Content of the article: "The Age Of Decadence"
Let me preface this by saying 3 things
1 – This game is not for everyone, the graphics are outdated and clunky
2- it is hard – the game is built purposely so you cannot become some hybrid god, you cannot win every battle or finish every mission in one playthrough
3 – I adore this game
AOD is an RPG that had been sat in my library for a few years and seeing in in a bundle recently made me fire it up and I am so so glad I finally did over 80 hours later. It is an RPG set in a sort of broken Roman empire with 3 main towns and a handful of little outposts that can be unlocked through missions. There is a lot of reading and a nice story going along depending on who you talk to. The game warns you that it is hard and skill points do not come easy to level up your character, for most classes the best bet is to avoid battle. the best way to describe it is a visual choose your own adventure. Its not really an open world and a good chunk of the events fire just by walking in a general direction.
In my early playtroughs I did the assassin quests, 1st time missed them altogether, 2nd time I found a lot more stuff in Teron (the first little town) to do but messed up my stats and got stuck in the 2nd city. Finally on the 3rd playthrough I worked it out and saved my points for when they were most needed, dropping down saves constantly. Every battle I could not avoid become a battle of trial and error, sometimes just needed the right roll of the dice, but on others needing to spend a few points to upgrade a skill like crossbow and increase my change to hit the enemy. Many of the events have skill checks and if you have already wasted your points as an assassin or a thief you will not be able to bypass and end up in a battle you will struggle to win no matter what you do.
Where this game comes into its own for me is the lore and replayability, after my assassin run, I did a lore based guy, followed by a warrior all opening different lines of approach to each quest and different quests you can complete, along with different endings depending on your choices. Its the same story told from different points of view and there are different guild quests for many of the choices.
I totally get many will not like this game due to its age (it was stuck in dev for a long time) and its somewhat clunky nature, but its one of my favorites, and I urge anyone who enjoys old school rpgs or just a good CYO to give it a go and challenge yourself. There is so much to unpack in a little world.
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