The creators behind Stories: The Path of Destinies are Spearhead Games, who are known for other games such as Tiny Brains and Arena: Cyber Revolution. Stories: The Path of Destinies was released for both the PC and PS4 platforms back in April 2016.
How Best to Describe Stories?
So, do you remember when you were young? Your days were filled with adventure, excitement and endless possibilities. You’d go to the park and play sword fights with your friends. Building forts out of twigs and branches, imagining it was a giant castle which was being besieged by dragons. For me, these scenarios were present in and around my childhood. They existed in the adventure story books I read, in which I would flip back and forth to find out if my choice was to either save the damsel or save civilians from an outbreak of zombies and the like. Well, playing this game brought back those same feelings, dragging me back to when I was younger, the feeling that my choices within Stories had a butterfly effect on the final outcome of the game.
This game is set out exactly like that. The story you play is that of a roguish ex-pirate named Reynardo. You are the unlikely hero in this tale, and you are up against a mad emperor who is hell bent on taking over the world with his army of raven creatures. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, quite a lot if you don’t play your cards right. Made a choice that doesn’t lead to the outcome you want? You could end up changing the world around you. Made a choice that is heroic and self sacrificing in nature? It could backfire with a knife in the back.
Everywhere I Go, You Are There
Your actions are commentated on by the narrator (your wingman, of sorts) as you progress through the game. He acts as your guide and your conscience whilst delivering the scenes you play through with tongue and cheek humour that can brighten or sully the mood in equal measure. It has a very familiar feel to that of Portal and other narration-based games, you will either love the commentator…or hate him. The stories told are what you decide for yourself, and the places you visit are all unique with bright, colourful visuals that range from lush, green forests to dark caves and destroyed towns.
All the Small Things
The designers of the game have put small details, such as a change of music for each zone, to give the player a feel for what is about to come. A change in the atmosphere makes the enemies more colourful in their own way with a change in palette and a change in skills.
Some enemies have shields which allow them to block your attacks. Others attack from a distance whilst buffing their allies with stat enhancements. That’s not to say that you’re powerless against these foes, far from it. You will be brandishing your own arsenal of weaponry and gadgets that make any enemy run for the hills.
Let’s Dance…I Mean Fight
Dancing between foes is reminiscent of the fighting style from the recent Batman games. You lock onto the nearest foe and slash away until one comes to intervene and you can block, parry and finish them off in style. Learn more “truths”, unlock more skills in your skill tree and the more abilities will become available for you to use. But, I won’t spoil the fun on said abilities, it would be far more satisfying to see them for yourselves. However as with every game, there is some level of repetition.
Once you’ve mastered every nuance and countered every attack from any direction, it can feel a little bit like Groundhog Day. The areas explored, once conquered, get re-used depending on the paths taken throughout the story.
Two Years On, and I’m Still Having Fun
To play this game, I would recommend playing it multiple times to get the feel of the controls. Learn the abilities at your disposal and to have fun with it. Don’t read the game guides that tell you every outcome before you even play. As you can see, I’m still playing the game two years down the line, and I’m still having fun trying to figure out what paths lead where, and you should savour that feeling of excitement too (or not, it’s your call).
So all in all, forge your own path. See what hero you become on this action-packed, banter-filled epic of heroism, courage and laughs to your heart’s content.
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Platforms: PS4, PC
Release Date: 12th April 2016
For more information on Stories: The Path of Destinies, click HERE