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Default Operencia: The Stolen Sun - Steam Release

March 31st, 2020, 22:16
The dungeon crawler Operencia: The Stolen Sun has been released on Steam

Operencia: The Stolen Sun

Zen Studios' modern homage to classic first-person dungeon-crawlers takes you to the land of Operencia, an unconventional fantasy world inspired by a faraway land referenced in countless Central European folktales. An old-school turn-based battle system combines with inspiration from unexplored mythology to offer an RPG experience that feels unique yet also familiar.

A Tale for the Ages
An unknown force has abducted the Sun King Napkiraly, leaving Operencia in a state of perpetual darkness - and eventual doom. From hidden royal tombs and cursed castles to an ascent up the World Tree to reach the Copper Forest of the Land of the Gods, explore diverse settings throughout the far reaches of the land…and beyond. Each location boasts its own unique atmosphere, visual style, level design and puzzles, and many take place entirely outdoors.

Where History Meets Legend
Operencia is home to an intriguing mix of unexplored mythology and fantastical versions of actual historical locations (e.g., Deva Fortress, Balvanyos) and characters (e.g., Attila, Seven Chieftains of the Magyars), all coming together to form one cohesive new gaming universe. Several of your own seven party members take influence from heroes of forgotten tales told hundreds of years ago, such as the brave knight Mezey and Sebastian the Dragon Slayer.

Classic Gameplay and Exploration
Along with a deeply strategic turn-based battle system full of spells and special skills to execute, tile-based movement encourages thorough exploration of each area. For added challenge, turn on Cartographer mode to plot out each of the 13 maps yourself. How many secrets will you find?

Beautiful Presentation
Breathtaking hand-drawn cutscenes and fabulous 2D character portraits bring the story to life in a style not easily compared to any other game. More than 30 colorful roles are fully voiced through top-tier performances authentic to the game's Central European roots.

Other Key Features

  • Explore 13 diverse, puzzle-filled levels
  • Defeat more than 50 enemy types
  • Switch between 7 fully upgradable - and memorable - characters
  • Robust difficulty settings allow you to select options such as limiting saves, implementing permadeath, and disabling auto-mapping to create your own
  • Stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4
  • An epic orchestral score composed by Arthur Grosz
  • Fully 3D environments, enemies and objects, plus high-fidelity advanced effects with dynamic shadows and lighting
  • AAA Indie production quality and polish with top-tier voice acting, soundtrack, cutscenes and writing
Thanks Kordanor!

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March 31st, 2020, 22:30
This game reminds me a lot of the Bard's Tale 4, but it is better in many ways. It is about 25 hours long, but isn't repetitive like the much longer BT4. Each area, for example, has its own unique monsters. It has puzzles and secret areas, but they are fewer and more traditional. It has a very nice presentation, and charming fairy tale look and atmosphere, but the voice acting is uneven and the tone of the story is light and whimsicle. The character building is also relatively shallow, but each companion has a number of unique skills, which at least makes who you include in your party an interesting choice. I enjoyed playing the game enough to finish, but I won't be replaying it.
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March 31st, 2020, 22:58
You played it at epic release? Played it now and found the voice acting to be quite ok.
Yes, it's not super professional, but also not cringy. The only moment when it felt really bad so far, was when rescuing the princesses, because you just hear them as if they were next to them. Some editing would have helped to make them sound like they are actually behind doors.

A developer also said that they redid the voice acting at some point. But ofc I don't know if thats before or after you played.

So far I find it very enjoyable. Especially because of all the dialogues and the story. While it's no Shakespear, it gives the game something more organic, something to look forward to and not just different dungeon levels with different puzzles and different enemy skins as in LOG for example.
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April 1st, 2020, 00:03
I played it on the free weekend on Steam the other week and was pretty impressed. A little generic in some places but it plays pretty well. As long as your expectations aren't too high I think most people would enjoy it. I'll be picking up the full game at some point.
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April 1st, 2020, 00:15
Originally Posted by SSIGuy View Post
I played it on the free weekend on Steam the other week and was pretty impressed. A little generic in some places but it plays pretty well. As long as your expectations aren't too high I think most people would enjoy it. I'll be picking up the full game at some point.
I am curious: What was generic on this game in your opinion?
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April 1st, 2020, 01:34
Well, the characters were quite one dimensional and not a lot of depth to them. Same for the conversations. The levels are quite beautiful but still feel just sort of archetypal fantasy (though I do like the underwater motif… maybe there's more of that later in the game).

Sort of the same for the story and how it's delivered… though I only played the first chapter, so that might improve. I like the idea that they're drawing from some European folktales and lore… I just felt the delivery was kinda 'meh' from what I've seen so far.

This sounds rather negative but really, in spite of that, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It just feels like a lighter blobber with not as much meat to it as some deeper games. Still fun to play.

And it does look quite nice - that was a pleasant surprise. I think I enjoy BT4 more because it feels deeper - even though I too feel that BT4 is a bit padded in some areas with extra combat and puzzles.
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April 1st, 2020, 01:43
Ah, alrighty. Yeah, I would say that it's actually quite different than other games.
Ok, the characters aren't super deep I guess, but deep enough and just think about other Crawlers with character backgrounds. There aren't that many.
Stonekeep and Lands of Lore come to mind…but that's pretty much it.

