Developers Event Horizon see their fantasy tactical dungeon crawling RPG make its way to Playstation 4 this month. With Tower of time landing on almost every current gen platform, let’s dive in and take a look at what their new title has to offer.
Set in the world of Artara, a broken and desolate world after a cataclysm so beyond words there is no name for it, Tower of time sees you take up the mantle of a young hero drawn to a inverted tower located on the edge of his village. The tower, uncovered by a recent earthquake, draws you to it and a childish curiosity leads to you entering the tower – despite knowing it should be avoided. As you descend into the tower you enter a throne room and a mysterious voice calls to you showing you visions and biding you leave to return once your power matures, but not before a seed is planted in your mind – a desire to return when you are ready. life goes on with you tormented by visions and nightmares until one day you find yourself a commander in the kings army, given the means and resources to return and explore the tower.
ToT’s main story dialog plays out in the form of a narration with the Protagonist telling the story of their past adventures to find the secrets of the tower. With that said the game doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary dialog, and while it may return back to topics a few times, overall I found it flows at a pace that isn’t too tedious. While playing through the title i couldn’t help but be reminded of Playing tabletop D&D campaigns (without the dice) the information is clear and passes key knowledge to the players and the deeper lore is there should the players wish to read about the races or the notes of previous explorers.
Graphically and Visually the ToT seems to run quite well for the most part, albeit for a few minor issues such as interacting with a building in town displaying nothing (backing out and re entering seemed to fix it). This only happened twice while I was playing and takes no more than a second or two to rectify. Loading times are in the range of average for the Ps4, taking only a few seconds to load the decently sized maps or encounters. The aesthetic overall reminds me of games like Diablo 3, with the fantasy world inside the tower looking lived in and detailed. Now its not bleeding edge visuals but it’s in the realm of comfort for games of the genre.
ToT audio is a little hit and miss. Most of the time it seems to do its job well, while others seem to miss there que, though that seems to be the rarity despite the few occasions. I rather enjoyed the small details in the soundscape such as disturbing bats or a creature gnawing on the flesh of something in a cave.
Gameplay in ToT is mainly made up of your exploration of the tower, encountering foes, finding clues, gathering loot and solving puzzles. With each floor having its own quests and hidden secrets, it could take you a fair amount of time to fully complete all the floors objectives. This is due to the backtracking to find clues or items needed to finish up side quests and gather better equipment for your heroes, all while fending off attacks from monstrous foes.
Combat takes place when you encounter an enemy avatar on the map. When you do a screen will display the enemy’s stats and you decide if you should engage or withdraw. This can be rather useful especially when going off the beaten track, as some encounters will be outside of your party’s ability to handle. The battles themselves can be rather challenging, even when not taking the road less traveled, as you try to master the games tactical elements. Moving your heavily armored units to take the brunt of the damage and engage in combat while your ranged and magical units attack from afar, there are a number of tactics you can employ and its likely you will dabble with most of them as you try to figure out the best way to gain victory over the foes that walk the towers halls.
Overall I enjoyed my time with ToT, it was both fun and challenging with had an interesting story. Combat offers some resistance over allowing you to steamroll your way to the towers heart, and even offers multiple difficulty levels if you truly wish to push yourself, or if a more story focused mode that allows you to progress with less of a challenge is preferable. I wouldn’t mind recommending this title to people who like the genre, or even to newcomers looking for a route into dungeon crawling.