Thank you to developer Amplify Creations and publisher Rising Star Games for providing the code to allow for a early sneak peek into this game, ahead of its release on XBOX ONE.
The game starts you off with a mini action scene where you are introduced to your elf like character (named Ada) in third person view, surrounded by fire and destruction. With little to interact within the environment, you simply come to find that your entire village (including your family) has been slaughtered.
A lone majestic elk is there to greet you in your grief. It appears to draw you in with a mystical aura, and bring you the confidence and comfort that you need.
The game then takes you through the intro credits cut scene that shows Ada and her elk companion traveling through the land, while the main credits play out.
It’s from these two simple moments in the start of the game that you can see that the animation is very defined and the graphics are medium to high quality, making for an appealing experience visually.
From this point, you are dropped right into the game — no introduction to controls, no immediate guidance on what to do next and where to go — you as the player will essentially experience the game in the same way as Ada does — on the fly.
There is the game setup menu that does list the control layout for those who need to know, but if you are anything like me, you will just button mash to see what everything does.
I recommend getting used to where your long attack, short attack, slide/sneak and weapon change buttons are — you will need them!
Even more critical, take note of your HP and Stamina meters. It sometimes only takes one or two hits from an enemy to reduce your HP to zero….and this will become painfully apparent to you as soon as you encounter your first few enemies. As you perform various tasks, including fighting or running, your stamina will drop and sometimes you just need to pull yourself back for a moment to let it recharge in order to finish off the task at hand.
As you begin your journey, you will come across a vast open world that is intricate in detail and full of hidden items (including treasure chests or vials) and impending danger. As you explore further into your surroundings, it becomes essential to learn about the type of enemies (so sneaking is sometimes beneficial), and dangers lurk in front of you. You will spend most of your time making quick decisions and hoping you made the right choice as there is always someone (or something) waiting to knock you out.
Scattered across the environment, you will at times find various vials that can be used to strengthen you in battle (restore HP/stamina for example), but mostly you will find Lullaberries. These are used to calm your Elk companion in order for it to feel confident to be rode and/or to carry item inventory for you. You will find that you will need to be constantly feeding the Elk and giving it comfort as simple riding causes its stress meter to rise fast.
You will find various tomes that you can read, and they provide wisdom, in the form of a character control method or guideline to playout the story. Such as, recommendations to carry a torch if you are not trained in the Old Ways (magika) when travelling in dark places.
There are two critical “healing checkpoints” for Ada within the game, which unfortunately are placed widely apart. One being a prayer shrine – which acts as both a HP healer and checkpoint for re-spawn. The other is a camp – which allows you to look at your stats and have the opportunity to sleep and regain your stats/HP/Stamina. That is always a 50/50 gamble as you may get ambushed in the night – which will most likely lead to your doom.
The primary enemies in the game appear to be a wooden armored creature that can come in many forms – and with various strengths and capabilities. But they are essentially child play when it is compared to the oversized hornets, paralyzing slugs and the ruthless giants who also seek to make your journey a living nightmare.
Watch out for chompers – demonic biting onions – that pop out of the ground if you come into proximity.
Many of these enemies will drop items, including power vials, armor and weapons. Each piece of armor and weapon has spec regarding its strength, and each comes with its own “health meter”. The armor piece and the weapon will become naturally degraded from battle, so you have to constantly be finding new items to equip and utilize weapons for different needs by switching out constantly.
While you may after awhile start to think anything you run into out there is an enemy, surprisingly there will be random NPC’s that will be around to further the storyline for Ada and give more information of what happened in that opening cutscene and ultimately where this journey is taking you.
So, while the game sounds quite fulfilling and highly addicting, there are a few main downsides.
Every time you die, your stats (strength, stamina, defense, intelligence, wisdom) will take a hit and continue to deplete to a certain pre-set lowest value. Ada will display this depletion by grabbing her stomach, looking pale and worn out. The only way to restore the stats is to have a successful sleep at a camp – which is all great except for the possibility of being ambushed while sleeping and making stats worse.
Besides, how frustrating it is to keep dying over and over as you attempt to progress through one small part of the game. This was my initial turnoff from the game as it is a style I don’t normally play. Reminds me of Dark Souls with a bit of Zelda fantasy, but with an instant steep learning curve. I spent hours trying and trying to kill enemies in the starter area and most of the time would end up “almost”… before re-spawning and having to try again. I actually had to walk away for a few days because I couldn’t believe that the enemies were leveled to be that difficult right at the start. After rethinking my strategy, I found that once you have met up with a certain type of enemy a few times, you start to understand how they function/move and it helps formulating your battle plans a bit easier. Not to say I didn’t still die, but a lot less often. Every new area brings a new challenge, so you just have to sadly maybe run in — figure out what you truly are up against — perish — and then come back ready to fight.
Perhaps, equally as frustrating, is how far apart re-spawn points are. Finding a shrine or a camp in the environment is not common, and so you could spend a good amount of time combing through enemies, progressing into the environment and collecting items – just to be struck down and sent all the way back to where you started, I mean, this happens in a lot of games, but its absolutely horrible that auto save doesn’t remember you at a “half-way” checkpoint or something.
One of my biggest peeves in a game is lag (or glitches). The loading screens in this game at times can take forever – and unfortunately sometimes freeze up – causing you to need to restart the file load.
I have been told that there are patches to come for the glitches – like per say I was ambushed once and the titling said “BLA” and the enemy instantly killed me – huh? Welcome to a new game – there is always going to be an initial crack or two.
Decay of Logos is a game that is essentially for both new and old to the genre, but is best suited for gamers who are into a game that forces you to grind through the environment, work on your strategy and technique on the go, and most importantly – be OK with dying lots without being discouraged at being too difficult. Like any game, it has its points of varying degree of difficultly – you just have to stick it out.
Don't Get Discouraged -- Keep Trying and Rethinking Your Strategy
This game esstinaliiy allows ther player to decide how they want to tackle the adventure - using their own stragey and gameplay style in order to progress and thrive within the enviornment. It can be very frustrating to endure a game that both encourages and punishes you for failing (dying) - but it is that perserveriance that will allow a player to see the through depth of the game and gain the most from it.