Content of the article: "If you like Tactical RPGs you should give Tower of Time (2018) a shot"
So, I was checking out GoG Galaxy recently to see how well their advertised integration with Origin, Epic, and Uplay works (and it's great) and found a number of games in my account I didn't recall purchasing.
One of those games was Tower of Time, an RPG I've had on my Steam wishlist for a couple of years but never pulled the trigger on. If you watch videos or read reviews it doesn't look overly special, but it does seem to pay homage to numerous popular games in the genre like Pillars of Eternity, Divinity Original Sin, and the like.
I began playing and the game sucked me in fairly quickly. In many respects it borrows elements that "work" from other games, and the feeling of progress is steady and rewarding.
At first blush the combat doesn't feel particularly strategic or special, until you realize you can manipulate your environment to your advantage. It has a pause-based system just like other Tactical RPGs where you can gather your wits (similar to Pillars of Eternity), and if you're in trouble you can usually move behind some obstacle to heal up.
Once you begin developing your skills and crafting or finding better gear, the battles become very fun. What's really great is that the developer put in a "fast forward" battle mode for enemies you can faceroll, so there's no tedious battles if you want to romp through them.
What I really love is there are "challenges" to undertake with rewards. So at any time you can stop the main quest and try these challenges to see where your skills are and try out different tactics in a safe environment.
The map is simply great, highlighting everything you need to find and explore, and using the keyboard you can hit the "H" button to highlight clickable objects. For completionists, the map is fantastic, allowing you to fast travel around on the level and revisit places you couldn't open before. It also alerts you to bosses you might want to try later when you're stronger. There are several puzzles and you're offered clues on how to solve them.
Finally, a game where this is relevant. Although finding loot is fun, crafting is the real winner in this game. You find three different kinds of crystals in Tower of Time, and based on what you want to craft, you can increase the effectiveness of the item by using those crystals. It makes exploration rewarding because the more crystals you have, the more you can craft.
But it doesn't end there. You can also enchant your gear, forge it to enhance it and make it stronger, recycle it to recover crystals, and stack whatever attribute you feel you're missing from your build. I suppose the only downside is that it's lacking a comprehensive item comparison the way Diablo or other games have.
The game is very customizable with many difficulty modes so you can learn on Normal (or lower) and then up the challenge when you feel like you've mastered it. This is one the few Tactical RPGs where I felt like I could really win battles through strategy and tactics, rather than simply mashing buttons and hoping for the best. If Pillars of Eternity felt too complicated for you, this game simplifies things by offering your champions only four skills you can use at a time, each with cooldowns. You can level up those skills and swap new ones in and out, making customizing your champions pretty fun.
As well, you can respec at any time in the character screens. No silly penalties to respeccing your guys, and no tedious quest to make it all happen. (No mirror required at the bottom of a ship, it just happens).
Anyway, if you do own a GOG account, maybe check to see if you got this game for free. It's a hell of a great way to spend your time. Let me know what you think, too!
- My issues with skill trees/upgrades affecting difficulty in non RPGs.
- I’ve played twenty hours of Divinity Original Sin 2, and I hate it.
- Losing all motivation when a game becomes too easy, particulary in RPGs and talking diffuculty in games.
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