Zoria: Age of Shattering - Preview @ RPS
Rock Paper Shotgun checked out Zoria: Age of Shattering:
With 50 playable heroes, indie RPG Zoria: Age Of Shattering wants to "marry XCOM to Baldur's Gate"
Tiny Trinket Games tell us why they're trading deeper characters for more involving exploration
The success of Baldur's Gate 3 is a double-edged sword for other CRPGs launching in its wake. On the one hand, there's arguably a hungry new audience for such games; on the other, you're going up against one of the best RPGs ever made. Expectations are high, but Tiny Trinket Games' co-founder Stefan Nitescu remains unfazed as his three-strong team prepare to release Zoria: Age Of Shattering on March 7th. Zoria is carving an altogether different path through the RPG landscape, fusing isometric exploration with XCOM-like combat and 50 playable characters who are more like unit classes than personalities. The latter is a decision that comes with its own "repercussions", says Nitescu, but he's confident that it will help Zoria stand apart, with character abilities being unusually central to exploration.
"This 'exploration + characters' structure is how you marry XCOM to Baldur's Gate," he tells me. "You have the base, you have a lot of characters, but you don't go on those tiny missions. You have the system and you apply it to a world." The game treats your RPG party more like a squad of XCOM soldiers than a web of conflicting personalities, but party member abilities aren't just about combat - they all have their own tools for unlocking parts of Zoria's map to let you explore it further. It's an intriguing proposition, and an ambitious goal for a studio of just three people.
This class-based exploration immediately makes itself apparent as I play through the Steam Next Fest demo. As I lead my own custom-made wizard into battle to defend our home's keep from invasion, I get the choice to pick a battle cleric or a lancer to come with me. Each are equally capable in battle, I'm told, but since it's the battle cleric (who's also my commanding officer) posing the question in the first place, I go with her mostly out of politeness. It was a good choice, not least because she's able to heal as well as dole out damage, but later on in the demo I come across a large wall of debris that can only be cleared by the superior strength of a lancer.
Information aboutZoria: Age of Shattering
Release: In development