The RPG Files: Grimshade Review
In May of 2018 Talerock successfully kickstarted their game Grimshade. It is a story driven RPG with tactical style battles. Grimshade released March 26, 2019, and we were happy to be able to get our hands on it and give it a go. Grimshade does some things that different that sets itself apart from traditional RPG's. Let's hop into it! This is our Grimshade review.
Grimshade is a very story driven RPG with some tough tactical battles. The tactics come in the form of each character having a specific way they attack and things they can do. Kiba, for example, uses Dark and Light skills to damage enemies as well as buff allies and debuff enemies. At the beginning after getting Kiba, you are sort of slammed with tutorial after tutorial to teach you the basic tactics and how the first two characters operate. This will continue to happen as you unlock new characters. Some characters can avoid attacks and defend others while some can do neither and must be protected. It does make it tough for some characters to stay alive as some enemies can get past the defender and still attack them. Easy to say the badger, Charlie, dies in battle a lot of the time for me.
Now on normal, these battles were brutal and long at the beginning with just 2-3 characters on the team. One reason I see this being is because there are no levels, only skills. Skills are gained through different gear you acquire and equip. Tactics play a substantial role for this reason. If you are continually failing in a fight its because you can be making wrong moves.
A central problem I found while playing is acquiring items that I have no idea if they are essential or not. It was hard to understand if certain things would be used for crafting or just trash to acquire money. Money is definitely needed because medical kits are necessary to heal your characters out of battle, and those run 500 gold each. Also, gold is used to purchase items used to craft equipment for certain characters. Being that they would be equipable items it goes without saying they provide a skill in battle.
Battles in Grimshade felt okay but like a slow drag. They require you to think because a wrong move can give your character an injury debuff that can't be healed unless you go to a heaven area should they fall in combat. In some cases, it can even make a battle drag on for a long time. You are able to restart the battle should you make a flaw like that, but in some instances, if the battle is long, like me, you may call it a day and pick it up again the next day to have a go at it.
Grimshade changes things up by not having the typical stats and instead focusing on an HP and fatigue system. It makes for an exciting style of gameplay and some fierce battles on normal. Possibly overly tough battles. When stuck in a situation where you have battled back to, and no chance to heal can kill your drive to continue playing.
One of the most noticeable things about Grimshade is that it has an exciting art style. The main title screen displays it very well, especially as characters are added to it as you progress in the story. Each character is posed in a way displaying what their skill or style of power is. It is gorgeous and goes well with the music. Characters are also added to the loading screen as you acquire them. The music in the game is excellent as well as it draws you into it.
Now the game launched with a few issues, most of which were day one patched. I feel there is no need to mention ones that aren't a problem anymore. There are still some strange typo's or translation particularly with one character in-game, Waruwaru. Every time I see one of the party characters mention her, they say "WarooWaroo." It's not a big issue but its something I found hard to determine if the characters just nickname her that or if it's an actual mistake.
Another problem I ran into is that after a while of running the game things started to go wrong. The game would freeze, frames would drop. During some battles after killing a creature, it had zero hp but still remained floating causing me to turn the game off for the day because it was a long fight I didn't want to repeat just yet.
I feel some item clarification is needed in the random stuff you pick up whether it will be useful or not in some way. You might end up like me and keeping everything until you need to sell things for medkits. I found the story interesting, enough so that I didn’t let bugs stop me from trying to advance. Battles are tough, maybe more so than they should be on normal, but it is not enemy difficulty as much as the battle system sometimes works against you. There are issues I feel need to be worked out as in the performance toll it can take after running for a while. Fixing the problems will make for a better game.
- Great art style
- Decent music
- Interesting story
- Performance issues
- Battles feel slow
A PC copy of the game was provided by PR for the purpose of review.