Magin: The Rat Project Stories PAX West Impression
Magin: The Rat Project Stories looks to be a gritty tale told through various methods with an overlapping card-battling system that is all around simple, layered, and enjoyable.
Sifting through the ashes to survive in a broken world is a basic story that has worked well multiple times. Add in a gritty graphic novel flair to the visuals and there’s something even more interesting. The Rat Project’s Magin: The Rat Project Stories looks to combine this gritty storytelling with a deck-building card battler to showcase the best of both worlds. RPGamer got the chance to take a look at how things are progressing with a PAX West demo.
Magin follows the story of Elester, a member of a group called the Syndicate. Elester has been dealing with post-traumatic stress from situations in his past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to him when Sarera, the leader of the group, asks him to help participate in training the new recruits. Elester’s friend Nyvia thinks this is a bad idea, but Elester goes through it anyway. After almost killing the new recruit with a barrage of abilities far above the rookie’s ability to defend, Elester starts to doubt himself again. Following this, Sarera sends him out with Nyvia on a mission, though that was when the demo ended. Elester’s past and what problems he has to come to terms with are decent mysteries that I’m interested in diving into and learning about.
Magin‘s gameplay splits into two different sections. First is an adventure game where Elester moves on a side-scrolling track and is able to interact with surroundings and people as necessary. There will be point-and-click segments involving searching and navigating in the final version of the game. The second part to the gameplay is as a card-battler. Story is delivered through the battles as well, with characters speaking at the beginning of the fight and continuing on throughout the match. Everything is fully voice acted.
When battle begins, the player’s equipped deck of cards is shuffled and five cars are dealt out. Characters have three action points to use per turn, indicated with blue diamonds, and each card drawn has a corresponding number in the upper left to signify how many points it will use. Predicting what the enemy will do is easy, since their skill is shown by their name in the top right of the screen. This allows for strategic card use to block their attacks or attack them while they’re doing something else, with various block, buff, or debuff effects available to apply. Blocks are only useful against one attack, so over stacking on defence is only useful against powerful strikes.
After combat ends, there’s an option to take a card from defeated opponents. Upgrading a neutral card is also an option, taking a card was the choice done in the demo, which granted a healing potion cards used by the rookie during the training fight. Another aspects that affects gameplay is Magin‘s dark and light system. At pivotal moments in the game, there will be decisions to make that are reflected in which cards that the player receives in dark or light magic. It will be interesting how often shades of gray will be used in the story since Elester is a morally dubious individual by nature.
Magin: The Rat Project Stories looks to be a gritty tale told through various methods with an overlapping card-battling system that is all around simple, layered, and enjoyable. It will be interesting to see how the adventure aspects of the game are presented, as well as finding out how the story of Elester pans out and how light and dark magic might impact both gameplay and the story. Magin: The Rat Project Stories is currently planned to release on Steam by the end of 2023.