A fairy tale ending?……
Game: Stories: The Path of Destinies
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
(Review code provided by publisher)
If you are reading this, I’m sure that you remember getting read a bedtime story from a parent when you was a young child. Those books that you seemed to love even after your Mom or Dad had read it to you more than 100 times! reading it to you. Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same regarding Stories: The Path of Destinies, this is one book you are going to want to avoid!
The first thing that will come to you when you play through this is the horrible, no disastrous narrative that accompanies the gameplay. The man who is guiding you through your adventure, or ‘story’ if you like, really needs to get some kind of personality into his voice work. I mean, it might be meant to be told that way right? No, there isn’t an excuse for it… this is just car crash voice acting, but unfortunately, there is no choice but to endure it all the way through.
Choice is a word that completely sums up Stories: The Path of Destinies and its branching storyline that it gives out. Even right at the very beginning, you are given a choice whether to go save a friend or go hunt down a powerful weapon in order to help you win the war. Yes, the story is revolved around a war between an emperor and his army against a team of rebellions. You play as the main protagonist in the game, a fox called Reynaldo (Don’t even think about it, football fans!). You must make a number of choices in order to uncover the truths and end up in a final battle. Typical fairy tale stuff right?
I tend to like stories with choices, choices that make me feel like I am really changing the set path that I was originally on. Yes, these choices will have quite the effect on the overall ‘story’ that you are on at the time……but you’ll end up going down that other choice a little more down the line. Yes, Stories: The Path of Destinies can only be truly ended following the result of multiple playthroughs. So whilst you think you are making critical choices, those choices don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
I’ve mentioned the very bad voice acting and the pointless choices in the story. There must be something that Stories: The Path of Destinies does well right? Yes, there is and that is the visuals. I really must say that the levels and overall art style is really one of the few pluses in the game. The way that the gameplay transitions itself in the way of telling the story inside a book is really animated quite well so I have to give Spearhead Games a big well done on the overall design of the game.
Gameplay wise, it’s pretty simple stuff. I would describe it as a hack ‘n’ slash, action-RPG with a few platform mechanics thrown in to the mix. Each level has a very linear path to it so you’ll often find yourself strolling through the levels very quickly, especially if you have done it once or twice before in a previous playthrough. There are sections of each level that are blocked off but you can come back to these in your next playthrough due to the game’s progression and overall RPG system that it has in place.
The RPG elements are quite simple, but nether-the-less do work well in the game. As you progress your complete story, you can upgrade both your sword and your character stats throughout. Your stats can be upgraded with skill points in which you can allocate via altar, which are located at different parts of the level. This altar will then present a simple skill tree, which if you have enough points can be allocated in order to improve your stats such as your health, energy for your sword and other things that will make you more powerful along the way.
Your weapon can be upgraded with the use of workbenches. You must have the required material to upgrade, such as a required number of orbs and one special item. These items can mostly be found in the treasure chests that are widely populated through the levels. There are 2 tiers of power for each sword, with 4 swords in total that you can obtain which include ice, fire, healing and void swords. These will also give you access to the previously mentioned locked out areas where you can get better treasure and also powerful gems to help Reynaldo in his quest.
The combat is a basic hack ‘n’ slash system, where you can also dash to avoid attacks as well as hook on to your enemies in order to pull them towards you. There isn’t really much else to say about it, but it does get very repetitive, very fast, due to the lack of combos and overall combat variety on offer. I’m not going to say I expected combat of the Batman: Arkham sense but it would of been nice if it was a little more deep and fun.
If you’re like me, you will find the first hour of Stories: The Path of Destinies fun and charming. Unfortunately, everything after that just screams boring and repetitive. Whilst it offers some lovely visuals, the terrible frame-rate stops me from giving this a recommendation. Whilst Stories: The Path of Destinies showed early promise, this is one book that I’ll be glad to see the back of.
check out apollo reviews for a fantastic review of stores the path of destinies review!
amazing content and great commentary!