Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Urtuk: The Desolation is a turn-based tactical RPG, somewhat reminiscent of Heroes. In it, a wounded member of the squad can be sent to the infirmary for treatment, or … put on “processing” in order to make medicine for other characters from his flesh and blood. Interested? Then read on.

And again about inhuman experiments

Such inhuman and radical relations are explained by the setting – this is a dark fantasy world, in which, however, there are no elves, gnomes and very strong magicians (although there are vampires and monsters). At one time there was a fierce war between people and giants. Humanity won, and after a while, scientists found a way to draw the life essence from the bones of giants, hoping that it would help heal many diseases and even defeat old age.

Naturally, everything went wrong – experiments with the essence of giants, on the contrary, caused mutations and mass deaths of experimental commoners. One of them, our titular hero named Urtak, managed to escape from the Sanatorium, where they put their experiments “botanists”. And now he (and we, along with him) travels the world in search of a cure for a severe mutation, which in the end is capable of killing him.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

Artists immediately set the general mood of the game.

We travel around the map, moving the gradually expanding detachment of the protagonist from one point to another. Each such movement is equal to one day. And this is important – no, not because the time left to Urtak before the mutation overcomes him is ticking, but because soon the hunters sent from the Sanatorium begin to run after us. And by that time, you need to have time to properly pump the detachment, and it is also desirable to find and capture the fortress and settle down there. Well, or you will have time to find a village in which, according to the plot, there is a transition to the zone with the medicine Urtak needs – there will already be other tests.Urtuk: The Desolation game review

I managed to defeat the hunters outside the walls of the fortress – there was simply nowhere to go!

House in the village

There are enough opportunities for pumping. The map is full of points where someone needs help – someone is robbed by local raiders (scavengers), vampires or other monsters are trying to devour them. Another thing is that the complexity and composition of the enemies are always different, so you need to correctly assess your strength.

It happens that well-known mercenaries or even bounty hunters (but not ours) who have fallen into a mess have to help. And there is a chance that in gratitude they will join our squad. It even happened to me that at the beginning of the battle one of the enemies suddenly shouted to us that he was not happy to be among the scum and if we defeated them, he would gladly join.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

There is also a black market on the map.

Some enemy units, like us, move around the map – sometimes they are looking for a meeting with us, and sometimes they run away. You can come across a bandit lair, where the leader is rumored to have a legendary item. But the most important thing is the villages that can and should be captured so that they begin to generate income. The latter is calculated in trilium – this is the local single currency, for which we buy equipment and mercenaries on the black market. It also goes to pay the salaries of our fighters, which is debited weekly – that’s another reason why you need to keep track of time here, and not carelessly travel around the map.Urtuk: The Desolation game review

Income in the villages is gradually falling, so you need to capture new ones.

Gene, well, you are a mutagen!

There are other resources as well. First of all, this is the life essence that we collect after each battle. For it, from the corpses of defeated enemies, you can extract hearts, bones, even cut off feet, glands, and so on. All this is used as mutagens, which, if equipped, give new traits to the character, in fact – new skills.

For example, cut off feet give the skill “Light Legs”, which allows the character to castle several times per turn, that is, change places with allies. And the skull unlocks the Keen Eye trait, which grants an almost 50% chance of armor penetration on a critical hit. In addition to the organs themselves, there are also hoods and objects based on them.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

The game has been translated into Russian.

In return, mutagens reduce health levels. If a fighter uses the same mutagen for a very long time, then it fuses with it, improving the selected skill, but losing even more health. However, we ourselves decide whether it is worth absorbing the mutagen or not.

Some mutations seem, if not superfluous, then at least strange. For example, they increase health reserves by 15–25%, but with each new level of mutation development, this same health decreases. But an unnecessary mutagen can always be removed and disposed of, obtaining a life essence.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

To absorb or not to absorb – that is the question!

Blood and wine. And guts

In addition, after winning battles, we now and then get blood and flesh – they go to create medicines for the fighters. Well, or, as I said at the very beginning, the same blood and flesh can be obtained if you kill one of your wards who seems superfluous to you. At the same time, the burden on the payroll will decrease.

Although, of course, this function is implemented more for entourage and style. It’s better to send “extra” fighters to scout the area, collect the same trillium (in the process, they can also get injured or die) or train hard to get a new level – another resource is spent on this: alcohol.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

And how can you not thump during training in such a cruel world?

On self-study

Increasing the level means that you need to distribute three points among the four main parameters – these are strength, vitality, agility (determines the order of moves) and concentration. The latter is responsible for the effectiveness of especially powerful focus skills. For example, my Urtak has the “Last Fight” skill, which allows him to survive the next mortal wound with two health points and, if he has a sword in his hand, stab the nearest enemy, stealing a decent amount of “lives” from him.

Characters learn some abilities (traits) right during the battle, depending on what they do. Urtak often raked and eventually learned this ability. Another of my fighters often sent several enemies to the other world at once during one turn and received the “Mass Assassin” skill, which gives +35 to speed after each kill. And so on – there are many interesting abilities, and all of them are useful in battles.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

Some traits also level up as you use them.

Hit and watch your feet!

As you probably already understood, turn-based battles are the main dish of Urtuk: The Desolation. Fighters of different classes participate in them – archers, swordsmen, spearmen, barbarians with a huge ax, foot soldiers, hammerers, monks and other comrades. Almost all of them wear different equipment.

But the key is, of course, unique class abilities and a bunch of the already mentioned traits, skills from mutagens, as well as focus skills that either we or the fighters themselves use in battles, depending on the situation. After a certain time, units, which at first knew little, begin to inflict increased damage on certain types of opponents, carry out repeated attacks with critical damage, do not allow the enemy to pass if he tries to slip through the adjacent cell, out of turn fire at enemies in the affected area, who are beaten by allies , etc.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review
In this situation, we are required to correctly place the characters on the cells – this is critically important. Also because the landscape is interactive, and the cells are full of dangers – some slow down, others hurt and open bleeding. There are even pits where you can dump the enemy – he will immediately die.

Such situations should be used to the maximum.

There are types of opponents who, on the contrary, begin to actively regenerate when receiving normal damage. Therefore, only with the help of the environment, pushing them to dangerous cells, and you can win. There is another option to throw barrels of boiling tar at enemies. Moreover, it spreads by level, and its own can also fall into the resin.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

The fighters themselves are able to throw traps.

Some missions allow you to terramorph and dig trenches so that resin spreads through them – this way you can more effectively defend against superior enemy forces. And once I was informed that an invasion of moles had begun in the world – because of it, in almost every fight for a week, they appeared and dug tunnels, which interfered with mine and others. Another time, a volcanic eruption began – lava poured onto the military field.

That is, in battles here it is both difficult and boring. This is not to mention the fact that many missions are complicated by special conditions – somewhere you need to save a character in order to get a reward or a fighter in a team; somewhere here we are digging trenches or throwing barrels of tar; somewhere, to capture the village, you need to bring the characters to a certain area.

Urtuk: The Desolation game review

Certain cages and positions are best for shooters.

***

Of course, Urtuk: The Desolation lacks gloss, a full-fledged plot (it’s still background here), “lore” and, perhaps, things inherent in projects that are created by more or less large studios. And this game was almost completely developed by one person – David Kaleta (David Kaleta), who maintained active communication with the community and beta testers. I would like to firmly shake his hand, because we got the main thing – a rather deep, unusual and diverse tactic, which fans of the genre simply have no right to miss.

Pros: addictive gameplay; complex and varied turn-based battles; interesting mutation mechanics; stylish, atmospheric picture.

Cons: the game lacks a full-fledged plot and “lore”.

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