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Stories: The Path of Destinies – Quick Game Review

Stories: The Path of Destinies – Quick Game Review
Stories: The Path of Destinies (PC [Reviewed], PS4)
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games

Stories: The Path of Destinies is essentially a choose your own adventure game, but with a heavy focus on the narrative story and fluid combat system. It was almost as if you were experiencing Groundhog Day until you get it right.

Based on the choices you make, different stories take place. Most of the choices will inevitably lead to death in one way or another, but the narrative does a good job at making you think that this time, you might be on the right path to destiny. The stories you experience will give you clues or ‘truths’ that help you make the appropriate decisions to succeed.

The narrative reminded me a little bit of Bastion, but I liked the narrative better in Path of Destinies than I did in Bastion. In Path of Destines, the narrator reacts to what you’re doing and makes snide remarks, references to other games, and other cheesy puns. I didn’t think they were spammy or overdone, and I found them humorous at times, and I got a kick out of some of the comments. However, some people might not enjoy the snide remarks or appreciate them.

The combat reminded me of a super simple and dumbed down Batman Arkham style combat. Your successful attacks and counters add up on your combo streak, but there wasn’t any cool finishing moves to activate as combo steak gets higher. If you wanted to add some variation to the combat, you could also dash around, throw, and grapple hook enemies.

There were 4 swords that could be crafted with unique activated abilities. Using the abilities costs energy, but I usually just saved my energy in case I needed to heal. These swords also unlock special doors for hidden chests that contain gems you can equip. As you defeat enemies, you also gain xp, and level up to unlock skill points. Between obtaining new skill points, and gems, the combat gets even easier. Still, I really enjoyed the combat, even though it wasn’t very difficult.

Pros:
  • music and sound effects were great and well suited
  • very strong, and well done narrative persistent throughout the whole game
  • choose your own adventure format results in multiple stories that can potentially take place based on the choices you make
  • the graphics were done very well in all parts of the world that you visit
  • you’re free to explore and find chests to craft and upgrade your weapons
  • combat was very fluid and fast paced, jumping back and forth from one enemy to another
  • you can skip some of the dialog (after making your decision, and at the end of each chapter)
Cons:
  • lacks control customization (the game is optimized for controllers)
  • combat was very forgiving, almost too forgiving – you didn’t have to time your counters or attacks properly, and they were all done with the same button press
  • there was a lot of revisiting places you’ve already been to, and they were mostly the same with some very minor changes, if any
  • you can’t skip the dialog that starts off each chapter before you make your decision, and it gets very tedious and repetitive hearing what your choices are (again) when you try to go back to discover the stories you haven’t completed yet

At first, I really liked the choose your own adventure format, but after discovering about 6 truths, and finishing the proper story line, I found it got much too repetitive. I really wanted to go back and play the rest of the story paths, but before you make each decision, you have to sit through the opening dialog, and you can’t skip it. I got really bored of listening to the same first few chapters, just to make a separate choice going into the later chapters. I would liked to have been able to just skip entire chapters that I already experienced all the decisions for, especially since I already beat the game.

Conclusion:

Each playthrough took 45-60 minutes, and I really did like the game a lot for the first 6-7 hours I played. I continued to play for a couple hours after that, and I probably would have kept playing to discover all the truths, but not being able to skip all the things I had already fully experienced was much too tedious to sit through over and over again. It was still a decent purchase though, and I don’t regret it.

Rating:

73