After a successful crowdfunding campaign and an early access phase that was very well received by the public, version 1.0 of Solasta: Crown of the Magister has finally been released to announce to the world how much the small French team of Tactical Adventures loves tabletop roles. Play games with all your heart. Wizard of the Coast has given the studio a license to use the D&D 5.1 SRD rules and it has to be said that this is used excellently here.
A personal creation that makes you want to
You don’t have to spend a lot of time in Solasta: Crown of the Magister to understand that we are dealing with D&D enthusiasts who have tried to respectfully implement anything that is more academic the rules of the license on Coast. Once you create a character, you will no doubt be surprised by the amount of parameters that can be assigned to each of the 5 races and 6 classes included in the game.. Most of the attributes are configurable and as a first indication of your love of dice you can assign skill points to your characters’ traits in the traditional way or you can just roll the dice and distribute their result on each branch. When we applaud the excellent work of the user interface, designed to be as clear as it is accessible, the novice who is a little scared of this barrage of options can choose 4 pre-defined characters to ensure a balanced experience. In fact, the nature of the game makes it entirely possible to “miss” your party and be forced to restart a game in order to have a more efficient and complementary squad and certain skills required to cast certain spells can no longer be learned beyond the character creation screen. If you want to put a fun group together, Solasta gives you the freedom anyway and the character customization will be as rich as if you were creating your avatar in a D&D game on the table.
Once in the game, the desire for accessibility is still there. The first few hours of Solasta are a kind of very progressive tutorial that reveals mechanics with enough space to give the player time to experience them and thus digest them. While it’s not the least airtight game in the world, if you’ve got an appetite for the old-fashioned role-playing game, know that you’ve already visited Baldur’s Gate and others., you should find your mark easily in Solasta, which largely relies on its turn-based combat rather than its narrative, which is arguably one of the least successful spots in the game.
A boring scenario
Indeed, in addition to the fairly agreed script that puts you in command of a group of 4 mercenaries investigating the return of particularly warlike lizardmen, Solasta overall puts you on rails that will be difficult to leave. The personality traits of each character, which can also be configured, can only be felt in the course of a dialogue, apart from a few options, which can be solved by rolling the dice. but overall we will not remember Solasta for its narrative, ramifications, and sense of incarnation. Obviously, the inevitable comparison to a particular Baldur’s Gate III performed on the Larian Studio grounds is going to hurt Tactical Adventures’ game. It should be remembered, however, that the budgets of the two games are radically different and we believe that despite this, a lot of effort has been put into bringing the universe of Solasta to life. So we could protest against a rather dubious Chara design, a lot of animation errors in the dialogue sequences or an overall realization that might have been too ambitious for the dimensions of the studio, which might have preferred text dialogues to concretize its sound. History, but Solasta does it pretty well, enough to keep us interested in the future of our heroes. Also note that some dungeons have a “puzzle” orientation which makes the moments of floating between battles very enjoyable., some levels are very intelligent and use the mobility of your characters wisely.
Pure DND fights
The largest part of Solasta will therefore, as you can imagine, consist of turn-based battles that are governed by a large number of rules that are not necessarily that complicated for the layman to process. Large spells, powerful but only usable between “long breaks”, smaller spells that can be used at will, retreat, escape, or even preparation for an attack of opportunity are all elements to consider when determining your tactics during the course will often put you in a situation of numerical inferiority. The various options that are available to you require a solid knowledge of your squad and also a good amount of anticipation to reserve certain spells at the most favorable moment, especially since you can only cast them when you have one hand free. It will therefore be necessary to juggle between different sets of equipment, instant spells or the use of previously collected ingredients and verticality in order to emerge victorious from a fight. Also on this last point, Solasta has received top honors as the development teams made almost every clash very vertical.
Fight against goblins
On the other hand, the camera does not always offer the ideal positioning and its recoil is not always enough to capture scenes with very extensive combat on the ground, so all confrontations require constant adjustment of the angle of view, often obscured by height elements that do not disappear if they even obstruct your field of vision . Finally, and this is the nature of the game that can procrastinate, one has to accept that the dice roll affects absolutely all aspects of the game: concentration throw, saving throw, strength, etc. will be the only masters. on board and you have to put up with misfires at times, even if nothing appears on the screen, to prevent a spell from reaching its destination.
In terms of difficulty, the game doesn’t always offer a balanced experience and certain peaks that contrast with the relative ease of fighting once your party has reached a certain level of skill or equipment.. However, and this is rare, Solasta offers a particularly high degree of customization of the rules of the game. Value of initiative roll from opponents, allies, bonuses, penalties, certain requirements to regain spells and life … almost everything in the game can be configured to give you an à la carte experience, more difficult if you are a veteran, more revealing if you are a beginner. Nothing, however, that inventory management can do a bit of a chore, despite an interface that does everything it can to be as sober as possible but not enough to pout your pleasure, Solasta is a very good game that tactical RPG enthusiasts will find will inspire.
- Tactical and deep battles
- A very well used verticality
- Very complete character creation
- Cool dungeon puzzles
- Sometimes really pretty
- A la carte difficulty settings
- Chara dubious design
- Scenario without glare
- Quite a lot of animation errors
- Tedious inventory management
- Camera not always very practical
With his conscientious respect for the rules of D&D, his apparent love of tabletop RPG, his very complete character creation arc, and combat that is as tactical as it is entertaining, Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a very ambitious game developed by a team … with modest dimensions. And if that modesty can be felt in the lackluster chara design, linear storyline, or a not always impeccable implementation, then this is absolutely not the case with the fights, vertical, deep, and dense, which make up the bulk of Solasta, which offers a top notch tactic RPG experience that can inspire fans of the genre and why not invite laypeople to try out what should keep them busy for a good thirty hours.
June 06, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
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