Categories: Previews

Solasta preview: Crown of the Magister, almost a board video game

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a very promising Dungeons & Dragons video game with solid foundations, let’s find out in this preview

A few days after the release of Baldur’s gate 3, we once again have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Today in preview we can in fact tell you about Solasta: Crown of the Magister, a title that is based on the rules of the 5th edition and aims to emulate the system in a rather faithful way. It is in development by Tactical Adventures, a team on their first gaming project, but not entirely new to development. Mathieu Girard is in fact at the head of this team, founder of Amplitude Studios, creators of games such as Endless Legends and Endless Space. A not just guide that could be fundamental for the success of Solasta, an ambitious title that wants to create an adventure faithful to the board game.

A shocked world

Solasta tells us about a terrible cataclysm that she destroyed Manacalon, the ancient kingdom of the High Elves. The affected region is now a place full of dangers, where only the most daring and foolish decide to venture. As in a typical fantasy adventure, the game starts with a group of adventurers in a tavern, attracted by the common desire and need to participate in an adventure for money. While waiting for the common client, everyone will tell his story in front of the fire in the room, and the player will experience those very brief events as a tutorial to learn the basic controls of the game. When everyone is done, we will finally be informed of our mission: to save a rescue team now believed to be missing.

In the portion of Solasta that we were able to play, at the plot level we did not find ourselves in front of a masterpiece, neither for introduction nor for evolution of the story. However what makes this title special is the way it manages to characterize and dynamically bring our team to life of characters created from scratch.

Building your dream team – Solasta preview: Crown of the Magister

Before even starting the campaign, we have the opportunity to build several characters and bring four with us to experience the adventure. The creation system that is provided to us is full of choices and options to give life, in the way that best suits our tastes, to characters who can have both personalities and different skills in battle. They are provided as a basis five races: Human, Halfling, Dwarf, Elf and High Elf. Each will provide characters with different characteristics and knowledge, such as a native language or the ability to see in the dark without using magic.

They are then available six classes to choose from: Warrior, Cleric, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Mage and the Warlock is also on the way. The background instead defines the origin of the characters and how they will talk to others. It is also possible choose the voice of each character, which will result in fully voiced dialogue based on your selection. Each adventurer we take with us will provide (almost) every conversation with a different way of relating to non-player characters. The thief could be the one with the joke ready, the cleric the thoughtful and combative one. However the preview was short lived, so it’s still difficult to understand how dynamic and consistent the system will be with the character’s origins in a larger context.

Planning Your Trip – Preview Solasta: Crown of the Magister

The game is mostly set in some maps connected by a central hub: the city of Chester Supplier. Large and pleasantly made place consisting of a tavern, market, central square, a belvedere and the temple of the council. However on a general level there is a serious one lack of non-player characters, the streets of a small town in August seem more animated. The lighting then does not play in favor as, despite the fact that there is full sunlight at midday, the aesthetics of this place remain too desaturated and a little sad. Only present in fact are some NPCs of basic importance, including numerous merchants and characters useful to the plot.

When we decide to leave, just reach the exit of the city to open the world map and select the location we want to reach by simply clicking on “travel”. Our group will then leave for the crossing and will deal with it based on the speed we have established. Along the way they will perform automatically of stops, they will collect resources or, in the worst case, they will encounter enemies to face in battle, and then leave immediately. At the destination reaches the exploration and combat phase begins.

Available actions – Preview Solasta: Crown of the Magister

The group will be able to move freely, to climb on small hills, or jump as much as athletic skill allows. From the moment you are located by enemies, the game will pause and combat will begin. It is in fact a turn-based combat system (similar to X-Com), in which the characters can move through the boxes, both horizontally and vertically by climbing.

Each character has various basic actions available, such as being able Push, drop to the ground The plan a reaction automatic like an attack or a spell. The rest of the powers are determined by the type of class or creature. For example, a wizard will have his prepared spells available, with limited uses based on level and slots (rechargeable with a short or long rest), the warrior will attack with his weapons and a thief mostly from darkness with sneak attacks.

Interactions with the environment – Preview Solasta: Crown of the Magister

To continue it is not only necessary to fight, sometimes you will be faced with puzzle to solve that require the specific abilities of some characters, such as disarming the thief. Albeit in a limited way, there are some interactive background elements. You may need to push a tall column for create a bridge or reveal a room by pushing a hidden wall. In combat this component becomes useful as we can drop unsafe boxes on enemies or even break down stalactites on the ceiling.

All faithfully based, as previously mentioned, on the combat system of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, with some minor differences or absence. In perfect working order were it not for one really uncomfortable camera, which too often does not reveal our characters through walls, as it should happen in top-down titles.

The technicalities of the case – Preview Solasta: Crown of the Magister

From a graphic point of view, Solasta is not surprising but it still manages to offer some pretty landscapes. However, the lighting does not always reach the desired quality, failing to emphasize some places, such as the main city. Plus the characters lack charismatic details and animations to bring it to life. However, Solasta is an Early Access video game, so the developers still have plenty of room for further improvements, especially when it comes to the aesthetics of the game. Treatment that will certainly also be reserved for the care of performance, at the moment not quite at the top.

Our first impressions

Solasta is a video game with very promising foundations and that differs from Baldur’s Gate III with greater fidelity to the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. Interesting is the possibility of use the environment to your advantage, both for natural traps and to reach tactically more advantageous places. Added value is also the fact of being able to create the entire party of adventurers from scratch, thus deciding potential tactical synergies and diversifying the approach to gameplay at will. Also of note is a full dubbing in English, adapted for each voice chosen during character creation.

Cracks are one at the moment texture of little thickness, not very interesting dialogues and a number of minor glitches and bugs, which will most likely be fixed as development progresses. A project certainly to keep an eye on for the potential it contains and recommended to every fan of the famous paper role-playing game.

The video game of our preview is Solasta: Crown of the Magister, available October 20 for PC. We recommend that you continue to follow us on TechGameWorld.com to stay updated on video games technology.

Published by
Gianfranco Baldari

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