Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD


“Who is Joe Dever?” I asked myself when I first started playing this game. Well, as it turns out he’s a famous fantasy author of the Lone Wolf series, which s a series of gamebooks that have been sold all over the world. This game is set between books four and five of the fantasy series though you won’t need to worry about being lost in the plot, as the game does a good job of getting you up to speed right from the get-go

You play as the titular character Lone Wolf, the last of the Kai Lords who protected the Kingdom of Sommerland. Three years prior to the events of the game, your fellow Kai Lords were wiped out by the Dark Lords of Helgedad. Luckily, you were able to retrieve the Sommerswerd, the Kai’s ultimate weapon, and slew the Darklord leader Zagarna who was responsible for your comrades demise. It is now your duty to travel throughout the kingdom and take down any of the other Dark Lords who may be laying waste to other parts of the land.


The combat does a good job at keeping you on your toes.

The game starts you off in Rockstarn, a mining village that has fallen prey Darklord’s minions, the Giaks. From there you must save any survivors you come across and take down those who are responsible for the village’s destruction. While I will say that this isn’t the most original story out there, I will say that the writing in this game is compelling enough to where I was engaged throughout the entire tale. However, nearly the entire story is told in text in a book, so if you don’t enjoy doing a lot of reading in games, you probably won’t care for this title.


The game’s mechanics follow the general formula most actual gamebooks do: you choose your stats, what abilities you possess, and shape Lone Wolf’s character and actions through a series of decisions you make throughout the game. They vary from using your Kai powers, using brute force, using your dexterity, and so on. You’ll be using your skills to tackle various obstacles, initiate battle encounters, and opening locks, just to name a few. Keep in mind that the choices you make do affect the narrative and can also have dire consequences. In one instance I even died, so it’s pretty safe to say that there are some choices better than others.

One thing I really like about the gamebook style’s choice interface is the fact that it adds a lot of replayability. It’s interesting to see how the story plays out differently when you make different choices, so you’ll probably be inclined to play through the 20-hour campaign at least one more time to see how things play out differently.

While you’ll be spending a great amount of time on in the book interface, where you make your narrative choices among other things, you’ll also be in combat, which plays out in real time. You can select a number of actions including a physical attack, your magic (or kai as it’s called) powers, projectile weapons, or your Sommerswerd to take out your enemies. You perform these actions by pressing and holding a button and using the control stick to select what move you want to perform. In most moves you perform, you’ll need to perform a QTE to successfully perform your attack/action. Failing to do so will lessen the effectiveness or make it fail completely. This mechanic does a good job of keeping you on your toes and keeping the scenarios interesting, though I will admit some people will not be so crazy about all the QTEs.


Look at that artwork.

Now before I go onto some of the issues I have with this game, I want to add one other thing I particularly loved about this game were the illustrations in the book. They’re downright gorgeous. They’re very detailed and there were times where I stared at them for a few minutes just to appreciate them. It’s a shame that the graphics during the combat scenarios don’t look as good, but I’m willing to give the game a pass on that.

Now to talk about the aforementioned issues I have with this game. While there’s nothing game-breaking here, there are a series of small issues that brings it down a couple of notches. For one thing, the user interface isn’t always well suited for the PS4 controller. I found that selecting certain icons on the menu to be difficult due to the placement. Navigating through the selection icon with a mouse would be more suitable, as you could just slide the pointer over to the icon you want to select with relative ease.

Secondly, there’s an issue with the difficulty curve. About 50% through the game, there’s a huge difficulty spike in the combat, I died numerous times during several encounters, it’s frustrating to say the least, especially when most of the encounters are much easier later on in the game.

My final issue was with the backtracking in this game. There were a few times where I had to travel back to a merchant in order to repair my weapons and buy more healing potions. However, each time I had to go through numerous random encounters just to get back to them, and it was immensely frustrating. I’m fine with a few random encounters here and there, but this was ridiculous.

Despite some of my issues with the game (especially with the steep difficulty curve and random encounters), Lone Wolf overall does what it sets out to do pretty well. It’s a fun game, with an engaging story, an interesting combat system, a good amount of replayability, and I think if you’re a fan of the RPG genre you’ll enjoy it, so long as you’re willing to put up with all the text it presents you with and the other small issues there may be. Now go out to there, fellow Kai Lord, and protect your Kingdom from the evil Darklords that conspire to destroy your land’s people and prosperity!