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To The Green is our weekly look at one game current in Steam’s Greenlight process. There are many games mired here, and some of them have good ideas stuck in the gears that Valve has in place. Here we seek to bring to mind one game a week to discuss.
This week we’re going to take a look at a forthcoming text heavy RPG called Tales of Aravorn: Seasons of the Wolf by Winter Wolves. Seasons of the Wolf takes place in the world of Aravorn, the same one as Winter Wolves Loren the Amazon Princess, though no knowledge of Loren is expected or necessary, as the world is presented on its own. Apparently many mechanics have made it over from Loren but they seem to be clearly explained.
The game follows the story of Shea and Althea, a pair of Snow Elf twins from the far north village of Ninim. The player can choose to play either as the protagonist, with the only difference being some character interactions. Each can be one of three classes – Ranger, Hunter, Druid – which conform more or less to the Fighter, Thief, Mage choices though each has a definite nature spin on them. Each of the characters you meet throughout the game will have their own set of skills to choose from – and each of these classes grants a good amount of skills to pick between.
The games stats, skills and traits grant some solid areas to differentiate and you control the levelling for all the characters you recruit. Additionally, the game has a pretty robust equipment set up to allow further modification on substats, resistances and such – with the equipment stats set up being a bit similar to action-rpgs with level locks, resistances against some things, types of damage and so forth. These matter in battle as one might expect and using the field type to advantage can be profitable.
The battle system is relatively simple 6 characters at most on each side attack in a turnbased system. Characters have a Health and Skill Points bar – and using their skills costs SP which does not automatically heal unless you are finishing up for the day. The SP depletion in particular means that doing multiple fights in a row requires resource management making it important to vary between special attacks and normal attacks. While simple the variety of skills, some decent mechanics and conditions make it a solid enough system.
For the first Act of the game you have only 3 characters, and that gives the trio some time to breathe and establish themselves. Shea, and Althea are of course the primary focus and their relationship with each other, the village, and their father, Morran. While they are clearly the primary focus here and the reason why their family is looked at and how it shapes some of whom they have become, their friend Vaelis is also introduced. Vaelis is a former mercenary who has some sort of history with Morran that has left Morran feeling unkind towards him. Vaelis comes across as someone with some world experience but an enthusiasm for doing things that gets him into trouble, and sometimes his friends too.
One of the themes of the stories that has been revealed from the developer is Deceit. Given what the demo has and what I’ve seen, it’s clear the first act is setting up some things but there are some questions that rest unanswered. The introduction of the illusionist, who appears to become a recruited character, may be a hint that reality is not always what it seems.
There will be 8 different characters in the full release later this month each with unique skills. There will be 4 acts, with the first one being the shortest and is available as a demo. It gives a solid feel for the setting and some characters – much of the information came from going that. One point that I should mention is that the game does include romance with how it proceeds depending on the protagonist you choose. The developers are noted for their openness towards both straight and homosexual relationships and both are included.
Tales of Aravorn: Seasons of the Wolf will be released later this month, but is still in Greenlight. There is a free demo available on their site, which covers the first act of the game and gives several hours of play. If you think it might interest you, vote it up on Greenlight, try the demo, and watch the trailer below