Author Topic: Solasta - Crown of the Magister  (Read 359 times)

Silent Disapproval Robot

  • Jr Lancer
  • ***
  • Posts: 605
on: October 14, 2021, 04:25:13 PM
With the discussion about Baldur's Gate III receiving new attention, I thought I'd throw out a recommendation for Solasta.  I picked it up on sale at GOG a few weeks ago and finished the campaign yesterday. 

It's an isometric, turn-based, RPG using the 5e D&D rules.  You control a party of 4 characters (and occasionally up to 6 with a few NPC allies) and do the usual D&D stuff of exploring the map, murdering various people and creatures, absconding with their possessions, and possibly saving the world. 

The main focus of the game is on tactical combat and this is where the game really shines.  Most maps include a vertical element, often with several levels, and the game wants you to make use of the terrain.  Casting Spider Climb on your thief and watching him run up a wall to hamstring a pesky archer on a rampart is a lot of fun.  So is shoulder checking an Orc and knocking it off a 100' cliff.  By far the most satisfying when you're finally able to nail an enemy magic user hard enough to break his concentration so his fly spell fails and, as he plummets face first into the rocks, he has an instant to regret the way he zipped around over your heads, lobbing fireballs and magic missiles into your group with impunity.

The combat really can be a lot of fun and is the high point of the game.  The storyline is serviceable but very cliche-ridden.  The weakest point of the game is the voice acting.  I wonder if they just used people from the office but some of it is absolutely cringe inducing.   Some of the inter-party dialogue is OK.  When you create your character, you have some options which will define their personality and their dialogue will reflect this.  I'm not sure how robust it is as I've only played with one party.

The graphic engine for the cut scenes and dialogue trees looks rather dated.  It reminds me of Neverwinter Nights II.  It's not terrible but don't expect source lighting or detailed textures.  There can be some odd glitches as well (my dwarf's chin kept jutting through the beard hair and it looked like he had mange).    The graphics for the isometric view are better but again, nothing ground breaking.

There's a faction system in place and you'll gain access to better goods and services from each faction as your rank with them goes up.  Neat idea in theory but I found it was too easy to get a high positive rating with nearly every faction right off the bat.  There was also some issue with the levelling cap.  As I said, the game caps you at level 10 but I reached level 10 with about 1/3rd of the game still to go so it started to feel like a bit of a slog near the end.

I was surprised that magic items were very rare and those that you did find were quite weak.  I think you're supposed to craft better items yourself but I personally hate crafting in games and this was no exception.  Encumbrance rules in the game are pretty punishing (food weighs a lot and you'll need to haul a lot of it in order to explore and traverse the map) so lugging around 8 billion little bits of moss and flowers and ore just wasn't in the cards.  I'd just dump everything into chests in the main town then promptly forget about it and so never craft anything more than poison arrows as I was always missing key components.

One feature I did like is that you can hire the scavenger guild to come and clear out all the loot from a dungeon once you clear it.  That way, you don't have to sort through all the gear and load yourself down.  You just give them 15% of the cut and they'll do all the work for you.  There is a time delay (if it took you 8 days to get to the dungeon, it's going to take them 8 days as well) and you do have to go back to the main town to meet with them and give them the go ahead to sell everything (but it does let you go through all the loot first to see if there are any goodies you want)

If you're in the mood for a turn based RPG, this one ain't bad.  I'd wait for a sale though.  For $20-30, it's fun but it's not worth $50.





Gusington

  • Trooper
  • **
  • Posts: 427
Reply #1 on: October 14, 2021, 05:24:23 PM
So...you approve of Solasta?

Always do what you feel is best.


Silent Disapproval Robot

  • Jr Lancer
  • ***
  • Posts: 605
Reply #2 on: October 14, 2021, 05:57:30 PM
I disapprove of disapproving of it.



BanzaiCat

  • Patreon Supporters
  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 6182
  • Puns Puns Puns Puns
Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 06:04:15 PM
But he did not disapprove silently, so that's...better?



Gusington

  • Trooper
  • **
  • Posts: 427
Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 07:17:46 PM
NO!

Always do what you feel is best.


Silent Disapproval Robot

  • Jr Lancer
  • ***
  • Posts: 605
Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 07:42:06 PM
Now you're getting it! 

Give in Gus....release your disapproval and feel the hatred flowing through you....



Gusington

  • Trooper
  • **
  • Posts: 427
Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 08:18:27 PM
Give in? You had me at 'Hello - now go away' many years ago :)

Always do what you feel is best.


Martok

  • Patreon Supporters
  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 4944
  • Tilting at windmills
Reply #7 on: October 15, 2021, 12:28:59 AM
Damn you, SDR.  Wishlisted this one as well.  (Sigh.) 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart

"I drastically overpaid for this existence." - bbmike