Vambrace: Cold Soul is a role-playing adventure game that is available to play on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC. It was released on 28th May 2019. The game was developed by Devespresso Games and published by both Whisper Games and Chorus Worldwide. Headup Games also had a hand in both developing and publishing the game.
Headup Games is a hybrid publishing and development company that won “Best Publisher” in the German Development Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2017. They are always looking to raise awareness and commercial success for developers thinking outside the box. Devespresso Games have a mission of crafting interactive worlds and immersive stories. Whisper Games want to help their partners reach a worldwide audience with multi-language text and audio localization services.
The Story of Vambrace
Vambrace: Cold Soul tells the story of a young woman named Evelia Lyric whose father has recently passed away. She takes it upon herself to embark on a mission to get answers using an old relic called the Vambrace that her father has left for her. She travels to the city of Icenaire, which has been cursed by an evil Shade King.
The Vambrace allows her to enter the cursed city and gives her special powers, and Evelia will need to use the it to save the city of Icenaire. The survivors of Icenaire have taken refuge underneath the city because the city itself is overrun by the unfortunate souls of people that had died from the curse and were turned into wraiths.
The survivors living below the city have made a life for themselves, although they want to return to their homes. Because they have been forced to come together, they are a mixture of races and beliefs. Even though they have suffered, they have worked together so that they can continue to survive. You will find that the characters have their fights and arguments, but they all want the same thing: to save Icenaire. Some of the people that remain below the city are brave enough to join you on your mission. You can recruit whichever characters you like, but you can only take 3 companions, so choose them wisely.
Fight to Survive
Vambrace: Cold Soul has a turn-based fighting style. The whole system kind of works like a Dungeons & Dragons game. You have warriors, different kinds of mages, healers, archers and different types of fighters, each type of character has different skills to offer. Throughout different points in the game, you will also get the opportunity to use skill points, and you will have multiple choices in which areas for Evelia you would like to improve. You can also add relics to your characters to improve their statistics.
It is important to choose carefully when building your team, and it is also important to put them in order when fighting enemies. Any ranged characters would need to go to the back of your group, and any fighters that use melee weapons, like swords or daggers, should be moved to the front of the group so you can properly utilise their short-ranged attacks. If you put a character that uses short-ranged abilities near the back of your group, they won’t be able to use those specific abilities. When playing Vambrace: Cold Soul, the main thing to consider is to be one step ahead with your moves when fighting enemies.
Each character for Vambrace: Cold Soul has a health and vigor bar. These can be affected from fights and parts of the environment, so it is important to carry items to recover health and vigor when exploring the cursed areas of Icenaire. You will be able to visit campsites to use these items, and you can find the items in the environment, buy them from merchants, and you will get the opportunity to craft them as well. If either the health or vigor bars become empty for your main character, she will be returned to a safe area.
Creative and Complicated
The best thing about Vambrace: Cold Soul is its creativity. The characters are extremely imaginative and individually designed. There are so many different races, different personalities and different skills that have been incorporated into the game. One of the things that I think the game is missing is a good number of cutscenes. There aren’t that many of them, and when they are presented, they aren’t very cinematic or impactful. The whole game is also extremely challenging. There is an in-depth tutorial with lots of hints and tips that pop up as your adventure expands, but this doesn’t make things much easier. I found that it took me a while to understand how everything worked.
I think the fact that the game is very challenging is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is an advantage because it forces you to really think about your actions, especially when fighting enemies. You also have to be one step ahead and be completely prepared each time you take on a mission. When you are out exploring, you will need to consider everything to be able to look around before heading to your goal. The disadvantage to it being very challenging is that everything just feels overly complicated. You may be near the end of a mission and close to reaching your goal when something unexpected happens, something you didn’t plan for. This can lead to you ending up right back to the beginning of your mission. Furthermore, you will have lost any items you had used along the way, which can be extremely frustrating.
Vambrace: Cold Soul Overall
Vambrace: Cold Soul is a very adventurous game with a great role-playing aspect. The characters are extremely creative and different. The different types of races are unique, while the skills and classes presented seem a bit too similar to Dungeons & Dragons. I have had a couple of other issues with the game. There have been a few times where the items in my inventory that I had spent a long time building up completely disappeared, although this was easily fixed when I did a complete hard reset of my console. I think there could be more cutscenes, or at least the ones that are present should be more in-depth.
I also believe that the game would benefit from have voice-overs for the characters. At the beginning of the game, the opening scene has a voice-over for our main character, but after that we don’t really hear from her much. There are a lot of characters, so I understand why there are no voice-overs during gameplay. I just think it would help players build a connection to the characters, especially the heroine. I felt no connections to the characters or the story, but with that being said, I still felt like I wanted to explore everything and search all areas of the maps.
Developer: Devespresso Games, Headup Games
Publisher: Whisper Games, Chorus Worldwide, Headup Games
Platform: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: 28th May 2019
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