Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode I: Tides of Fate PC Review

Released in 2011, Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode I: Tides of Fate is a game that I’d wanted to get my hands on for some time. The developers of the game, Kisareth Studios, are currently aiming to release it on Steam via Steam Greenlight, and after having played it, I would advise anyone with a Steam account to Greenlight it.

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Chronicles of a Dark Lord contains a fantastically designed and atmospheric world with a stellar soundtrack to accompany it. The developers at Kisareth take pride especially in how the design of the world and elements of it pan out, and to me, their dedication certainly shows. Another thing I especially like about this game is that unlike many games that it draws inspiration from, it has a very unique enemy roster, ranging from creatures like Bane Flowers and flying scorpions named the Scorlanis. However, best thing about the game’s visuals is that it relies heavily on hand-drawn graphics; a technique incorporated into some of the best games of all time, such as Final Fantasies VII, VIII and IX and Grim Fandango. Because of this, the battle sequences in the game speak of attention to detail.

As a traditional turn-based RPG, this game is extremely addictive, as well as being very satisfying to progress through. I’ve always gotten enjoyment out of playing these kinds of games to witness how character strength and ability develops overtime, and Chronicles of a Dark lord is no different. With learnable skills and magic to accumulate as the game progresses, it’s immensely fulfilling just to play through the main story; let alone the decent amount of side quests to accompany it. Another thing that I like is that although there is a huge emphasis on story, none of that hinders the gameplay, which is not only a problem I’ve experienced with many other games I’ve reviewed, but in other recent turn-based RPGs to an extent, such as Child of Light.

Chronicles of a Dark Lord incorporates as simple a control scheme as can be found in a video game, and as such, I’m happy to report that there are no complications to address. A lot of developers over the years have tried to modify this formula with varying degrees of success, but it’s refreshing to experience a title taking it back to basics and encompassing no frustrations.

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The game can make for roughly 20 to 25 hours of gameplay. Whilst that is somewhat short compared to other turn-based RPGs, it isn’t unforgivable. As I said, there is a decent amount of side quests to add to the game’s longevity, and I don’t think it would leave players wanting more on the same scale as certainly South Park: The Stick of Truth would have inevitably done for many people who played that. In any case, I’m hoping that this is where the upcoming sequel to this game will come in; Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: War of the Abyss.

The story of the game follows the dark lord Magus Lee, leader of the Kisareth Empire, who embarks on a quest with various allies to thwart the advancement of a much greater evil. Though my own synopsis may sound basic, the game’s story is anything but that. Right from the start, there are twists and turns, which keep it engrossing as well intense throughout. How Magus’ character develops overtime also makes it an especially memorable experience, but I don’t wish to give away any more than that, since it is most definitely worth gamers finding out for themselves.

Though not without it’s influences, many ideas and inspirations from different sources have been incorporated by Kisareth to form something very special and unique. I think if Kisareth plan to develop this series past the forthcoming second game in the series, it could make for an extremely exciting franchise. It’s hard to be able to make a turn-based RPG stand out among most other games of it’s genre, but Kisareth have done an extremely good job of achieving that.

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Overall, Chronicles of a Dark Lord is an exceptional game that is certainly worthy of much more attention. Though it has built up a cult following over the last few years, putting the game on Steam would help to bring it to a much wider audience, and I’m hoping that’s where factors like this review come in.

8 out of 10