Drakan: The Ancients' Gates PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Jan 28, 2002

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. If you like a good story, mixed in with breathtaking visuals, magnificent audio, and extraordinary game play you’d be a fool to miss out on this sleeper hit of the year.
  2. The finest 3D medieval action-adventure game to grace any console. [Feb 2002, p.48]
  3. A rich, polished game from a developer obviously intent on improving the credibility of its franchise with a focus on solid gameplay, and not just pushing the same tired character into different locations year after year. Right Lara?
  4. While it won’t hold up to the likes of Zelda, it provides an entertaining romp while the game lasts. Air combat is a blast to get involved in, and the humongous worlds are amazing to fly through.
  5. Drakan had me rejoicing when acquiring a new longbow or a bitchin' set of chainmail armor. [Feb 2002, p.80]
  6. A fantastic game to gaze at, with wonderfully detailed graphics, enormous environments, above average lighting effects, and smooth looking characters.
  7. It was the sound that really sets Drakan: The Ancients Gates apart from other action/adventures.
  8. Continues in the tradition of it's origins; providing a quick to get into and unique game with plenty of monster slaying, an ultra-cool heroine, a feisty but noble dragon, open character development, and plenty of foot and aerial combat to indulge in.
  9. The attention to detail, the story, the action, the graphics—everything about the game is solid and well thought out. Anyone who likes fantasy adventure games is likely to be happy with their purchase.
  10. It is extremely long and will have you up for a lot of long nights, trying to get to that next phase of the game...about 25 to 30 hours.
  11. 84
    A refreshing 30-hour interactive fantasy novel that, thankfully, offers much more than just virtual cleavage.
  12. Wonderful and genuinely absorbing.
  13. The game is beautiful. Textures all look good and the game uses the right color and landscaping to make it feel perfect.
  14. For every flaw Drakan delivers an equal and opposite measure of magnificence.
  15. 81
    It's far more addictive that I expected. I spent several nights in a row playing until 2 in the morning, unable to just simply stop, without settling just one more quest.
  16. The dialogue is intelligent, the side quests actually help thicken up the feel of a fantasy world, and the graphics and sound have a subtle way of reeling you in without knowing.
  17. The controls are solid and versatile, and the whole experience seems appropriately majestic. [Feb 2002, p.106]
  18. Delivers an exceptional experience...The graphics are top-notch, the controls are easy to manipulate, and the combat is quick and intense on both foot and dragon back.
  19. Drakan tries - and sometimes succeeds - in being better than average, but it eventually gets Drakan'd right back to a formulaic adventure game.
  20. 78
    It's not incredibly original, either, with a big debt to Diablo-style gameplay, for instance. Then again, it has some great things that the Diablo games don't, like huge 3D environments and a fire-breathing dragon you can ride.
  21. Even though it has its share of drawbacks (enemy AI weaknesses, occasional pop-up, and a lackluster ending), its positive aspects (variety of gameplay, numerous side quests, and nice graphics) outweigh the negatives.
  22. A good game peppered with numerous little annoying bits. Still, the item acquisition, terrific fighting and solid graphics offer good adventure fun, and you could do a lot worse.
  23. The original PC version's RPG trappings have been watered down, effectively diminishing strategy and story-telling in favor of lengthy fetch quests and mucho butt-kicking action.
  24. 70
    It all works pretty well, but there are a few hitches here and there that prevent it from being truly great.
  25. Its lack of any really well-designed puzzles makes playing the game a bit more repetitive [than "Soul Reaver 2"] and too combat-based. [Feb 2002, p.42]
  26. I found the character design and model of the lead character to be severly clichéd and the least interesting in the game.
  27. 60
    You could easily spend 40 hours or more if you wanted to explore every inch of the levels and do all the secondary quests in the game...a solid, if not spectacular, gaming experience.
  28. 60
    While Drakan II handles the tomb-raiding controls better than "Tomb Raider," what you’ll find in the game’s horrendously monotonous dungeons rivals watching paint dry in terms of excitement.
  29. Little more than an average action-adventure title, with nothing to differentiate itself from the throngs of similar titles in the PlayStation 2 library.
  30. 35% of it is quite good. It’s just that other 65% that is disappointingly lackluster. The moments where you’re soaring through the countryside burninating trolls and stuff are great but the bland dungeons are far too prevalent.
  31. Suffers from a steep difficulty curve. Blame it on the excessive enemy quotient, the steep cost of healing, and the unwieldy inventory control. [Feb 2002, p.148]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. AmandaA.
    May 27, 2006
    This is the best game I've ever played. It's really fun and always leaves you wanting more. It's so fun and exciting. I love This is the best game I've ever played. It's really fun and always leaves you wanting more. It's so fun and exciting. I love all of the weapons, side quests, characters, fighting, and vast world. Full Review »
  2. J.T.
    Mar 5, 2002
    The best game to hit the PS2 so far!!! And Rynn blows Lara Croft out of the water!!!
  3. Aug 12, 2015
    The game that made me love RPG and fantasy games. Charming game with lots of surprises. Decent story.
    Still my favourite Playstation game. A
    The game that made me love RPG and fantasy games. Charming game with lots of surprises. Decent story.
    Still my favourite Playstation game. A shame it was not released for PC.
    Full Review »