We haven’t tried Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms yet, but we really liked what we saw of the game from Gamera Interactive.
Gamera Interactive is finally one step away from succeeding: after years of hard work, the Italian software house engaged in the courageous and repeatedly postponed Alaloth: Champions of The Four Kingdoms has embarked on the final straight. Fantastic news because this very particular role-playing game, while remaining an independent project, represents one of the most important and suffered Italian productions in circulation. Alaloth has its own specific weight because it must not have cost a little to make it, especially adding up all the misfortunes that the development team and the game had to face to get one step away from the release date.
We tell you why in theAlaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms preview.
With the release approaching, two weeks ago we were lucky enough to spend two long hours with Alaloth: Champions of The Four Kingdoms and his putative father. Alberto Belli, ready to tell us every detail of a project that he began to imagine and then dream of realizing, since he was a child. The source of inspiration for Alaloth is clear: the great RPGs of the golden age of Bioware and Obsidian are undoubtedly the most visible, but it is above all the cult game Moonstone, released in 1991 for Amiga and PC, to provide the title of Gamera Interactive a very specific and somewhat original identity, as it has been practically unused for almost thirty years.
Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight is, in fact, a game that was not very successful for a whole series of factors, including the lack of distribution in the United States. Another blow he suffered due to his graphic violence that prevented him from jumping to consoles, where, however, the industry and the public were quickly moving. In short, Moonstone paid for the stringent rules on violence that only a year later were broken and rewritten by Mortal Kombat and Night Trap.
Fortunately, Alaloth: Champions Of The Four Kingdoms doesn’t run the same risks as Moonstone, it doesn’t even sport the same degree of violence, but in terms of atmosphere it comes very close. It’s fantasy, extremely fantasyyet at the same time Alaloth remains with his feet on the ground, he invents rules to stay with his feet on the ground also from the point of view of the gameplay.
As mentioned, we have not yet tried the game firsthand, but the code for the review should be imminent by now, as its debut on Steam is imminent (and hopefully later on other platforms as well). Consequently we do not yet know how to tell you in detail how the feeling will be once with the pad in your hands (or with the more classic mouse and keyboard), but we can however tell you about a combat system simple, but straight to the point, dominated by mathematics as well as by our skill with commands; where we will be able to choose between fast or more powerful attacks, dodging at the right time to avoid the opponent’s blows. Fortunately, in Alaloth there is no trace of the somersaults that characterize so many modern action rpgs.
A little bit RPG and a little bit board game
Alaloth allows the company of two other NPCs who will of course be able to help us in battles. Their support, however, must be requested at the beginning of each level, near the bonfire, where we can also decide which equipment to bring with us, which is not easy given the deliberately limited slots. Each success will bring us money and loot, plus the inevitable experience points that we can spend to grow our hero.
There structure of Alaloth is twofold: on the one hand we have a huge fantasy world summarized in a spectacular game board, where our character will be visible in the form of a pawn and we can move him between the countless points of interest, and on the other the representation with a visual from the top of the latter, where the game will return to resemble a more classic RPG. This is where we can explore the different cities, or discover and enter more or less arduous dungeons in which one of the four gems necessary to defeat Alaloth himself, the demigod who threatens destruction by casting his shadow on the world of Plamen, could also be hidden.
The storm flows
The Gamera Interactive game is not among those who like to take you by the hand towards the end, rather it prefers to leave you totally free from the very beginning: free to explore, free to improve and of course free to die in the worst way. The large map, used as a board game board, and the many unique and seasonal events will do the rest. But beware, as long as you haven’t removed them from the early game options, your character won’t be the only one looking for these “light shards” needed for the final battle.
Other heroes managed by the AI they will move on the board, they will face their adventures and in case you already have some gems they could even come looking for you to rob you, sword in the throat, of your precious and decisive loot. And of course you can do the same.
When you stay on map general and you have decided where to move, the game will slowly advance in its fantasy calendar consisting of ten months of thirty days each. The more we play, the stronger Alaloth will become, pitting us against more difficult enemies to beat. But the weather will also affect the missions that we can find around, on cyclical events such as city fairs, holidays, moon phases … and given the references to Moonstone it is better to be very careful about the full moon.
In the game there are hundreds of characters to interact with and it is extremely difficult to find them all in one game. Alaloth is in fact designed to be replayable: at each adventure the shards to defeat the threat will be randomly placed in the world, and as opponents the game will be able to choose from over forty characters, each with very specific characteristics, and it can also be faced in multiplayer, so that all heroes in the game are human players.
Like all indie games, Alaloth also has gods limits: multiplayer will initially be local only, so players must all be present in front of the same screen. The lore is also very rich, for the most part it was written by the legendary Chris Avallone, and the graphics do not seem at all what you would expect from a production of this type. Even with the music the team has undoubtedly done a commendable job.
We still don’t know what Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms will really be like, but damn it if you see the commitment behind it, the economic effort in realizing what is both a tribute to the past and a challenge to the future. The risk of having made the proverbial step farther than the leg is there, but if the adventure is as exciting as it seems, we will certainly have no problem closing an eye or two on smudges and imperfections.
- Rather original game structure
- Amazing graphics for a game of this caliber
- The combat system must be touched by hand
- Local multiplayer only
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