Age of Reforging: The Freelands, developed and published by PersonaeGame Studio, is a sandbox RPG that aims to provide players with an immersive role-playing adventure set in a medieval fantasy world. With its ambitious blend of gameplay elements inspired by classics like Neverwinter and Baldur’s Gate series, Age of Reforging sets out to create a unique experience for players in the vast world of the Freelands. In this review, we will delve into the various aspects of the game, discussing its strengths, weaknesses, and potential for growth.
Graphics and Visuals
Visually, Age of Reforging offers a charming and immersive world that captures the essence of a medieval fantasy setting. The environments are beautifully crafted, with intricate details that bring the world to life. Daytime scenes are filled with vibrant colors and intricate textures, while nighttime scenes convey a sense of danger and suspense. The graphics, while not groundbreaking, are certainly pleasing to the eye and contribute to the overall atmosphere of the game.
Character and World Design
One of the standout features of Age of Reforging is the customization options it offers players. The game provides a wide range of races and classes to choose from, allowing players to create unique and diverse characters. The character creation process offers a decent level of depth, with options to customize physical appearance, skills, and attributes. Additionally, the world of the Freelands is vast and varied, with different regions, cities, and towns to explore, each with its own distinct style and atmosphere. From lush forests to barren wastelands, the world of Age of Reforging invites players to embark on a journey of discovery.
Quest and Narrative
The narrative of Age of Reforging revolves around the player assuming the role of the Reforger, a chosen champion of the Goddess of Fate, who is tasked with leading a rebellion against the oppressive rule of the royalties in the Freelands. The game draws inspiration from historical events like the Spartacus rebellion, providing a compelling and engaging storyline. The quests in the game are plentiful, offering a variety of objectives and challenges that drive the narrative forward. The quests range from simple fetch quests to complex multi-step missions, ensuring that players always have something to do and progress in the game.
Companion and Party Management
A significant aspect of Age of Reforging is the ability to recruit and manage a party of companions. The game allows players to recruit up to nine unique companions, each with their own skills, abilities, and backstories. This adds an element of strategy to the gameplay, as players must carefully consider the strengths and weaknesses of each companion and assign them roles that complement their abilities. The companion system enhances the immersion and role-playing aspect of the game, providing opportunities for interesting interactions and character development.
The combat mechanics in Age of Reforging are real-time, requiring players to think quickly and make split-second decisions. The game offers a variety of combat styles, ranging from melee-focused fighters to ranged attackers and spellcasters. The combat encounters can be challenging, especially as players progress further into the game and face more powerful enemies. However, the combat system feels somewhat unpolished and lacks the depth and refinement of other sandbox RPGs. The AI of both the player’s party members and enemies could be improved, as they often act unpredictably and make questionable decisions. Additionally, the lack of a pause function during combat can make it difficult to strategize and coordinate actions effectively.
Survival and Exploration
Age of Reforging incorporates survival elements into its gameplay, adding an additional layer of challenge and immersion. Players must manage resources such as food, water, and shelter, and take into account the effects of weather and environmental hazards. This survival aspect adds a sense of realism and urgency to the game, forcing players to make careful decisions and prioritize their actions. Exploration is also a key aspect of Age of Reforging, with a vast world to discover and secrets to uncover. The game rewards players for taking the time to explore, offering hidden treasures, unique encounters, and valuable information.
Technical Aspects and Performance
While Age of Reforging shows promise, there are a few technical aspects that could be improved upon. Load times can be quite lengthy, which can be frustrating and disrupt the flow of gameplay. Additionally, the controls can feel clunky and unresponsive at times, requiring players to take some time to adjust and get accustomed to the interface. However, it is important to note that Age of Reforging is still in early access, and the developers have the opportunity to refine and optimize these aspects in future updates.
Age of Reforging: The Freelands presents a promising venture in the sandbox RPG genre, with its immersive world, captivating narrative, and engaging gameplay mechanics. While it may not reach the heights of other sandbox RPGs like Mount and Blade, Age of Reforging offers a unique blend of role-playing, exploration, and survival elements that keep players hooked. With continued development and refinement, this game has the potential to become a standout title in the genre. If you are a fan of sandbox RPGs and are looking for a fresh and ambitious take on the genre, Age of Reforging: The Freelands is certainly worth a try.
Similar games to Age of Reforging: The Freelands
Age of Reforging: The Freelands draws inspiration from various games within the RPG genre, incorporating elements from several notable titles. While it possesses a unique blend of features and mechanics, the game shares similarities with the following games:
- Mount & Blade: Age of Reforging integrates sandbox elements and real-time combat in a similar vein to the Mount & Blade series. Both games allow players to freely explore vast open worlds, engage in strategic combat, and recruit companions to form powerful parties.
- Kenshi: The open-ended and sandbox nature of Age of Reforging aligns with the spirit of Kenshi. Both games serve as immersive RPG experiences, giving players the freedom to shape their own narratives and engage in various activities, such as exploration, combat, and base building.
- Battle Brothers: Age of Reforging’s combat system bears resemblance to Battle Brothers, with its real-time combat and tactical decision-making. Players must strategically position their characters and make use of different abilities and equipment to overcome challenging enemies.
- Neverwinter Nights (NWN) series: The choice-driven, narrative-focused gameplay in Age of Reforging draws inspiration from games like Neverwinter Nights. Both titles offer branching storylines, rich character customization, and memorable quests, allowing players to shape their own adventures.
- Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) series: Like the KOTOR series, Age of Reforging emphasizes player choice and consequences within its narrative. Players can align themselves with different factions and make decisions that influence the outcome of the story, enhancing the overall immersion and role-playing experience.
It’s worth noting that while Age of Reforging shares similarities with these games, it also possesses its own distinct mechanics and features, setting it apart as a unique and ambitious RPG experience.