The lore is a rather "atypical" fantasy setting I'd say. Yep, it's fantasy, but it's not the typical Orcs, Dwarves and Elves Stuff (at least so far) but as you mentioned Frogmen and in general it feels like it really has some influence of Ukranian folklore.
Maybe a bit similar to Witcher or Conan which are also rather atypical fantasy settings.

The density of riddles in BT4 was too much imho, but I liked them. I think the density in Operencia is just right. But until now (start of second chapter) they are super easy and could be harder.
And while BT4 combat system was completely broken due to overpowered abilities, Operencia didn't offer any challenging combats yet either (on hard setting).
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April 1st, 2020, 01:49
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
And while BT4 combat system was completely broken due to overpowered abilities, Operencia didn't offer any challenging combats yet either (on hard setting).
Well, that's was maybe my biggest concern after playing Chapter 1. Combat seems quite easy, so I worry about it becoming boring.

For BT4, I enjoyed the combat and for me at least it stayed fairly challenging for the first 2/3 of the game or so.
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April 1st, 2020, 02:03
I've looked forward to this being available on gog or steam for a while, I'm game-busy now but will be picking this up at some point.
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April 1st, 2020, 15:20
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Ah, alrighty. Yeah, I would say that it's actually quite different than other games.
Ok, the characters aren't super deep I guess, but deep enough and just think about other Crawlers with character backgrounds. There aren't that many.
Stonekeep and Lands of Lore come to mindÖbut that's pretty much it.

The lore is a rather "atypical" fantasy setting I'd say. Yep, it's fantasy, but it's not the typical Orcs, Dwarves and Elves Stuff (at least so far) but as you mentioned Frogmen and in general it feels like it really has some influence of Ukranian folklore.
Maybe a bit similar to Witcher or Conan which are also rather atypical fantasy settings.

The density of riddles in BT4 was too much imho, but I liked them. I think the density in Operencia is just right. But until now (start of second chapter) they are super easy and could be harder.
And while BT4 combat system was completely broken due to overpowered abilities, Operencia didn't offer any challenging combats yet either (on hard setting).
The only battles which I found hard are the very last battle, and an optional (secret) boss battle that you can find late in the game, and I found those both very hard. In the last area I got party wiped twice, but that was mostly due to lack of caution on my part as I was unprepared for monsters which could do high damage quickly. There was another area in the late middle of the game that was fairly challenging, but in general the combat is on the easy side.
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April 1st, 2020, 17:55
This looks really interesting.
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April 1st, 2020, 17:56
I donít remember fights being too hard either, and if there was a hard mode I would have definitely played on it (donít remember if there was). Exploration was pretty linear but once in awhile there was an obstacle you could come back to later once you found an item that required to pass that type of obstacle. Sometimes these optional areas had harder fights that you might have to come back to after a few levels.
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April 1st, 2020, 18:10
This is a good game…fun and colorful.

What bloober has more dimensional characters…most don't have any at all.
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April 1st, 2020, 18:20
Sounds good to me. If I'm gonna play an old-school game with colorful, low budget graphics and basic fantasy? I don't need bone-crushing difficulty. I don't need a 50-hour playtime. I could use a fun, enjoyable light game right now.

I think we've gone so far into the "games must be difficult" zone that we can't see where we came from. I'm happy to see a game that's finishable even by a regular guy like myself.
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April 1st, 2020, 18:21
Originally Posted by FizzyShellfish View Post
Sounds good to me. If I'm gonna play an old-school game with colorful, low budget graphics and basic fantasy? I don't need bone-crushing difficulty. I don't need a 50-hour playtime. I could use a fun, enjoyable light game right now.

I think we've gone so far into the "games must be difficult" zone that we can't see where we came from. I'm happy to see a game that's finishable even by a regular guy like myself.
Graphics are definitely not low budget…it looks quite nice, one of the nicest blobbers I have played.
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April 1st, 2020, 18:24
Good to hear. I haven't looked into it closely, but I will now. I hadn't even heard of this one until just now.
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April 1st, 2020, 20:43
I agree with @rune_74. Some of the levels are absolutely beautiful. I think it is indeed a low budget game, but kudos to whoever did the art direction and the level art.
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April 1st, 2020, 22:14
Yep, art looks great.

Regarding difficulty: They added a new difficulty mode with this release. However…even with that it's not hard. Actually we had a fun misunderstanding in the forum were we were saying that we couldnt find this new difficulty option and the game was too easy as it was. In the end we found out we were already playing on that mode…
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April 2nd, 2020, 00:53
Ok, quick update: I just did a "Boss fight" against some ghost lady (not spoiling) in her tomb and well, there was definitely room for improvement on my side, but that was definitely not easy. So yeah, difficulty on his new mode apparently gets decent at some point.
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April 2nd, 2020, 07:32
Buy it. Everything BT4 should have been.

The environments get more diverse as you go. Not cliched fantasy. Not even close.
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