Embedding survival gameplay into a turn based strategy is a very strange thing but then again it totally works and you will enjoy it quite a lot. What you will love about Thea 2: The Shattering is that this is a wonderful successor to the amazing Thea : The Awakening and it retains more of the same stuff while also bringing in creative choices that really push the boundaries and make it work quite nicely.
Story and gameplay
Of course, you have the regular 4X strategy elements that go very well with the tun based gameplay. But you also have RPG elements, card game options and survival elements. What I noticed right off the bat is that the game is a lot more polished than the predecessor. Which is a good thing, because it delivers some interesting creative choices and the better quality does make it a lot more playable.
Just like the first one, you have the great story with a Slavic mythology appeal. You are controlling the fate of your believers as they are following your guidance and expect to survive. This is a 4X game, so you are in control and you choose how you are going to keep these people alive. Of course you can just explore and pray to find a good land for your people. Or you can be a diplomat and create great connections with others if you want. They also encourage you to conquer others if you become very powerful. But the power is always in your hands, it’s a very good game since it doesn’t rush you in any direction.
You can feel free to create your own ideas and you can explore all kinds of features while bringing in some enjoyable moments and a stellar attention to detail that you will enjoy. Of course the play style is very immersive, since it will differ according to your choices. That’s unseen in a game like this, but it also puts a lot more pressure on you. Sometimes you need to play offensively, otherwise you will lose. Pacifism is also a good way to go if you want to avoid any attacks.
An interesting thing about the game is that they have procedurally generated worlds. So even if you go on a map that’s similar in size to the old one, everything will be different. Which is great, because it brings in more replay value and you will just enjoy the experience a whole lot more. It’s these little things that make all the difference in a game like this, and you will clearly love the attention to detail and passion that was placed into this entire project. You will certainly like how everything comes together story-wise too. Although as you can imagine, you are able to access multiple endings.
It all comes down to the stories that you check here and the astounding experiences provided by them. They truly bring in great support and quality while also making sure that you enjoy the gameplay and try out some new stuff.
This is a new thing that you don’t really expect in a game like this. They allow you to craft a lot of items, and that’s heavily tied in with the idea that you have a huge world to live in and you have to survive there. The crafting ideas and elements are welcomed in this game and they actually become very impressive since the game pursues all kinds of creative options and ideas without that much of a hassle. It makes the process better since you have a town-building system too. All of that comes together naturally and they do allow you to optimize and just customize your town the way you want.
The player input is at the core of the game and you will find everything to be truly immersive and interesting all the time. You can then choose if you want to focus on diplomacy or on expanding territories.
Another great thing about Thea 2: The Shattering is that the game allows you to coop with up to 3 players in total. That offers a new and fun way to explore challenging locations as you try to stay on top. It’s a rewarding experience and one that will impress you a lot with its great efficiency and value you rarely find anywhere out there. That alone will totally be worth it in the end.
Creating a pantheon with your friends is actually possible and they make it super simple without requiring a lot of attention from your side. It does end up being a bit tricky to handle at first, but the Thea 2: The Shattering shines because it defines itself as a very good and powerful turn based RPG.
Graphics and sounds
Graphically Thea 2: The Shattering is not overly impressive. But it does stay close to the Slavic tone and the visuals are definitely representing that very well. It’s not going to be easy to get used to all of this, but for the most part the game itself is truly creative and fun, very convenient and it provides you with all the attention and value you expect without major worries. That being said, the true benefit here is the sound which become an integral part of the experience. You will hear noises, chattering and it will help immerse into the experience a whole lot more. That alone makes it a one of a kind result.
Thea 2: The Shattering still has some bugs and it doesn’t come with a lot of tutorials or anything like that. Just like a true survival experience, it puts you right in the middle of it all and that can be both a good and a bad thing. It’s very creative and fun to mess around with, yet at the same time it also takes a while to get used to the overall features and ideas presented here. Of course it’s not the easiest thing to play, but the story is good and there’s a lot of replay value too. The artwork is nice and they also have a free DLC you can play too.
This review is based on the PC version of the game. A review copy was provided to us by MuHa Games.
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