Developer Tiny Trinket Games is working hard, preparing the squad-based tactical RPG Zoria: Age of Shattering for its release coming on March 7th.
The events of the game are set in a fantasy world of Zoria. While certain elements like Classes and characteristics might make D&D players feel right at home, that is where the similarities end. Zoria’s lore and geopolitics are original, and will immerse players in conflict. It is up to you to lead a team of four unique heroes as you fight to take this world back in a story-heavy, single-player experience.
Zoria’s approach to companions differs from that of a usual cRPG. Instead of a small group of tightly-knit adventurers, you are a Commander that can recruit 50+ followers to join your cause and follow you through the thick and thin. These characters have their own classes, unique skills and perks, and the game’s Fatigue system encourages players to periodically swap party members.
In turn, that leads to a more refreshing exploration and varied combat experience. Having an individual with the right skills can get you into previously inaccessible places and quests, so don’t be shy to experiment with what you can achieve.
Speaking of combat, the devs describe it as bread and butter of the game. While it is entirely turn-based, the team from Tiny Trinket Games put in the work to make it as dynamic as possible in an attempt to respect players’ time and provide enjoyable battle sequences. Zoria: Age of Shattering emphasizes class synergy and places extra importance on managing resources such as Action Points, Focus and Mana/Energy. There is also an option to speed up certain combat animations, or even an entire skirmish if you feel like combat is taking too long.
It is up to you to manage your squad and stop for a rest when you feel the need to restore your characters’ health, remove harmful effects and more. You can top up your characters with potions or healing spells, but resting by a bonfire is still the main and likely the cheapest way to ensure your party is in a state to continue on. Commanders can also make use of cooking and alchemy for extra bonuses, before diving right back into solving puzzles, discovering new areas and finding resources.
In addition to exploration and combat, the game features an extra strategic layer: base building and development. Your Outpost is both your keep and home to the companions who are recovering or waiting for your call to action. There are a number of buildings, each with their own functionality. For example, Barracks are the heart of your follower management system and the place where you can equip your troops with the newest weapons you crafted, the most powerful potions, and special items found in the dungeons they conquered. Meanwhile, The Lucky Dog Inn serves many purposes, both in terms of utility and as the quest hub and a place to meet new interesting characters.
However, one of the most important buildings for your success is the Blacksmith, which unlocks crafting. This is something you can only do at the base since it is unlikely you will be dragging a bag of coal and an anvil with you through forests and rivers. But do keep an eye on your gear: its durability tends to suffer over time.
As the events of the game unfold and you amass enough resources, you will be able to fully build your outpost from a crumbling tower in the middle of nowhere to a perfectly functional keep that serves as your base of operations.
When it comes to the overall events, the team mentioned that it will be impossible to see all of the potential content provided by the game in a single playthrough. While the major story beats remain the same between two playthroughs, your choices will still affect the world, leading to more than one ending.
Players can also select from a variety of difficulties to ensure that their stay in Zoria is just right in terms of complexity. If you enjoy min-maxing and trying to squeeze the biggest possible damage numbers out of a game, Zoria: Age of Shattering will provide you with just the experience you seek. However, if you desire a largely obstacle-free playthrough focused on the story, the game will not stand in your way either.
Zoria: Age of Shattering arrives on PC via Steam on March 7th. If you want to see for yourself what the game is like, you can give the Steam demo a spin. It’s available right now on the official page.