Zoria: Age of Shattering PAX West Impression

The fast-paced combat is an easy highlight.

The success of Baldur’s Gate III has helped draw attention to other cRPGs.  Tiny Trinket Games is creating one such title with its small team in the fluid party-based Zoria: Age of Shattering.  Everything about the game feels fun, but a little more time is needed to present its best.  The demo RPGamer got to see at PAX West still needs to add some polish, but successfully showcases what works well.  The fast-paced combat is an easy highlight.

Players set out with a party of up to six adventurers, with four used in active combat, to save the people of the Uram continent.  There are ten different classes to choose from with a variety of ways to approach progress for them.  The party moves around the world trying to clear out the hellspawn that have taken over.  Companions not in the active party can be sent out for quests for rewards and experience.  These quests are mostly linear in nature, but the choices that pop up will matter later in the game.  Characters get some variety from the skill tree that they all follow along, but the largest customization comes from equipment, party makeup, and maintaining each character’s focus.

Focus starts at one-hundred and each special ability used drops it a set amount.  If focus drops low enough, only regular attacks can boost the bar up again.  Keeping this in mind adds a bit of strategy to the speedy proceedings.  Movement is point-and-click on the isometric map, while combat shifts to radial-based movement with attacks are mapped to the keyboard.  While still turn-based, this freedom of movement and quick ability use almost makes it feel closer to an action game.

Continuing in this feel, when enemies are defeated loot sprawls out on the ground and can be picked up with a simple button click.  Grinding for experience and better equipment is easily possible, may become a necessary part of the game for players, as while things weren’t too difficult in the demo, the bosses or final quest encounters can pack a punch.  Fortunately, being defeated only sets players back a little bit as there’s an autosave before each combat begins.  Loot comes in many forms, and the game will also include alchemy, cooking, and crafting options to dive into.

Item creation, as well as healing up, can be done easily through the campfire option, which is available at any point where things are safe.  At the campfire, characters can choose a bonus dependent on the characters being used, with another one added if they cook any food.  These bonuses are certainly helpful to surviving tougher fights.  The heavy use of campfires and the quick pace of combat make the party-game feel distinct, as the speed to get back to full strength makes plotting the adventure less meticulous than others in the genre.

As part of its lead up to release, the developers for Zoria: Age of Shattering decided to forego Early Access and go straight to a full release.  While a demo is available with around two hours of content, the full title is aiming to cover around forty to fifty hours of main content, with side quests adding more to that.  Zoria: Age of Shattering is currently planned to release for PC in Q4 2023.


Ryan Costa

Friendly neighbourhood reviewer that thinks every RPG should be discussed, because one never knows where a hidden gem can appear.

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