The Age of Decadence is an upcoming isometric turn based RPG, reminiscent of the old great western RPG classics, such as Planescape:Torment and Baldur’s Gate. Featuring a detailed skill-based character system and non-linear gameplay, the game emphasizes multiple ways to handle quests, which then have choices and consequences.
I decided to create two rather different characters during my playthroughs of the beta. Juno, a girl who had always dreamed of becoming a merchant and doing well in their guild, and Biran, a veteran warrior who prefers to let his sword do the talking. Character creation was actually quite easy; all the information was on one page, allowing you to see your attributes, combat and social skills, how they interact with other and what they actually do.
The story begins based on your background, Juno was working hard for the merchant’s guild, while Biran had just arrived in the city, and decided to stay at the Inn. With eight different backgrounds, these each provide a unique role-playing experience for the different characters. Additionally, there is an extensive dialogue system, allowing for more choices to make. For example, Juno decided to make exchanges with the Thieves’ Guild, they would help her on her tasks with the merchant’s guild, while she would do a few favours for them. These ‘favours’ will obviously catch up to her in the long run, especially when her superiors find out about her dealings.
The main story appears to be an intriguing work of art, exploring the dangers of a post-apocalyptic world, pointing out the differences between historical fact and fiction, as well as the competition among multiple political factions. Set in an interesting world with rich history, The Age of Decadence certainly has a lot to offer and with seven different possible endings, the game is sure to support multiple playthroughs, each giving a unique perspective and gameplay throughout.
Juno was told multiple times, by the Thieves and members of the Guard, that if she crossed them, she would be no threat, and easy to take down. Taking their hint, Juno didn’t once draw her dagger, the only time she did battle was with her words; manipulation and control were her weapons. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Biran had a hard time talking to people. The merchants often ripped him off, and he had a hard time convincing people to do what he wanted. So he used his sword and shield.
Combat is difficult in The Age of Decadence, and it was designed as so. It focuses heavily on tactical options, as facing multiple enemies at once is often a sure way to get killed. You have to be crazy to attack the Bandit camp all alone, but once you cleverly deal with them, it is a huge sense of accomplishment.
Overall, The Age of Decadence is definitely one to look out for. Iron Tower Studio wants to bring back meaningful player choice and non-linear paths, something many players want too, and they seem like they will be able to achieve this. If they continue with the brilliant work, I am sure AoD will be a must buy for any RPG lover out there.
Age of Decadence is due in 2013 & a play of the public beta is very recommended.