Grimshade Review (PC)

Grimshade was released on the PC on 26 March 2019 on Steam. It was developed by Talerock and published by Asterion Games. It is a steampunk Role-playing game with tactical turn-based combat mechanics.

AIR Entertainment obtained a digital copy of the game for review purposes.


STORY

Welcome to the town of Ree’fah. The city of Brann and the surrounds are under attack from strange creatures and they are looking for a hero / heroes to save them.

At the start of the game, the main villain is already introduced as he created humanoid beings in his glass chambers of goo. His experiments seem to be failing, something that is frustrating him.

You begin playing as Alister, a young man with an Ether gauntlet on his wrist, but as you play on your party grows as you take on the menacing monsters around the town. Much of the story is played out in lengthy cutscenes and dialogue between characters. At first I was wondering if I was playing a game or watching a movie with the amount of cutscenes.

As the story evolves, it becomes clear how much thought was put into the plot. With deep mysteries and some juicy secrets, it is rather fun to watch it unfold. Sadly, there are some large grammatical errors, and for an author like me it stands out at times. Thankfully the game is enjoyable enough that I can look passed this.

What I did enjoy about the story was the character relationships in the party, and how they interact with the people and creatures they meet in the game. There are seven main characters to play with, and each of them brings their own unique personality to the game.

Grimshade Story Score

GAMEPLAY

At first when I started running around in isometric view, I thought this game was going to be like the much-beloved Diablo series. I was rather excited getting ready to hack n slash my way through hordes of enemies, not having read anything about the game before my review.

To my surprise, when I entered combat mode, it changed to a tactical turn-based combat system. Each character and creature takes turns slashing or using their abilities until one of the sides have completely obliterated the other. While they did this fairly well, I am not a fan of this type of system.

There is a fair amount of strategy involved in the combat. You need to know which fighters are best suited to the specific combat, as well as where to place them on the “chess-board”. You can also not move your players past the halfway mark, which rather frustrated me at times, especially when monsters don’t take as much damage from ranged weapons as they do from melee.

The inventory is laid out well, with slot areas for your armour and weapons, and empty slots for other items you may find. I was pleased to see they had quite a selection of items I hadn’t seen before in any other games.

What intrigued me further was the character development. Instead of leveling up your character specifically, you would be leveling up the abilities that are bound to armour, weapons or accessories. That means that if you swap out a helmet with a special ability, your ability would change to the new one.


SOUND AND GRAPHICS

The graphics is where the game really is impressive. Each character and creature has been beautifully designed and it was great to see how artistic the team are. The towns and world are truly stunning to behold, and even watching the abilities of each character unfold is amazing.

More effort was placed in the graphics than the sound however. All dialogue is text-based, so do not expect voice-overs. There are some rather splendid music scores for certain scenes, but that is about the only praise I can give for sound. The fight scenes are the usual battle sounds we’ve all heard before.


FINAL VERDICT

Grimshade is a delightful steampunk RPG with a tale that will keep you intrigued throughout the game. There are some amazing graphics, and even the tactical turn-based strategy elements are praise-worthy at times. When combat becomes complicated, it can quickly become frustrating, and the fact that some decisions are limited during battle does not help. Sound elements can be improved upon, but the graphics more than makes up with the stunning artwork.

Grimshade receives 8/10 for an overall score.

**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were kindly supplied with a review copy. This has in no way influenced my views on the game as per our Review Policy**

SHAUN M JOOSTE

Author, Poet, Screenwriter, Gamewriter, Journalist,
….and Elemental Mage Supreme in his spare time
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https://celenicearth.wordpress.com || http://celenicearthpublications.co.za

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