Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King

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a game by Redlock Studio
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King
Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King
Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King
Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King

When creating new art, inspiration can be pulled from many places, and video game development is no different. When French studio Redlock Studio was creating Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King, you can tell they were heavily influenced by open world RPGs, platformers, and souls-like games. After all, those are all very popular genres that are unique in their own ways.

Transcending Genres

When you first enter Shattered, you’re treated to an often dark, grim, and mysterious world. There is a cutscene before starting, although afterward, I felt like I had way more questions than answers about what was happening. In fact, you’ll find yourself wondering “What exactly is going on?” a lot of the time when playing this game. This is because of the overall vision of the creators, Redlock Studio.

From what I can tell, it’s almost as if Shattered was meant to be this fantastical combination of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls, and NieR: Automata. You have elements of a dystopian open world game with third-person action combat focused around attacking, dodging, and parrying. While we don’t know for sure if these games are the sources of inspiration, it’s not hard to make the comparison.

The story for Shattered is that you’re searching for the God King who can help your people survive a dark future and eventually prosper. To open the way to this God King, you’ll need to defeat several bosses at the end of long platforming, souls-like levels that you find scattered around the world.

If you’re hoping for more story, you’ll need to find lore stones as you travel around the world. These stones provide long texts that are about as much fun to read as a math book, unfortunately. Redlock seems to have made these texts the primary way to learn about the lore of Shattered and in my opinion, the writing simply can’t hold the story up.

How Open is Too Open?

After completing the tutorial in the beginning world of Limbo, you’re released into the open world and asked to find the God King. The world is vast and quite pretty to look at sometimes, but without any waypoints or paths, it’s up to the player to discover where to go. This was both exhilarating and panic-inducing for me. I’m not one to enjoy wasting time running for hours to eventually find out I’m in the wrong area. Luckily, Shattered did offer a hoverboard early in the game that made travel much quicker.

This cool hoverboard doesn’t make up for the fact that you’ll still be crossing vast distances with little to no points of interest in between. However, there are a few things you can discover while traversing the world such as enemy encampments, fast travel towers, XP fragments. While appreciated, the actual chore of traversing the land doesn’t make this effort worth it.

Another Dark Souls, but Worse

The real meat of this game is found when entering one of the game’s main dungeon levels. You’ll fight through a string of enemies, collecting XP, leveling up, and finding new secret treasures. This is also where the bread and butter of Shattered is. The levels are well designed and provide room for exploration, and even a little exploitation. There were locked doors I could simply find myself a way around by jumping on top of the terrain. While I’m not sure if this was a purposeful design, it still felt like I accomplished a feat.

Movement is fun in Shattered due to the game’s double jump and dash mechanics. However, when added to the stamina and parry focused combat, you get a faster, but worse Dark Souls. Parrying rarely works due to the enemies’ lack of predictable animations. Stamina never really becomes an issue, which is odd considering it’s important in most souls-like games. But lastly, the combat just isn’t rewarding. Special moves like the sword slam don’t offer up more damage than a normal attack, meaning you’ll just be spamming that most of the time.

Outside of the gameplay, the graphics are low poly, which is something you see often in indie games. It looks fine for the most part, and I enjoyed it. Although there are a few issues where the textures were stretched, especially on terrain such as mountainsides. The color palette is rich and is appreciated. Especially since your time in the game is often spent in the dark areas where there isn’t much to look at. Sound design was above average, which made some of the repetitive combat satisfactory due to their varying death cries.

Occasionally, you may come across a missing sound effect or the music completely stops out of nowhere. This can take you out of the experience for a bit, but it’s not game breaking. Regarding the music, there’s nothing to remark on. It fits the grim world and doesn’t try to stand out.

5

At the end of the day, it’s hard not to appreciate what Redlock Studios has tried to do with Shattered Tale of the Forgotten King. It’s ambitious, albeit possibly too much. With enough manpower behind this studio, I’m sure they could have filled this game out and created a fun, interesting open world game. It’s just a bit sad we’re left with what seems like wasted potential.

Pros:

  • Interesting hybrid of souls-like, open world, and platformers
  • Solid music and sound design when it works

Cons:

  • Parrying system is too difficult
  • Enemies and bosses are repetitive
  • No real guidance on where to go
  • Lack of story outside of the boring lore stones

Download Shattered – Tale of the Forgotten King

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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PC Screenshots

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