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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics Gamescom Preview

by Joost "Myrthos" Mans, 2019-08-30

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a new television series that will become available on August 30th and is a prequel to the 1982 The Dark Crystal movie. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is a tactical turn-based RPG of which the story is based on the television series and has been in development for over a year now. 
The game allows the player to enter the world of Thra and experience the events in the series again, while also adding additional content in the form of new playable characters, stories and environments. 

The demo offered two missions and I was handed the controller to play the demo. I usually don't play tactics games, as I simply suck at them. I like my RPGs to be story and exploration heavy, but I had the controller, so I should try to make the best of it. 
In the first mission I controlled one character, Deet, who had to rescue 3 sages who were trapped in some sorts of cocoons in a cave. To rescue them I had to move towards them and attack the cocoon, which would then burst open and free the sage. It was not as simple as that sounds, as there were a couple of spitters on the way as well (they looked like spiders). Moving and then attacking is equal to one turn. Attacks can only happen horizontally or vertically on the combat grid, with the exception of the rage ability, which can do diagonal attacks. This part wasn't really very hard, so it gave me some confidence for the next mission, which turned out to be a incorrect. 

As one would expect there are various classes in the game, What was available to select from were a Stone Warden (tank), a mender (healer), a scout and an adept (spell caster). Next to that there were two utility characters that came with a lot of buffs and debuffs. There was a melee and a physical utility character. 
For each of the characters it is also possible to select jobs. There are primary and secondary jobs. The primary job will affect the attributes of a character. The primary job is somewhat similar to the class in other RPGs and the secondary class is somewhat similar to a sub-class. However the difference is that your attributes are defined by the primary job. This means that if you have as primary job a scout and as a secondary job a guardian, the combination would work well as both are DPS classes. However if you have as secondary job a mender, this would not work so well, as a mender is a spell casting class and your attributes are focused on a DPS class. That means that the spells you would use are not that powerful. But, if that is what you want to do, you can. There are some 15 character jobs to choose from, but the number of characters you will be able to play with has not been fixed yet. You will find the characters that can join your team throughout the game.  

When you go into a new mission, you have the option to select your party and for each party member select the weapon and skills they can use. Each party member can have up to five active skills. As I didn't know what the next mission would be about, I just went with the default set of characters, guessing that the ones who made this demo figured that it was doable with the default team configuration. 
There were five opponents waiting in the mission: The Chamberlain, a mender, a stone warden, a scout and a bowmaster. I on the other hand could only bring 3 characters, so I selected a tank, a mender and a potion master. I was told that we could make this work... 

The objective was to defeat the Chamberlain. It was not necessary to defeat the other 4 characters, when the Chamberlain goes down, the mission would be won. Obviously this is all about tactics and making good use of the skills and abilities of each of the characters in my team, so I had a go at it. The skills you have available are shown in red or white. The white skills can be used, but the red cannot as the enemy is out of range or because the requirements to use that skill are not met. Like a powerful skill that can be used only when the enemy is marked and silenced. This requires the use of those two skills first. It is unlikely that you have those two skills as well, but someone else in the party probably has one or both of those skills, so by using some teamplay and have your party work together it is possible to mark and silence a character, so that the more powerful skill can be used. With some luck it can even be completed in a single round. The game makes use of friendly fire, so you have to take care of the positions your team members have when casting spells.
Another tactic that I used was making use of the different heights as someone on a higher location becomes more difficult to hit and can still cast spells from above. 

Anyway to cut it short, some 10 minutes after the start of the mission my 3 characters were dead while the 5 enemies were still standing. I was told that this happens because I came into this mission without knowing what I was facing and that next time I would play the mission I would do better, but I think I just suck at these types of games, which says nothing about the game, but definitely something about me. There was however no time to put either of the two opinions to the test. Fortunately the final game will have multiple difficulty levels, where it is even possible to drop the difficulty all the way down to experience the story of the game more. I'm sure I could find a difficulty level fitting my skills. 

At the moment there are more than 70 turn-based maps, of which some are more focused on the narrative and others are more focused on combat.  
Objects on the map are also interactable. So you could push some boulders to block opponents or roll them of a higher location to damage an opponent. You could also block entire sections in this way as well. 

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics will be made available later this year on PC, Mac, Switch, Xbox One and PS4.

Below you'll find the B-roll of the game, which will show you parts of the combat.


Box Art

Information about

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Developer: BonusXP

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2020-02-04
· Publisher: En Masse Entertainment

More information