Completed the second quest for the fighter's guild. It's not an amazing game by any means, but I think it is also a bit underrated. If you go in thinking it will be an epic RPG comparable to other SSI games, you'd be disappointed... but as a collection of arcade minigames with a quest structure, it can be a lot of fun in small doses.
I actually did have this game back in the day on my Commodore 64 and remember having a fun time with the various minigames. Some of them hold up pretty well imo, especially the lockpicking minigame which is really very clever... Bethesda should have just stolen this system for their games! The arena combat is actually a lot better than it seems at first, as you can listen to gossip in taverns to learn hints about each fighter, but you can also just master combat through practice as each fighter has animation "tells" to indicate when and from which direction it will attack.
The thieving minigame, sadly, is the least fun but the most common. You explore a large random building looking for chests on a time limit. After a certain period of time guards start to chase you down, and then a short while after the exit is revealed. This means you have to search the entire building again to find the exit! It really leaves no room for strategy or anything, it's completely random. It would have been better if the exit was always revealed but inaccessible until the guards appear; that way, you could decide to first search for the exit (with less time to spend on treasure hunting).
I finally cleared Mission 4, which is where I have always stopped playing during previous attempts. Like a LOT of missions in this game, it's very mazey with large portions of the level looking mostly the same and no real "flow" to the level design imo. I understand that the levels were designed to be more "realistic" than something in Doom, but I think the game suffers sometimes for doing this, and Mission 4 is definitely one of those times. Having said that, I was able to get through it pretty quickly while only getting lost at the very end 🤣.
Although I'm not a huge fan of some of the level design in this game, everything else is fantastic. The cleaner textures give it a sharper look than Doom, while the the audio is simply amazing—between the excellent sound effects and the fantastic dynamic soundtrack (Sound Canvas), you feel like you are in a movie. I also love how it controls. It controls slightly more grounded/realistically than Doom and all the guns feel just right.