So here is my review
Time played: Approximately 25 hours
Gameworld & Story
During the game it is only when you meet very special NPC:s that the story unfolds further. There are very few books, items or parchments that tells you anything above what you already know. The unique thing of the story and the gameplay is that other NPC parties actually could find the map pieces you need before you get there. I have to give some credits for this dynamic gameplay feature. But that increases the frustration of hunting down those NPC parties when you´ve already cleared out a dungeon or castle and find yourself being too late in the end.
It is very seldom you find good items in the game but when you do it is the more fun.
NPC & Interactions
As is typical of games from this period, only major NPC:s have something to say. You are allowed to speak with them through an interpreter which is very limited. It means you have to type keywords to get something out of the NPCs. I´ve read somewhere that the interpreter in Ultima 3 is even better than in this game.
While meeting NPC:s you could sometimes trade with them. That is a nice feature since the shops available in the beginning are very few. You might also bribe or threaten the NPC:s but I have never used those options. The major NPC:s are wandering around the map and it is by pure chance you stumble into them.
There are a few places in the game in which you are put into situstions where you have to decide what to do like pulling a lever or using an item or whatever. It is very seldom but they do exist.
Wizardry VII handles NPC:s at medium or possible above for what was common in this type of game in 1992-1993.
Monsters & Tactics
The maps in the game are all irregular. They are of no fixed sizes like 16x16 or 32x32. This makes them more varied but much harder to map. The automap (supplied with the Journal Kit) is very bad. When you look at it you cannot scroll it to see parts of the map that don´t fit the window. That is a major drawback. I can live with the fact that I can´t make annotations though.
The overland map is huge with no loading parts. It just stretches hundreds of hundreds of squares in every direction. You could at least follow a paved road that leads to major locations on the map but other than that you either have to map out everything yourself or rely on your luck with the automap.
Dungeons and other places are quite well mapped out and there seems to be some logic to the design of maps.
Later on you will be able to - at any time- switch profession as long as your current character reach the required prerequisities for that profession. What happens then is that your characters attributes are reset to the base requirement of that class but you will have all your skills to use from your former class and will rise quickly from level 1 and upwards. One should note though that you cannot use higher lever spells from a former class in a new class unless you reach high levels again.
In any event,, character generation and variety is one of the strongest parts of this game.
Graphics, Sound & Interface
To use the auto-map requires several unneccessary clicks. The combat interface works ok though, but when finding items you can only take one item at a time and for every item you have to select which character to receive it. You cannot leave the items behind easily either without first selecting each item and click on the leave button.
So then we are down to the most important aspect, the gameplay. It started out well, as most games do in the beginning. Everything was new and my group levelled up quickly. I´ve said it before. Wizardry VII is a game that requires a lot of time and dedication. You cannot rely on the automap so you have to map out parts of the game yourself. If you have the patience and time for that the game will be rewarding but in my opinion it might be a little too big and long without much variation between places.
If you can spare the time needed this is a solid game but not if you are a casual gamer who wan´t something to play for a few weeks.
Total rating: 26.5