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Default RPGWatch Feature - Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones Review

January 14th, 2020, 13:55
Forgottenlor has reviewed Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, an RPG set in a Lovecraft universe.

Turned out of my ancestral home by a mob of cultists and gangsters, and with only loyal butler Werner helping me, I wake up from a horrible dream in a seedy tavern in the city of Arkham. That was the beginning of my aristocratic character's journey into Stygian. Stygian is a horror RPG based on the pen and paper RPG Call of Cthulu, which in turn is inspired by the works of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. In Stygian you don't play a hero, but at best a somewhat capable person who has to survive unimaginable horrors. And in this case survival doesn't only mean not dying, but also not succumbing entirely to madness. As a result, you'll find that having your character run away from battle or taking drugs or drinking alcohol is often preferable to fighting against hopeless odds and using up precious ammunition or spiraling into insanity. Stygian's visuals are drawn out of pulp comics, and this along with its unusual mechanics and setting make it a pretty unique RPG, which stands out against the mass of fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic RPGs flooding the market. But Stygian is also a game made on a tight budget, and unfortunately that limits its otherwise excellent potential.
More information.
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January 14th, 2020, 15:32
Stygian was the winner of our poll of what we should review next, so here is the promised review.
In addition to Stygian, I'd be happy to answer any questions about the other games in the poll, as I probably won't have time to review them.
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January 14th, 2020, 18:32
Good review. Probably similar to how I felt after 10 hours. I never finished it but mostly because the combat felt very underwhelming which is important to me.

I'll probably try again at some point…

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January 14th, 2020, 20:40
Thank you, forgottenlor!
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January 14th, 2020, 21:34
Thanks for the review, Forgottenlor. I've still not played this one, hoping to get around to it soon and this coverage is likely to increase that possibility!
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January 14th, 2020, 21:50
Well I must say this game was a huge disappointment. Still it must be said the developers deserve credit for trying to fix it with post launch fixes & updates.
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January 15th, 2020, 03:54
Great review, thanks for the time you took to write this up.
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January 15th, 2020, 14:51
The ending is one of the most disliked parts of the game.

I will not play it myself because of that. Stories that end with a loose cliffhanger like that completely sour the experience for me.

Once a sequel has been properly announced and guaranteed to actually release, I will give this a go.
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January 15th, 2020, 15:43
Thanks for the review.
Stygian is a horror RPG based on the pen and paper RPG Call of Cthulu
Where did you read this?
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January 15th, 2020, 20:02
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Thanks for the review.

Where did you read this?
Right from the homepage most likely:

"Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones" is a supernatural horror roleplaying video game which takes place in the strange worlds of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. It's been a year since the awakening of The Great Old Ones and the Earth is dead. Stygian will draw the player into a bleak journey from a ruined Arkham to the very depths of the Abyss.

It doesn't come out and say Call of Cthulu, but I bet that's because of legal reasons.
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January 16th, 2020, 17:39
Thank you for another great review, Forgottenlor!!

Do you think this game has a replay value? Is it really worth replaying it once you finished it?
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January 16th, 2020, 19:22
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Thanks for the review.

Where did you read this?
I played the pen and paper Call of Cthulu game as a student. I was gamemaster for a number of games, and when I meet my university friends (most summers I go to the U.S. and we meet) I will occasionally run a game, though more often we play Pathfinder, Vampire, or Dungeons and Dragon. So I can with some certainty that the makers borrowed a lot from the pen and paper game.
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January 16th, 2020, 19:36
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
Thank you for another great review, Forgottenlor!!

Do you think this game has a replay value? Is it really worth replaying it once you finished it?
I can only speak for myself. For me to want to replay a game a few things have to happen.

*I have to really enjoy playing the game.
*There has to be paths that were shut off to me, because I was playing a character build which couldn't support it or. . .
*There have to be different narrative routes (because of different backgrounds or different companions or. . .
*There have to be very different mechanical builds which allow very different approaches to combat.

Games I've replayed in the last years include Pillars of Eternity, Fallout 3, Icewind Dale 2, Might and Magic X, Vampire: Bloodlines and Wizardry 8.

One of the games I put up on the poll was Trails of Cold Steel, and even though I found it a great and memorable game, the story is very linear (though not the gameplay) so I don't see myself replaying it.

In Stygian though I'd like to try out a different background, different companions, and different skills than I had in my first playthrough. It's hard to really say how much different the game would play out, but I'm intrigued enough to give it a try at some point.
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January 17th, 2020, 10:26
Cool review. I notice you don't give it a mark out of five.
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January 17th, 2020, 16:48
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Cool review. I notice you don't give it a mark out of five.
We haven't had the 5 star system for a while now. Its been replaced by

Excellent-Very Good- Good- Fair- Flawed-Poor.

I gave Stygian a good.
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