Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

If you thought we were talking about another pixelated soulslick where action and platforming run hand in hand, then Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King is not the case: here we are fighting in a dark world with a third-person view. But quite often the gameplay really migrates to the edges of platform games, changing the 3D perspective to 2.5D. How did this affect the game and what else is interesting about this stylish French Dark Souls?

The magic of mystery and style

I walked the forgotten paths for days, weeks and months to reach the Thousand Doors Palace. A place where only silence now reigned. Where the wind stopped and the waves receded along with the Great Rift. Time for the Big Exodus…

And here I was, shrouded in a fog of memories of the past and the future, standing in this mythical place that has survived. The only place that anyone in Hypnos could find without a map or compass, back when the King still reigned.

And I remember the silence in my soul.

Bitter drops of rain in the wind.

Here are the authors in this language (and the main among them is the French artist and designer Maxime Rene [Maxime Rene]) talk to us both in press releases and in the game itself. Nothing is particularly clear, but stylish, gloomy, mysterious and melancholic. Yes, and it looks exactly the same. In many ways, the picture and character models are reminiscent of another “soullike” – Ashen, but in Shattered everything is somehow darker, or something, more gothic and again melancholy.

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

There are also colors other than black and white.

It becomes especially impressive when the game changes from a third-person view to a side view:Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

With this perspective, we not only jump, but sometimes fight.

All this, of course, refers to Dark Souls and the halo of mystery and darkness with which the plot is presented there. But Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King, like many truly French games, has its own charm. Katerina Krasnopolskaya will not let you lie.

We play for a certain Wanderer – in the world of Hypnos, this seems to be a certain position, title or duty. In any case, he must piece together the fragments of reality and trace the fall of civilization – this world is abandoned and post-apocalyptic, and its collapse occurred after the disappearance of the King. In the process, we periodically discover new secrets of Hypnos, including about our own origin and destiny.

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

There are obviously a lot of secrets here.

And besides, we fight not only with ordinary enemies, but also with the demiurges – these are the destroyer gods from a distant universe, who were at enmity and devoured each other until they destroyed everything around, and now they “play with corpses” out of boredom. This and many other things are constantly told to us by a small creature that the main character meets at the very beginning, and then wears on his back – here the courier with the baby from Death Stranding immediately comes to mind. Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

“Who am I? Who are you?”

Souls are not taken here

There is much less mystery in the gameplay. In general, everything is according to the patterns and covenants of Dark Souls: dodges, parries and counterattacks, endurance management, the ability to use not only melee weapons, but also magic, collecting “souls” for pumping, bonfires as control points, at which we save and respawn after death.

In Limbo, at a sort of player base, where you can return almost at any time through portals or with the help of one of the consumables, there is an altar where we spend the collected “souls” to increase the main parameters – physical strength, magic, health, mana / stamina reserves. The more we pump, the more points will be required for the next upgrade.

There, in Limbo, there is a forge where you can improve weapons, as well as craft consumables and materials to upgrade piercing and cutting items.

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

New weapons are often obtained after defeating bosses.

The difference is that after death, we are allowed to endlessly return for “souls” – they will not disappear anywhere, no matter how much you die. This makes it a little easier to play and shifts the game from a masochist simulator to an action-RPG (as in the case of Ashen, by the way). That is, if you constantly demonstrate a cool reaction and defeat everyone with your “skill” does not work, then you can play more slowly, relying on pumping parameters. Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

Weapons differ in including the speed of blows.

A world full of secrets… and jumps

In any case, it’s fun to play. In many ways, also because it is entertaining to explore the world. There is a unique “lore”, non-trivial level design, a lot of verticality, when, for example, you need to climb and jump up the stairs or fall for a long time and jump on islands hanging in the air to get to the next location. There are many closed doors for the time being, secret portals that need to be found to open shortcuts, ruins and obelisks with inscriptions that can only be read with the help of special stones.Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

What’s new behind this portal?

In addition, the study is non-linear. There are, for example, doors leading to the next boss, but you are free not to immediately go there, but move on and then return through the portals with renewed vigor and decide on a difficult rendezvous.Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

There are also city levels.

It is clear that there are problems in Shattered. The world still feels empty – it puts more pressure on aesthetics than saturation. Bosses are not as interesting and complex as you know in which game. Platform elements and puzzles add variety and charm to what is happening, but the controls and camera are not ideal – and in general it can be difficult to know where to jump.Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King обзор игры

But after the fall, the collected souls will remain with you.

***

And yet Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King leaves a positive impression. This is an outstanding, stylish “soullike” that stands out for its quality of execution, atmosphere and well-developed world. And most importantly, this is just the beginning – as the authors assure, they have been creating this universe for 10 years and are now preparing new games in the world of Hypnos. I would, by God, go back there again.

Pros: intriguing plot; non-trivial world; colorful characters; hypnotizing atmosphere; overall addictive gameplay; unusual transitions from action to platforming; interesting research process.

Cons: the world sometimes seems empty; not the most convenient control and camera behavior, especially during platforming.

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