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Zoria: Age of Shattering Preview for Steam

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres in gaming, and I’m excited to have the chance to share some thoughts about the upcoming title, Zoria: Age of Shattering. Breaking through in a saturated space is always difficult, but I think Tiny Trinket Games has built a title worth considering.

The story opens in medias res, more specifically in the middle of a siege. The game wastes no time bringing us up to speed. Necromancy has shown its ugly face as hordes of undead throw themselves at our gates. We are on the brink of defeat, defending the last fortress in a vast series of bulwarks against would-be invaders. We are a disgraced commander, defeated at one of the many Uram forts along the way. Lucky to be alive, we are ready to take the fight back to the foe not only for a foothold out of the grave but also for victory.

Zoria: Age of Shattering Preview for Steam

So far the game does little hand holding regarding lore and world building. The conversations are captured more in the moment, but are placed in context by reading various books in the area. I personally would have preferred a voiced-over cinematic introduction or some more explanation of the map in the opening loading screen. If you are new to these kinds of role playing games, please know that there will be a lot of reading.

The first thing we do is create our character. The customizations are not super extensive, but they do offer more options than I expected. I immediately compared it to Lord of the Rings Online, or more akin to a general MMO character creator. We pick one out of many classes, but they are very typical in my opinion. I opted for the Kingsman class, which amounts to being a warrior/fighter. There are other familiar classes like a ranger, thief, priest, wizard, etc.

We explore the world by left clicking from point to point on the stage, or you can click and hold the mouse button and our character will follow your cursor. WASD is also worth considering when moving around. Holding Tab will highlight all the interactable objects in sight. Sometimes we need to modify the camera with Q and E. Other times call for a good old zoom in and out. Pressing the F key will prove to be the favorite key, because that allows you to pick up everything in your proximity.

What I can appreciate is the return to a more hardcore trope in RPGs: vitality and damaged equipment over time. In case you were wondering why you were finding so much food in the first few minutes of the game, we will actually need to eat them. This provides more consideration before heading off on quests or jumping into the next battle. It is the tactical RPG’s version of meditating like a Witcher.

We can command an additional three companions when we enter battles. This mode is different, as now you will take turns with an enemy squad. Combat is actually fun, given the skillsets per character, interactable environments, and it is not limited to squares on the stage. What does turn me off however: there seems to be a lack of animation in combat. Characters only react if they get it, otherwise they stand somewhat stiffly in place.

The other most notable thing for me is the design. I really like the user interface and the assets used in Unity to make the world. Character skills and inventory management are classic RPG, but it seemed relatively good to me. I thought that it was well made and worth shouting out. The major things that bugged me were stiff animations, clunky navigation while exploring (e.g., not being able to see where I am going and needing to adjust the camera), and a somewhat limited narrative. I’m a sucker for a good story, but this one is not making me as invested as I want to be. I personally would like to see more of this emerging world.

Hopefully you enjoyed my brief experience with Zoria: Age of Shattering.

You can wishlist Zoria: Age of Shattering for PC via Steam right now. For more information, visit https://zoriagame.com/

Related: Reviews by John Pruitt

I like to think of myself as the average Joe who grew up alongside video games. I have fun playing strategy games, RPGs, shooters, sandboxes, the whole shebang! Every game provides an experience whether it strikes you as profound, mundane, or someplace in between. I'd like to weigh in my two cents before you spend a single penny.