Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Role-playing games are totally my thing, I was highly anticipating the release from Masquerada and it didn’t disappoint. I am spoiling my review a little in this short introduction but the story and lore is fantastic, the battle system is perfectly created and it has been a while that I truly enjoyed an RPG like this.
- The strongest point from the game is the story, it isn’t always easy to follow and you will be required to read a lot of lore to understand what the hell is going on but it has been years since I was that engaged by a game. It has drama, emotion, political complications, plot twists, interesting fantasy elements, unexpected friendship and more. Absolutely fantastic!
- What makes the story even better is the interesting and meaningful characters, all of them are voiced too. Making it easier to relate with what’s happening. The personality from all the cast-members are great but Cicero really stands out. He has that brute but at the same time charmingly heart that totally works with the narrative.
- Jennifer Hale, Michelle Lukes or Matthew Mercer. Do they sound familiar? They should if you play a lot of video games. This professional voice actor team is another reason why Masquerada is really good, it doesn’t happen often that an indie game has such a strong cast of voice talent. It totally pays off for giving that extra touch in quality.
- The combat system is pretty easy to understand but has quite some depth, especially when playing at a harder difficulty. You could say that it is an auto-attack system with some tactical choices but you really need to keep your head straight and really work with the cooldown from abilities.
- Visually Masquerada reminded me a little about Banner Saga, it has the same visually impressive set pieces and colorful worlds. You will come across some beautiful castles, full with details. The developer managed to give each and every place a believable setting. The same can be said about the cut scenes or dialogue boxes, the comic style is literally eye candy.
- Another impressive feat is the musical score, heavenly choirs will leave an everlasting impression.
- I actually loved the fact that Masquerada was a linear-driven game but I can imagine that some players will miss some freedom. In other words, you will always have a clear path to follow and deviating from it isn’t an option. You have a few (purple) lore pieces in the environment so it is always worth it to check around your environment but that’s really it. But again, it didn’t bother me personally, I was glad that the game was holding my hand so I could enjoy the story and gameplay.
- Misses some replay value, that’s the only negative thing I can write about Masquerada. Yeah you have a new game + but you don’t have much reason to play everything again. Overall you will have around ten-thirteen hours of fun, not a lot for a role-playing game but the most important thing is that each hour is a fun one.
Developer Witching Hours Studios gained a big fan, all I want to say about Masquerada is that everyone should buy it. I can’t remember when a game took me this hard by the throat. I wanted to find out more about the lore, the characters, every single inch from the game was interesting and well made. Truly a fantastic piece of work and I salute the developer for bringing this awesome, must play game!
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