Other simple game elements are either underdeveloped or poorly explained. In a system more common in persistent-world online RPGs, you either need to retrieve your corpse after you die or pay the insurance vendor to get your stuff back. Sometimes when you respawn, you appear in front of the insurance guy and the dialogue for retrieving your things begins automatically. Other times, you need to go searching for one, even going so far as to travel to distant towns if you can't locate one near the respawn point. Like other similar games, Silverfall lets you recruit various NPC companions to join you on your journey. However, the game never explains what to do if one of them dies, so at first you'll zone from one area to the next to find that your henchman's erect but lifeless body accompanies you. Eventually you can put points into resurrection skills, or use the world map to automatically travel to a main city, which will cause your companion to respawn. But since the game never clues you in on this mechanic, as well as several others, you just have to figure it out on your own.
Even more issues get in the way. Sometimes, the pathfinding is terrific, so if you aren't sure how to get to a certain visible spot, you can click there and your character will take the most efficient path. Other times, it's ridiculously out of kilter, since your companions will stand right in your way and never move, potentially keeping you from reaching a quest location and forcing a reload. And lest you think you can at least reload a saved game, think again. You can save your character's level and quest status at any time, but you can't actually save your game in progress. It's a big pain, because some of the dungeon areas are enormous, so you're forced to either finish the quest or do it all over again later.
Look, a mechanical dragon! We'll love him and pet him and squeeze him and call him George.
There's a sizable multiplayer component to Silverfall in addition to the 25-hour campaign. You can join friends in a cooperative campaign or in a free mode that keeps the side quests and lets you whop up on other players. Don't expect Silverfall to replace Diablo 2 or Neverwinter Nights in this regard, however, since online sessions are incredibly laggy. You can take your offline character into an online game, but the options for doing so are limited. Once you use the character online, it's limited to that online session, even though the character is not stored on the host PC. If you get into a lag-free game and don't mind the strange limitations on using characters, Silverfall is fun to play with others. But like the single-player game, basic design flaws hamper the experience.
It's got numerous issues, but Silverfall is still some fun for fans of the Diablo formula looking for something a little different. It's too bad that all the design wrinkles weren't ironed out prior to release, because the game had a lot of promise, and the great character models and the broad skill trees are almost worth the price of admission.