The Bearded Ladies are steadily establishing themselves as one of the most compelling tactical RPG developers out there. The Swedish studio, which previously offered Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, is now premiering the follow-up title, Miasma Chronicles.
Set in a devastating post-apocalyptic world, the game combines a dark and captivating narrative with a tight and challenging strategy game. The idea behind the story is that the main character, Elvis, travels through a world ravaged by a destructive force called Miasma, all in order to first find his mother and then discover the answers to why Miasma became agitated and aggressive, while avoiding and overcoming. the threats that make up this dire future.
Storytelling is one of Miasma Chronicles’ strengths, as it draws players in through engaging dialogue and unexpected twists, all without fear of delivering truly creepy and dark moments that will leave you feeling Shock and Awe. The characters are also well defined and feel fun, even if some of the characters are almost caricatures of American culture, the way they speak in conversation and when they call fillets in the heat of battle.
The story is also complemented by absolutely fantastic environments and levels that you can explore on the fly. Whether it’s a town full of civilians, a swamp full of mutated frog monsters, a sci-fi facility, and more, no matter where you are in the story, you’ll want to venture off the beaten path to pick up legendary items which adds context to the world, Take side quests for loot and experience, and just generally solve environmental puzzles in the hope of finding some hidden goods. These may involve reading legendary records to learn security codes, or may require you to keep an eye on your surroundings for clues on how to access hidden areas. The main questline and combat may be the meat on the bones of this game, but there is plenty to choose from beyond that.
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Speaking of combat, Miasma Chronicles uses a tactical strategy system that has some great elements and features, but also some weird frustrations that still surround the X-COM series. When entering combat, you must command your characters to use their two action points as you see fit. This could be moving and then shooting at an enemy, or it could be reloading and then throwing a grenade, whatever situation you find yourself in. Overall, it’s a very intuitive combat suite, even with height changes, powerful Miasma abilities (might be devastating, but not game breaking), consumables, elemental damage types and resistances, and different types of weapons, it’s not overwhelmed by complexity, and the different types of weapons offer tons of unique options.
But, having said that, I still hate the percentage system the game uses, where a visual defines how successful a shot is. Even though the enemy units are clearly visible, you will often have a hit rate of 50 percent, or similarly, when you think your character is safe and the enemy finds way to sneak up on you. It can be frustrating to deal with. Combat, however, is what you do in Miasma Chronicles, and as if tactical strategy gameplay wasn’t really in your jam, the base difficulty takes the sting out of letting you enjoy exploration and narrative in first, while more challenging difficulties mean you Every choice made could be the end of the game.
To make combat even more unique, Miasma Chronicles also has a stealth element where you can pick off enemy units before being caught in a real full battle. By isolating and then eliminating enemies using weapons and stun abilities, you instantly reduce the number of enemies in the game, making the overall battle more accessible. Beyond that, there are character designs and RPG-style sequences that allow you to mold Elvis and his allies into unique fighters, each with their own fighting style (for example, robot Diggs can be built as tanks, while Jade is all about stealth and stealth. critical strikes), by spending skill points and replacing them with weapon and character modifications. Basically, there’s a lot to unpack and immerse yourself in if you want to enjoy more than just a unique story.
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I’ve noticed some odd bugs and issues while playing Miasma Chronicles, including invisible enemies and frame drops, but overall the game’s performance is pretty good, showing a level of polish that some recent PC games lack. The performance is also great in terms of environmental design, even if the character models feel a little ugly at times.
Overall, Miasma Chronicles is a solid tactical RPG that offers high-quality combat encounters, as well as a compelling story, all set in a world you’ll want to explore. It has its quirks and issues at times, but the depth and solid performance of the RPG system is enough to keep you busy and entertained. The Bearded Ladies is another winner in the tactical RPG arena.