Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fallout 4 and the Richochet to Thea: The Awakening

I was hoping to have Fallout 4 impressions by now. I started playing the game on launch day last week.

I haven't played it much, though. Instead, I bounced off it like a brick wall.

I'm not sure why. Maybe reading about how much combat is needed leaves me cold, because I was hoping that ammunition would be more precious after the apocalypse. It also might be the interface, which seems to be a bit of a mess. More likely, the play mechanics work against me, because I feel like I need to compulsively collect every piece of scrap I see.

Instead of moving the plot forward, I've become the world's biggest junk collector.

Increasingly in games of this sort, I want to role-play with some degree of seriousness. I want to be able to be a distinct character. But I can't seem to be the character I want this time.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, really. The mod scene for Fallout 4 will be active for years, and within six months, most of the annoyances will be patched or modded. So I have time.

Even better, bouncing off Fallout 4 led me to another game which has been strangely intriguing.

The game is called Thea: The Awakening.

It's an odd duck, certainly.

It's turn-based, and in some ways, it's a bog-standard game--gather resources, craft and build things, etc.

That's not why I'm playing it, though.

The oddities are what's interesting.

The game is based on Slavic folklore. Your population is very low, so individual characters are very important. There are events in the game that remind me of a less sophisticated version of King of Dragon Pass. The combat is card-based, and even better, it's not always weapon-based (there are social encounters as well, along with a few others).

Here's the game blurb from the Steam page:
Thea: The Awakening is a turned-based strategic survival game inspired by the Slavic mythology and set in a procedural dark fantasy world infused with non-linear story and unique combat system.

I find it all extremely compelling, and very, very enjoyable to play.

The game is in Early Access right now, but they're testing advanced release candidates, so it's very close to release status. Even now, it's more polished than quite a few released games I've played in the last year.

I've played for 5+ hours, and that number is going to rise as soon as I publish this post.

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