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The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 12 - 2020

Turn-based tactics in the world of The Dark Crystal.

 
1982’s The Dark Crystal was a ground breaking movie at the time, and one that was actually quite scary to any younger children that happened to watch it. While the Skeksis from the movie may have scarred many a youngster, the announcement by Netflix of a whole prequel TV series in the making was likely accompanied by squeals of joy. It was certainly not something that I think anyone expected. However, what was even more unexpected was a tie-in video game. Given the recent Stranger Things 3 game from the same developers, BonuxXP, it perhaps shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. However, here it is, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, now available across most platforms, including the Nintendo Switch.

 


 
Fans of the movie or the new, and rather brilliant, TV show will find plenty here to get excited about. The game follows the main story arc of the TV show and as such has plenty for those in the know to enjoy, from playing out battles from the show, to being able to work through battles that were only mentioned. There is also the stellar cast of Gelflings, including some special appearances from characters that only the real fans will know of. Sadly, there are no scenes from the show played out to flesh out the story, and players are instead left to look over comic book style panes to find out what is going on. This is all well and good, but feels like a missed opportunity. The downside to all of this fan service is that those who are new to the setting, those who haven’t watched the movie or new TV show, is that it can be quite difficult to follow what is happening. This is one of those situations where the player will really need to watch the show before embarking on the game to get the most from the experience. As already mentioned, it is rather good.

 
So, the game is based in the land of Thra and players will take control of a couple of Gelfling heroes to begin with, as they build a team to take on the evil Skeksis and restore light to the world. The Gelflings themselves are at a disadvantage to their enemies, being small and weak, and so players will have to use all of their tactical prowess to win through the numerous turn-based battles that they will face.

 
While there may have been a slight giveaway in the title, for those who didn’t realise, Age of Resistance Tactics is a fairly straight up clone of Final Fantasy Tactics and the like, combining the turn-based tactical battles with a healthy dose of RPG systems. While this is no bad thing, especially for fans of Final Fantasy Tactics, veterans of the genre will find very little here to set the game apart from the herd. With that said though, Age of Resistance Tactics neither over complicates things, or poses too much of a challenge, making it perhaps a good place to begin for newcomers to the turn-based tactical RPG.

 


 
The battles that make up the majority of the game are exactly as you would expect, with the player moving their units around a grid-based area and trying to find advantage while attacking the enemy. As previously mentioned, the Gelflings weakness means that players will quickly have to adapt to a more hit and run approach. Variety in these battles comes from some different requirements, such as having to escape the area, or usable scenery features on the battlefield.

 
Also providing variety are the job systems. Each character will have a job, and through that job have access to various abilities, be they nice attacks or healing spells. As the game progresses, more jobs will be unlocked. Add this to the further characters that the player will meet up with and add to their roster for use in battle, and being able to add a second job and more abilities on reaching a certain level, and the result will give the player a huge amount of variety in exactly how they approach battle. With the limitations at the beginning of the game, the gameplay can feel quite limiting, but this will quickly open up and give the player more choice as they progress.

 
Adding further variety is a wide selection of equipment and weapons that the players team can be equipped with. Much of this will have to be purchased using currency found in game, but there are the occasional useful loot drop. Most of the equipment, such as armour or weapons, can only be used by a particular class, but the game does a good job of making this obvious and avoids any frustration.

 
Visually, the game looks quite good. The Map is very cool, and the individual battlefields are nice to look at. The actual characters, the Gelflings and the like, all look perfectly nice, but lack the magical quality of the puppets used in the actual show. There is nothing really to complain about, but there is a slight simplicity to the visuals and presentation. Were it not for the budget price tag for the game, that would be disappointing.

 


 
Movie and TV show tie-in games generally have a bad reputation. The good news is that The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is not a bad game, it is just unremarkable in a fairly packed genre. Fans of the show will find plenty to make them smile with all of the characters and locations, but those who are looking for a unique tactical RPG will be disappointed by the lack of original ideas and the overall simplicity. The Dark Crystal: Age of resistance Tactics is not the game that the show deserves, but it is a solid game nonetheless.

 

 ★★★★★★½☆☆☆ 



 

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