City of the Shroud - PC Review

Once again walking into the City of the Shroud I was met with both familiarity and a newness that was surprising to behold. Having originally taken a stroll in this city back in 2016 when it was in its Kickstarter window, there’s a lot that has been done in order to make it smoother and prettier to look at so I couldn't have asked for more with the final product that I’ve had a chance to sit down to.

City of the Shroud is the story of a man having come to the city from the outskirts in order to make some money to send to the farm back home as things are not as prosperous as they used to be. With everything looking shiny from the outside, it isn’t long until he sees that not all is what it was made out to be with internal strife and monsters that pour out of portals as randomly as it can rain. Still needing to find work for money, our protagonist is in your hands as your choices can help shape the story as it isn’t yet finished and the developers early await to know what you decide to do as they work on the second chapter.

In an interesting twist, City of the Shroud is being released in chapters where your personal choices are uploaded, if you wish them to be, to the dev’s data banks in which they’ll use the choices made by everyone in order to craft the adventure for the following chapters. It sounds really cool in concept but only time will tell exactly how this will play out as the following chapters are unveiled and experienced. Will these choices affect the whole of the experience or will they affect each optional path in their own rights? Time will tell but in the meantime you’re in for a treat.

City of the Shroud falls into very short list of mine for times in which I appreciated the tutorial and would actually do it all over again. Me. I know. The reason for this is that the tutorial is built into the story and has you progressing from quest to quest and learning the ins and outs of each class both separately and in the context of a squad before finally unlocking the option to put your own party together.

The classes themselves are interesting. You have several melee and ranged options but each comes with a flavor as well as pros and cons depending upon the situation. This is really why the “tutorial” is so important because nothing is a surprise and you can mix and match your group as you see fit depending upon your own personal tactics. Just because you chose four characters in which you have for example two fighters and two clerics, and that they are at a massive disadvantage because of the classes they are up against, doesn’t mean you can’t win. Terrain is half the battle with the other half being your reaction times to both controller four characters in real time and what do you as the enemy comes calling.

This is one of those cases that if you mentally clock out, you’ll be clocked out. Because of the real time aspect, you constantly have to keep your wits about you as the enemy doesn’t always move where you think they might, and adding to the challenge, they use their abilities and they use them well. Damned teleporting clerics! Now just because everything moves in real time, it doesn’t mean that you can move or attack whenever you like to.

In conjunction with the real time system, each character on the field have gauges that fill up in which each segment will allow a character to perform a hit. Each of these hits comes off of a combo wheel in the shape of a D-Pad in which you can put together combos for more damage or even link combos together if even segments have been filled up. Don’t worry about keeping four classes’ worth, the party size, or even the entire repertoire of the six committed to memory though. The start of each combo is labeled on the combat interface and there’s a line to follow in order to follow that combo to completion. While you still need to act fast, you don’t need to keep it all memorized.

One really neat feature, that may have aggravated me the first time because I really didn’t see it coming, was the environment and how it can affect you. Sure there are passages. Sure there are blockades. What you really need to keep in mind however is where the floor drops because your units will fall to their deaths. Same applies to your enemy of course but wow did it suck when my Duelist shot an enemy and did a back flip… off of the map and that was the end of her. Oh it was a rough match.

Speaking of matches, on top of all the above is an online multiplayer mode in order to face off against other players. I had to wait a little while before getting into my first match because there was no one willing to go up against another player. After that, good luck fighting off against other players instead of AI enemies!

 At this point in time, City of the Shroud is a fantastic experience. With great storytelling, an amazing combat system and the ability to set your party up as you see fit, there’s more than enough to keep you going with the current single player components to get you started and the multiplayer components to test your mettle against other players.

Game Information

Abyssal Arts Ltd.
Abyssal Arts Ltd.
Real Time Strategy
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Pierre-Yves


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