You rush from inside a house to find your village on fire. All houses engulfed by flames, with no sign of a living soul… except by one: a man in dark armor. The one responsible for it. A knight from the king’s army, maybe? Who he is and what his reasons are don’t really matter. You pick a sword laying on the ground and engage him in combat. Like by a miracle, you manage to defeat him just to find the bodies of your beloved ones right behind him. And by their side, a white elk, watching your actions. The only survivor of this onslaught. You befriend with him and, in time, embark on a journey seeking revenge against the ones responsible for this relentless attack. And my friends, this is just the beginning of Decay of Logos, the new game from the Portuguese studio Amplify Creations!
In this action-adventure RPG with Souls elements that has been gently nicknamed by ‘Zelda-like’, you will venture through this semi-open world with many unique locations while searching for the truth behind the attack against her home. So, let’s not waste more time and follow or duo in this quest full of magic and fantasy… After checking our review.
- Breath of… the Souls? One game Decay of Logos is being compared to is From Software’s Souls-series. Amplify Creations took inspiration from these classics, that’s true, and this strange couple gave birth to an amazing pup. You can find similarities from Dark Souls in some of its core gameplay mechanics like the combat and the bonfires (including your enemies respawning as you use them). Some may think this ‘taking inspiration’ thing is a bad element for this game. So, for those, I suggest you stop playing every FPS that came after Wolfenstein 3D. The inspiration here was used to create something big and deep enough not to be simply compared to these other titles. They created with it something very unique that every player should try.
- Visuals: The ‘Zelda-like’ nickname comes from the visuals of the game, visuals that resemble Link’s last adventure in Breath of the Wild. But don’t take it for a soulless copy: Decay of Logos was clearly built with much love and content for you to explore: the colorful environments, beautiful ambiances and very good animations, together, make a visually astonishing world waiting to be explored.
- Sound: Let me do a quick explanation here: Instead of using beautiful music throughout your adventure, Amplify Creations focused on the immersion and experience instead of the music. And they delivered a truly amazing atmosphere with incredible sound effects. An example for you to understand how amazing it is: you can hear the potion bottles in your belt touching each other (cling!). All this love and attention in little details is also complemented by a terrific voice acting for NPCs! And although not always present in the game, when you can hear it, the music in Decay of Logos is truly noteworthy!
- Not an easy (and clear) walk: It took me some time to truly understand my quest in this game (I also had to pay a visit to the developer’s site to know more about it). Like a true Souls-game, you shouldn’t expect much help (or any help at all – except the information from some runes at the beginning of the game), because this isn’t a game that will take you by the hand. Here you must explore, you must survive and you must thrive on your own. You will die. A lot! And you will need to master the combat to have a minimal chance of surviving out there. But this is part of the fun because you will relish each one of your victories: I still can feel the taste of success after beating the first giant at the beginning of the game with nothing more than a bamboo-stick. This is a feeling every Dark Soul’s fan knows and I grantee you will find plenty of it in Decay of Logos.
- RPG Elements: Yes, we have some very interesting RPG elements in this game too. Your character can level up, although not in a usual way: as there are no experience points/bars in this game, you will level up when you open chests or defeat important enemies, granting fluidity to your adventure (no farming for you!). The magic is also something present in this fantasy adventure, but it’s something you will learn as you progress in your adventure. Your status will be reduced over time and after each death. To restore them, you must rest in one of the campfires available in the map (just remember you can be ambushed during the night). Your equipment can also give a boost in your statuses when you are equipping a full set.
- Managing your equipment: Ada, our hero starts her journey with only a sword, but she will find equipment hidden in chests and on corpses of fallen enemies that you can equip (and admire as every single piece of equipment can be seen in your character model) to increase your resistance or to make you more deadly. And it’s important to remember that your equipment has durability (indicated by a yellow bar) that you shall always pay attention to. So you will be constantly looking for new pieces of equipment while out in the wild (when away from cities) to help you survive in these dangerous lands. To make things more challenging, you can only carry a few items with you (a pair of weapons, five equipment pieces, five potions and one extra item), needing to resource to you elk companion to carry more items for you. And as he’s not always available or close to you, sometimes you will be desperately trying to find something to protect her… and here we get to the point that made place my comments about equipment in the Mixed feelings section: the drop rate of items from your enemies is ok at the beginning of your adventure, but it becomes more and more difficult to find something as you progress further in your adventure. Frequently I found myself going back to the first areas of the game (where enemies were easier to defeat) to find something to protect myself with. But as a true Souls-like game, I usually died countless times while doing it.
- Combat: The combat in Decay of Logos is very challenging, not always in a good way, unfortunately. As many enemies can on-hit kill you, you must be always moving, dodging or blocking their attacks (but as it took me too long to find a shield, I had to trust in my parry and doge skills to survive), always paying attention to your stamina bar. As the AI of enemies is not all that great: you can easily hide behind trees and stones to avoid them (remember it when you are outnumbered). But they are also merciless: If you reach their area of action, they will hunt you down until you engage them (so, as most of them are as fast as or faster than you, only come close to your enemies if you plan to fight them). What I didn’t like about it is how clunky things become when you need to dodge or parry their attacks: you must be precise and press the button in the right time, with very little margin for mistakes. Your attack combos, using fast and strong attacks, can be also easily interrupted by your foes (when you manage to hit them). I also missed a button to quickly swap your weapons, what could make the combat a little more dynamic.
- Mounting your companion: Besides carrying your items, you can also ride your elk friend through the different areas of the game. Problem is he’s as slow as Ada walking, making it almost useless to ride him. And its controls are very very bad. You need to hit the button to make it walk and will have a hard time maneuvering your mount. How can something so simple become so difficult in this game, guys?
- Building Ur Game Space (just discovered a new meaning for bugs): Unfortunately, Decay of Logos isn’t free of bugs (thinking about it, what game is nowadays?). There are the ones easy to ignore (like your enemies bodies getting inside one another and textures only loading when you are very close to it) and the funny ones (like when I slided against a wall and ended up climbing it), but there are also some very serious issues like the game simply deleting or ignoring your save when you leave the game and starts it again. I lost all my progress three times while reviewing the game. And what’s even more strange: There was a fourth time it happened that, when starting it all over again, after the initial cutscene, I was back in the game where I stopped earlier. Who would have imagined it happening?
My, my… Amplify Creations, you really delivered something amazing here! Amazing, but not perfect, though. Decay of Logos isn’t a rough stone, but it still demands some final lapidation to become the shining jewel, the masterpiece its designer, André Constantino, envisioned back in 2014. As it is at the moment, it’s one of the most beautiful games, with an astonishing world and atmosphere that few games have reached this year. Taking inspiration from some very well-known franchises, it goes beyond any comparison to be a game a recommend for every player out there! OK, my friend: now you can follow our duo in this quest ?
Developer: Amplify Creations Publisher: Rising Star Games
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PC, Switch, PS4
Time to beat: Wild guess of something around 8 hours
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Most of them are story related. There are a few secret ones, though, that may require a second playthrough (unconfirmed)
Perfect for: RPG and adventure fans!
Xbox Game Store link: Click here