Caravan Stories was released for mobile devices in 2017. Since then it has gone on to Playstation 4 in Japan and is only now releasing to western audiences. A lot of people have been waiting for this to happen, myself included. We’ve now had a chance to spend some time with it so without further ado, here is our Caravan Stories review for PlayStation 4.
For those that don’t know, Caravan Stories is an MMORPG with a gacha hero mechanic. This is specifically seen in mobile games mostly, where you pay some sort of currency to get a random hero. This is not a bad feature for the game to have. The Phantasm Gem currency can be acquired in the game as a “free version” of it or you can buy some which are considered a “premium” version of it. Caravan Stories was always planned as a mobile game. Before I started playing, I thought that the PS4 version of it would be very mobile-like in both graphics and features. I was partially right. The graphics are not bad but it did bring a lot of mobile features over with it.
To cut straight to the chase, you can buy 5-star weapons with premium gems which you cannot do with the free phantasm gems. To be honest, that is not super bad as Caravan Stories is mostly PvE. But it does feature some PvP in the form of matches similar to Clash of Clans so it feels weird to me why it is allowed for someone to pay $10 to $30 for a 5-star weapon.
One really cool feature is that players are not required to stick to just one race. At a point in each race’s story, you can reincarnate as one of the ones you have not played already. This is a system of the game that allows players to unlock characters from each story. It is needed because characters run out of stamina that is the resource used as you battle. When your main team runs out of steam it’s great being able to switch to the next squad.
Mobile to PS4
Considering this is a port to the PS4 the control mapping is great. It is intuitive and works well. I was wondering how it would work out but as it turns out there isn’t really a lot to do apart from navigating menus a lot of the time. This is in part because you have the ability to “auto” everything. Players can auto move to quest marks, auto-battle, auto through after battle rewards, auto grind in an area. It is an expected feature from a mobile game and not bad to have on the port. I would not recommend auto battling all the time as sometimes it makes the characters use all their skills right away. When I really needed them I couldn’t use them because they were on cooldown. For tougher fights, I found it best to time when to use skills especially the healing skills.
There is a lot to Caravan Stories that you can do in the game. It has crafting of weapons, beast taming, fusing weapons and a lot more. The downside is it takes time. It takes time to craft. It takes time to upgrade the facilities in the caravan. Regarding the latter, this is the one feature I wish had been changed for the PS4. Even though there is an item one can purchase or get from a quest to lower the time requirement, it is a consumable that you must stock up on. This also takes time, but it doesn’t stop me from closing the game when I see I have to wait two and a half hours for a facility to upgrade.
In order to get and hold more crystals you have to upgrade your pump and crystal storage. When you are stuck waiting to upgrade it puts a damper on your game playing. If this could be removed and we could upgrade more than one facility at a time that would be a great improvement to me. At the same time, I wonder if this is just a way to gate players’ time playing the game so that they will take breaks. If so, it works. I often find myself stopping for the rest of the day.
For a game that is said to be an MMORPG, I have found myself not needing to play with others much, if at all. Caravan Stories feel more like a solo adventure with an option to play with others. The graphics and story are nice but as I stated before the wait time on upgrading things takes me out of the gaming mode. Caravan Stories is more of a game to play casually than hardcore.