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Definitely worth checking out

  • icovoc
  • 06/10/2013 12:14 AM
  • 818 views
Alcarys Complex is an interesting, story-driven game that's maybe most notable for its attempt to reimagine how an RPG can be put together. It's not entirely successful, but there's nothing else quite like it.

Visuals: 5 out of 5

Everything here is custom. While the art doesn't especially look impressive to begin with, it has an individualistic touch that really makes it stand out. Houses feel lived in; towns have their own unique feel; bookshelves and dressers have vines growing out of them. There are some problems with an occasional grid effect on the water and landscapes, but even with that I think the visuals are a big strength for the game.

Music: 5 out of 5

Atmospheric, sometimes almost ambient folk from Chris Apple. Top notch.

Gameplay: 4 out of

This is maybe the great strength AND weakness of the game. Instead of leveling up through combat, you do it by talking to people. (So, like Planescape Torment, this is a game that allows the narrative to take the focus, with combat in the background.) This makes exploration more than worth it.

On the other hand, the game does have a fully developed, and fairly unique combat system in place as well. For the most part, combat is actually optional. I feel like the system is a little too complex for its own good, but there's a lot there to work with if you're interested. On the other hand (this might be because I neglected the combat so much), one of the boss fights in particular felt terribly unbalanced.

Story: 4 out of 5

The story of Alcarys Complex is notable because of its unconventional execution, though I'm not sure if they story itself is particularly unconventional. (So, for example, it's no Planescape Torment, and it can't compete with something like The Way.)

Still, it was a bold choice to go this route: there's no saving the world. Instead, Alcarys Complex is about navigating complex political problems just in order to survive in it. For the most part, it revolves around a race called Cursors, who seem human most of the time but can also transform into... something else. The Cursors have their own nation-----and the countries around them aren't happy with that.

All of the tropes that plague RPG narratives are gone. What Alcarys Complex gives us is a more real story of corruption and characters trying to deal with an unpleasant reality, and I'd say (especially compared to the competition, with so many generic games out there) it does a great job of it.

Posts

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Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed what you played.

Also, I elaborated on some of the issues you had in the game's postmortem, so if you'd like to read more about the game's development, definitely check it out.

Thanks for taking the time to review our game!
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