Unto the Breach...
For those of you unfamiliar with the Wizardry series, there really isn't all that much to familiarize yourself with. While there is a sufficient amount of back-story, it is in no way like the tomes available on the D&D universes in which knowing what happened in the Time of Troubles is all-important to figure out what to do with the Triple Headed Staff of Bhaal. Wizardry is designed as a simple game of following the rules, building your character, fighting the HORDES of infinitely spawned monsters, and exploring the landscape. There is relatively little story, beyond the small amount of story that drives your quest.
Overall, most of what Wizardry is is fighting. Monsters are constantly re-spawned in various areas, allowing you to continually fight monsters to level-up. As you level up, you are given a chance to boost some of the many skills available to your character class, and add spells appropriate for your level according to your character class. It usually takes a few levels before much difference can be seen in the abilities of your characters.
In addition to the tremendous amount of monster encounters, there is also another aspect of Wizardry 8 that makes it unlike nearly every other RPG out there. Beyond the quest for items, wealth, and success, there is also the Myst-factor of the game. Throughout most key areas of the game, there are puzzles, item puzzles, and environments which force you to play with the objects you are surrounded by, or to attempt to find a way around an obvious obstacle which blocks your path. This is perhaps Wizardry's strongest point. It's a bit of Zork and Myst placed into the middle of a hack&slash RPG.
One other intersting thing worth mentioning is the fact that despite the general preconception of the genre, Wizardry 8 is set in a somewhat unique atmosphere. While you have your classinc RPG environments such as magical castles, and mines and the like, there is also a technological faction to the game including starships, space-ports, and holograms. It makes for a very interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy.
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