Game: The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance
Genre: Strategy | RPG
System: Switch (also on PS4, Xbox and PC)
Developers|Publishers: Bonus XP|En Masse
Age Rating: EU: 12 | USA 10+
Price: EU €19.99 | £16.99| US $19.99|AU $ 27.00|CA $ 26.45
Release Date: 4th February 2020
Review code used many thanks to En Masse
Jim Henson’s world of Thra
In 1982, Jim Henson, widely known as the man behind the Muppets, created a puppet-animated film in a fantasy world, called the Dark Crystal. The animatronics used in the film were considered groundbreaking back then. The story is one that has everything to make it an interesting tale: Jen, raised by the noble race called the Mystics, has been told that he is the last survivor of his own race, the Gelflings. He sets out to try to find a shard of the dark crystal, a powerful gem that once provided balance to the universe.
I’m guessing though that many of you know The Dark Crystal as the Netflix series that is a prequel in time to the original film. And now, developer Bonus XP, has made the series into a game. Released on all consoles, the game takes you back to the faraway lands of the vibrant world of Thra, where innocent Gelfling lives are consumed for their essence by the nefarious Skeksis.
In the tactical RPG you join the resistance in their struggle against Skeksis. Beware that the storyline in the series is the same as in this game. If you intend to see the Netflix series, then you might already know what’s going to happen when you played the game.
At the start of the game you meet two characters, Rian and Mira. They will help you get accustomed to basics of the gameplay. How to attack and the way levelling-up and using gear works. Later on, you can get up to fourteen heroes that you can play as, each gives you access to a variety of different jobs. And different jobs mean various skill trees from which they can choose a set number of attacks, buffs and defensive options to take into battle.
Let’s Cut To The Chase…
I have to admit folks, me and this game simply didn’t gel. At first I was worried entering blind with no attachment would lessen my experience, but it seems my disappointment has been equally shared by fans alike. I also defend that a game should do a solid job of supporting its source material, even a simple tie-in should never settle itself as a lesser package.
Despite this, there are some things this game does. The combat is of solid construct; forming a team, managing equipment, deciding skills and battling enemies is as simple as any other strategy game. There is a sprawling map for you to progress through the story or stop to level up your team. It’s easy enough to play for those well acquainted with the genre or no.
Not Much To Say
I really struggle to praise this game however. It does little to develop attachment to its characters or setting. Everything feels so dull and lifeless as you strive to see the heroes through their journey. Sprawling through text followed by a staggered battle system is an arduous experience, one I chose to cut short.
I feel this cult-favourite universe would have been better applied to an action/adventure style experience. More space on screen for the characters to be shown off and a smoother, brighter graphics with a deeper gameplay offering is desperately needed.
Final Verdict: I’m not sure