions on where to start with Spiderweb games? I have a number, mostly from a Humble bundle I think, but have never made time for them. I’m not even sure which ones are old ones, which are new and which are new remakes of old ones.

    Is it better to start with the older ones on the assumption that going back to them later would be unpleasant? Does any one series stand out particularly?

    • thaquoth says:

      The Remakes go like this:

      Exile 1-3 -> Avernum 1-3 -> Avernum: Escape from the Pit / Crystal Souls / Ruined World
      There are also Avernum 4-6, which are follow-ups of the first remake trilogy.

      And then there are other games, like the Geneforge series, Avadon or Nethergate. Geneforge is actually really damn awesome. I still think that they are Spiderweb’s best games, so why not start there? If you’re interested in Avernum, just play the new remakes. 4-6 aren’t that great anyways.

      Avadon takes a more Bioware-y approach, that I personally didn’t really like, but ymmv. Avadon and the Avernum-Remakes are Spiderweb’s currently ongoing series, so those are the newest games.

    • mouton says:

      Geneforge 1. It is old, the resolution and visuals suck but it is a very solid title with unique setting and multiple endings. Still, it is made in a “newer” engine than old Avernums, although not as “new” as current games. Still, it is perfectly playable. Playing on the hardest difficulty is fun! But you can change it later, heh heh

    • B.rake says:

      Bit curious myself, believe I’ve got the same bundle. Played through the opening area of Avadon and bounced right off, due to a few minor interface irritations and being unfamiliar w/ traditional crpg format, though I quite liked the writing. Recently acclimatized to the genre a bit, thinking I’ll revisit Avadon or try other recommendations (Geneforge, it looks like?).

      Even their newest games are relatively arcane, engine/interface-wise, so probably not worth being concerned with bibliographical order, unless allergic to low resolutions.

    • malkav11 says:

      If you want to play more than one (and I would), start with the oldest ones for the reason you mention. There are improvements in interface, gameplay, and graphics (though not huge amounts of the latter) along the way that I think would be frustrating to have and then miss when going back to earlier games in a series. I probably wouldn’t bother with the first three Avernum games, though. If you want their most interesting gameplay incarnation you should play them as the original Exile games, and if you want their most content-robust and modern incarnation you should play the current remakes (III’s will probably be at least another year and more likely two away, but still). It’s unclear as to whether Vogel plans to continue the Avernum remakes all the way through to Avernum VI, but even if he does, the second trilogy’s remakes are likely far enough off that you might as well play them now if you feel like playing them.

      I think the Geneforge series is probably his best so far.

      • green frog says:

        Avernum and Avadon are nice, but Geneforge is definitely my favorite.

        I’m hugely looking forward to the Geneforge remakes, but it appears we have Avernum 2, Avadon 3, and Avernum 3 queued up before he gets around to those. So the wait is going to be quite long.

  4. Pemptus says:

    Avernum 2 (the old one, on the older engine: link to avernum.com) is one of my favorite games, period – better than Avernum 1 in every respect, and much more focused than Avernum 3, which was a bit too large for its own good.

    I wasn’t a fan of Spiderweb’s Escape from the Pit, and this seems like more of the same. The interface got somehow worse, the graphics muddier and less clear, the combat unnecessarily drawn-out, the character progression much less freeform (you pretty much need to follow a specific path or you’re screwed). The virtually unlimited carrying capacity was nice, though.

    If these new remakes also left you wanting, do give the old Avernums (especially 2) a try – they’re tremendous fun once you get used to the controls (protip: movement on the numpad is quite comfy) and find out that lowering the resolution might be necessary in order to see anything on big monitors. They were in a Humble Bundle once, so you might already have them.

  5. Rwlyra says:

    Exile: Crystal Souls was best in the series. Avernum 2 wasn’t as good (worse spells) but still great… but remaking it in crappy Avernum 6 engine is just a bad moneygrab.
    I understand Vogel isn’t swimming in cash but he really could use a new engine (or old one, for that matter).
    Avernum 4-6, Avadon 1-2 and Avernum: Exile 1-2 are all on the same – barely improved – engine and his streamlining ruined my favourite childhood trilogy :(

  6. Continuity says:

    I still think Exlie 3 is one of the best RPGs i’ve played.