A video game, as a product, must have the ultimate goal of selling copies, in order to recoup the investment and allow the company to continue with a subsequent game. And yet, when there is also passion behind it, it can be seen from a mile away: we saw it even before entering the Gamescom stand dedicated to 505 Games, to go and try Miasma Chronicles, a new title from The Bearded Ladies which takes us after Mutant Year Zero to a new post-apocalyptic world, this time populated by human beings, the title shows a strong strategic component, like the other titles of the software house, with a strong characterization of the characters.
We have had the opportunity to try the early stages of the game, and although the strategic ones take a while to start from the point of view of gameplay - given that the mechanics are revealed continuing in the game - we got to see a lot of the new title of The Bearded Ladies: here are our impressions.
What time is the end of the world?
The character we controlled throughout the adventure is called Elvis, a young boy who finds himself with a mystery to discover concerning his mother and a glove capable of managing this energy that destroyed everything: in the early stages of the game we discovered the basic mechanics, as well as seeing a modern world, contemporary traits, which was frozen in time by this cataclysm. After the faux pas of Corruption 2029, which did not convince the gamers, the team brought the work behind the individual characters to the maximum: this was also very visible in the first city we visited in the game, where a series of characters populated the screen with stories, information and details .
Talking about it Sedentary, this city also allowed us to see how the boundaries of the game are really vast: the sensation received is that of having a whole world to discover, with characters who could even stand by your side and side missions that could give you some useful objects or interesting information about the game's plot and world lore.
What amazed us, in terms of gameplay, is that Miasma Chronicles offers a really interesting and fun stealth system: in fact, the game will give you the possibility to move freely until you encounter enemies. From that moment you can move on the famous squared grid to do your actions, but before being detected you will be able to move as you see fit. Enemies will have a visual cone and a series of active dynamics which, when you get close, will give you the opportunity to go around the obstacle, prepare a tactic and even go unnoticed. In this way, the game adds tactic to tactic, giving the player the chance to choose the way to attack (if he will) the enemies.
In active combat, Elvis, Diggs (and any companion) will be able to take two actions in turn: these will be a choice between moving, attacking or helping a companion. Covers are also vital, which will give a percentage chance of hitting an enemy (or not receiving hits). A meter (which will fill up when you take hits) will allow the characters you control to then make a shot with 100% accuracy, so that it will definitely hit. There is also the possibility of flanking the enemy, so as to be able to inflict more damage.
Adding spice to the dish is finally thought of by a system of chip which will add modifiers and abilities to attacks, giving an additional boost to tactics and customization, so you can best set up your team for the clash that is to come. Since Miasma Chronicles is a game that will focus - from what we have seen - also on the RPG part, the characters will have skills that can be enhanced by advancing in the game.
The heart of the matter
We didn't see much else of the game as the date was about 2 hours and Miasma Chronicles, albeit in pre-alpha, could have further delighted us with other stages of the game, but we can say for sure that what we have seen is very interesting. The basics of the plot, which tell this Miasma mystery, are intriguing and could really tell a very high level script, and as regards the gameplay and the creatures encountered, there are high margins of having very high level tactical clashes, which will make happy fans of the genre.
The tone of the game is definitely more dark, seen and also considered the dynamics of the Miasma, but the characterization of the characters, also as regards the NPC, allows you to have some lighter phases. Note of merit then for some of the characters seen in the city of Sedentary, where we went during the demo: Mason, for example, is an eccentric mayor with only one head (inserted into a sort of tank with a strange liquid) engaged in managing the city and smoking cigars from a small hole that he has on his device, and he is one of many others characters we have seen, and many others that we will surely meet in the definitive experience.
Miasma Chronicles is a game that shows the heart: certainly that of the team that is working on it, but also that of the various characters that will make up the game ecosystem, and in our opinion this is precisely the strong point of the game, an additional value to gameplay which at first glance seems rich, deep and with a skilful ability to mix RPG and tactical, not to mention the stealth phase that precedes the fight (or sometimes avoids it), a jewel alongside everything else.