The Empire has fallen and the known world has been ravaged by a war that even the gods themselves are said to have participated in.
Courtesy of Age of decadence
Age of Decadences forces players to survive in the aftermath of the fall of the Empire.
Only a few bastions of what one could barely call civilization remains.
Survivors wander the wasteland in hopes of restoring the lives they once had, finding treasures of the old world, or taking the lives of those they deem to weak for this broken world. This is the state of the world of Age of Decadence.
Age of Decadence strays from the path that Western RPG’s have taken today.
Your goal is to survive in the aftermath of the fall of the Empire. Jack of all trades tend to find themselves dead, heroes are broken, and the lawless crucified in AoD’s world.
In a world where murder and betrayal go hand in hand, being a hero isn’t easy and sometimes you’ll find yourself getting your hands dirty to stay alive.
You might find yourself helping raiders take over a peaceful mountain village, instead of fending the raiders off. You might end up seeing a quest for your guild as being too difficult and may find that betraying them seems a lot easier and worth your while.
Perhaps you might help an elderly scholar keep his favor with the local lord by killing his younger, more honest, and knowledgeable replacement.
Doing the right thing often requires having the ability to stand up to the challenge, or giving up precious items or limited resources.
While taking the path of a hero may be hard, it doesn’t mean that constantly taking every chance you can to screw over, or kill those around you won’t lead to consequences such as not being able to enter a town, losing out on experience, and possibly being attacked out of revenge.
One of AoD’s greatest strengths is its combat. Where most fights in modern RPGs have been simplified to where charging recklessly alone into a group of thugs can easily be done, that is not case in AoD.
Fighting more than just one person in AoD is bound to leave you dead and lying on the floor dying if you’re not prepared, or your character isn’t that great of a fighter.
With each victory, and each loss I began to pick up on certain tactics.
I often found myself restarting, creating a new character that could actually put up a decent fight, and focused on skills that would give a better chance of survival such as alchemy and crafting.
I would place my character where if an archer missed, or I dodged their missiles that it would hit their fellow bandits.
With every battle, or new combat based character you build, you’ll find yourself trying new strategies, and weapons to see what will benefit you the most.
Of course for those that want to take less violent methods or wish to talk their way through AoD will be amazed by the amount of choices that they have when tackling some the games quest. Choices is one area where AoD excels.
There’s so many possibilities for some of the quests that’s it’s possible to have a completely new experience every time you start up a new game.
With each play through you’re likely to learn a little bit more about how the great Empire became the wasteland that it is today.
AoD’s combat difficulty, and writing work well together to make things that would seem common in most games as amazing features.
Fighting 5 or 6 bandits at a time might seem common, and a breeze in Fallout, or Skyrim. Here, in AoD taking on 6 bandits and living feels amazing.
Outsmarting, or undermining political opponents to get what you want also feels quite satisfying. It also helps that you are well rewarded for completing such extraordinary tasks with money, combat experience, and new items.
Age of Decadence does suffer from a few problems. It is still in early access, meaning that it still has a few bugs in game.
Throwing class weapons, while functional, don’t function as they should regarding weapon bonuses (poisoning, and sharpening).
Some of the dialogue choices can be annoying since some of them can lead to an instant death without notice.
It’s also possible for a new player using a combat character to get stuck in a quest, and find themselves stuck, having to reload to an earlier save, or possibly starting a new game.
If you’re looking for a refreshing CRPG, Age of Decadence, is what you’re looking for. It’s a well written, well crafted, and challenges its players like few modern games have the guts to do.
If you’re feeling a little anxious about buying an early access game, Age of Decadence will be fully released in October. I give it 4.3 out of 5 points.