OPERENCIA RPG FOR FANS
Let the truth be told right from the start…
- If you're an old school fan of Dungeon Master or younger fan of Legend of Grimrock
- if you're in the mood for some Fairy Tale with Marvelous places to discover
- if you previously played to Lands of Lore (the first) or any Might & Magic…
Boys and Girls… You're going to love Operencia: The Stolen Sun !
Actually i have discovered this game by accident on steam, while browing all the available “dungeon crawlers”. And it was by reading a discussion that someone recommended Operencia… The game itself was advertised as a game made for RPG Fans, with everything a RPG fan could ask for ! Considering how ferocious the competition is in the RPG genre, that was a big claim ! 😉
But now after around 40 to 45 hours of PLEASURE ♥ I can guarantee you that the fairy tale is still in my mind, and that i really enjoyed Operencia like i enjoyed all the other BEST RPG out there ! because Operencia is now for me one of the best RPG in the “Fairy Tale” Genre. It reminded me of “Lands of Lore” for the fairy side, but also of “Might & magic” for the battles and of course “Legend of Grimrock” for the dungeons.
Operencia is a little of every games i mentioned above for our greatest entertainment !
Here are some screenshots below (just click to enlarge)
Operencia is a RPG where you move tile by tile, or square by square if you prefer… exactly like in any old school dungeon crawlers. But… like in Lands of Lore or Legend of Grimrock 2 for the youngsters, the maps can be indoor or outdoor. So you can explore either a sunken dungeon, either a dark forest… Yes i mentioned “Dark” because you shan't expect a blue sky anytime soon.
You see… Although a Fairy Tale, the story is designed to not let you see the sunlight until the very end of the game 😉
Still the game have beautiful handmade drawings, as well as a very colored environment ! After all it's a Fairy Tale… Even if you're going to explore Dark places, you'll be amazed for sure by the quality of the graphics.
By the way : Operencia was first released on consoles on late December 2018, and it wasn't until late March 2020 that it was released on PC. You see… My last console was a Playstation 1, and since i have always played on PC only. But it was kinda refreshing to play to a game firstly designed for console, and maybe that's why i loved it so much… maybe !
At the beginning you're only creating one character, yourself ! And as you'll advance into the game, you'll add more members to your party to a maximum of 4 at the same time. Each members will have their own qualities, but it seemed to me that the best 3 other teammates you could find, were the ones you could only find by the second part of the game. Like if the first 3 ones were just there as a teaser before the real party ^_^
So as soon as i had those 3 last members, i never ever touched to the first 3 ones… That's sad because i would have wanted the game to force me to use every one of them at some point. You see all my team members were gaining experience, but as the 3 last members were obviously the strongest… the first 3 ones were leveling without ever beeing needed in a fight.
In fact i took one of these “weak” members back one time, and it was just to complete a little puzzle. Yes in Operencia there are LOADS of little secrets to find, and puzzles to complete. And the best part is we're always rewarded with experience and treasures when we find a secret, or complete a puzzle. From an Explorer and Completionist point of view, Operencia is really doing the things right ! You can even gain experience by exploring every map to 100%, that means discovering every tiles / squares !
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
Speaking about secrets and puzzles, Operencia have an interesting concept where you can travel back and forth as long as you want… Meaning you can go back to a previous dungeon / destination and try to find secrets / complete a puzzle you couldn't do before. Because in every places you're going to visit, there will be something you won't be able to do / solve until you find the right artefact / tool… And it will be somewhere else !
That's also why when you're not familiar with the concept… You can spend hours trying to find a way to complete a puzzle, which in fact can't be solved before many hours later ! Just as an example, in the first dungeon there is a statue you can interact with, and the solution to this first dungeon puzzle will be… in the VERY LAST dungeon of the game 😀
So just as word of advice… You can't find a secret / can't solve a situation ? Then unless you're really stuck, just note this on a paper, continue the game and come back later. On my 45 hours of gameplay, i think i spent 2 hours trying to find secrets / solve puzzles… when in fact i was just losing time -_-
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
Most of the time the puzzles are about Logic ! though sometimes the logic of the devs is a little far-fetched, but i guess it's always better for the lifetime of a video game, to be increased even artificially… I have seen far worse anyway ^_^ (Lands of Lore 2 !!!)
In terms of puzzle there is also a very interesting feature related to the potions / bombs you can find. In fact you're finding the recipes, and these recipes are giving you clues on how to create these potions. So you have to find how to place the ingredients in the correct order, and follow the logic given by the clues ! Again it's a very entertaining way to add more useful stuff to your gear, and as for the secrets they're also giving you experience when you successfully complete a new recipe ! But just one time, once you have completed a recipe you got the potion for the rest of the game.
You'll only need to refill it after use at the campfire, like an “Estus Flask” in Dark Souls 😉
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
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FIGHTING IN OPERENCIA
Though we're in a Dungeon Crawler, battles are tactical and turn-based like in Might & Magic.
So how are they happening ? While you're exploring a place, you'll see one creature wandering from a point A to point B… If you stand a little too long in its field of vision, it will run towards you and the first round of the battle won't be yours ! If on the contrary, you stay out of its way and look from far away, just wait for the creature to go the other way and approach it from behind ! This way you'll Ambush the creature, and you'll have a full round of surprise 🙂
Also one creature wandering doesn't mean there will be only 1 opponent, not at all ! All the time it will be a minimum of 2 opponents to defeat up to 5, when they won't be summoners… Yes some opponents can summon creatures to help them and you can get overwhelmed pretty quickly !
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
As for the difficulty of the battles… it depends if you chosen the Harder Difficulty at the start of the game. I did and let me tell you it required a good dose of Gear customization, and of tactical decisions during the fights. Some places are easier than the others, and it won't be in a logic order… Meaning i found late destinations easier than some others i had previously explored. It all depends of the special attacks / powers of some creatures, which can sometimes be very nasty even if the creature itself seems pretty weak…
LAST NOTE ON OPERENCIA
All the gold you'll find in Operencia will be useful to buy new gear but not that much, and not before 30% of the game… I mean i used some of my gold to buy some of the available stuff, but most of the time the items you can find by discovering all the secrets of the game, are FAR BETTER than what you can buy at the store -_- It's maybe one downside of the game, so don't count too much on the gold you find…
There will be of course BOSS Battles by the end of every places you'll visit ! And some will also be completely optional, but the more you explore and the more you kill, the more good stuff you'll get ! 😉 And if you're an old-school player like me, you know very well that an optional BOSS… is most of the time a PAIN in the ASS Boss ! Meaning it's not because it's optional that it won't be hard 😉
All in all, Operencia was a very good surprise and deserved a very warm welcome ! Should i also mention the beautiful soundtrack ? Indeed the music is just like the rest of the game, every compositions have been polished like a marvelous jewelry, to reflect the fairy tale you're going to evolve in. When a game is well made from A to Z, you can be sure it's going to be an enjoyable experience.
Here are the last screenshots (click to enlarge)
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