– Okay, today I’m writing a review, I’ll only play again to check some things. – Plague! I was beaten again. – I’ll try again, so quickly. – I fell quickly, it doesn’t count. – WAITAAAAAAA !!! , it was my journey through Arboria – a production by the Polish Dreamplant studio. As you may have noticed, this is a highly addictive title, which is in part the domain of all good roguelikes. So get ready for the fact that you will die often and painfully, because virtually every death will throw us to the beginning of the dungeon. Of course, as we progress, we will be able to unlock certain facilities and strengthen our character so that it does not have to break through the first-level enemies. However, it will not be a path full of roses, as there is a lot of repetition and grind ahead. The gameplay in Arboria has been designed, however, so interesting that we can enjoy each approach. And if you approach demanding games in a way similar to mine, and you can’t let go when your ambition is rushed, then Arboria will provide you with hours of fun.
Orcs save the world
We get to know the story prepared by the creators as we plunge into deeper and deeper recesses of the land called Durnar. We are sent to the underworld to heal the roots of the mythical Yggr tree, which acts as the tree of life and is, in a way, the father of the Jotun tribe. It is in the Jotuns created by the gods that the player will come into embodiment. As a warrior created specially for this purpose, we will have to jump into the tunnel leading to the underworld and bounce the roots of the tree from the hands of the plague. As you can guess, after we land in the dungeons, there is no turning back. So we are waiting for victory and glory or death, much more often the latter. The creators tried to enrich the plot with a few side threads, adding a bit of mystery to it, but in fact the story recedes here. The roguelike gameplay is so engaging that at some point we will forget what it all is about. It’s important to get as deep as possible and beat as many bosses as possible. I admit that it was my only, but quite decent, motivation.
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One, two, three, today you will go to the slaughterhouse!
The adventure begins with choosing one of the characters defined by the game and preparing it for the adventure. They will slightly differ in stats or features that define their abilities. At the beginning, the game does not offer too many development options, but as we progress, we unlock new elements that allow us to improve our warrior.In addition to chopping up enemies, each level of the dungeon will have a lot of additional activities to do. Each killed enemy or broken crystal will provide us with the resources needed to expand the base. By deciding to complete an optional task, you will either provide yourself with additional loot or a permanent increase in statistics. In addition, by looking into every nook and cranny, we can find the raw materials needed to improve weapons and spells. Often, on our way, we encounter enchanted chests, and as a reward for defeating the enemies guarding them, we will be showered with treasures. Some of the previously healed roots may fall victim to the curse again. If we take it upon ourselves, weakening ourselves seriously, but killing fifteen enemies, the curse will be lifted and we will be rewarded.
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Of course, engaging in any of these activities carries the risk of faster death. However, you should not worry too much about it, because the Arboria has been designed in such a way that the player does not have the opportunity to become too attached to his character. Although individual approaches may take several hours to complete, failure can be very painful after that time. However, each death slowly brings us closer to the goal that everyone can achieve with a little self-denial. However, it is worth remembering that we are dealing here with a grind, so if someone does not like this process, then he should skip this game.
There is no time to waste
Between the finished dungeon level and the next, there is something like a safe haven. It is here that we will learn a bit about the plot, secure the obtained crystals or use one of the improvements. Mutations are a key element in the development of our character. Basically, we have a choice of three random buffs per level, but by undertaking the challenges I mentioned earlier, we can get additional ones. The more variants we have at hand, the greater the chance of creating a combo that best suits our preferred gameplay style. Sounds a bit like Hades? In fact, it is just like that, although in Arboria the bonuses from development take a slightly more stable form. However, the variety is so large that the player has a lot to show off when it comes to character development.
Know your enemy
Weapons and spells add to the wealth of this system. The creators have prepared a wide range of hand-to-hand combat weapons, and each of them is fought in a slightly different way. The same applies to magic and armor, which is divided into light, medium and heavy classes. Each of these items of equipment can be additionally saturated with one of the five elements, which will guarantee additional damage or resistance of a given type. The relationship between the elements is based on a simple principle – cold is susceptible to fire, nature to electricity, etc.Let me just remind you that the raw materials needed for this can be obtained by undertaking difficult and optional challenges. As you can see the loop repeats itself, there are no shortcuts and half measures.
During our struggle we are accompanied by the winged fairy Rata. It is she who stores the crystals and equipment we have obtained. When the Jotun under our control is dead, Rata tears his head off and returns to the village to help summon another warrior. The fairy plays the role of a guardian angel, commenting on the events on the screen, warning about traps, and after unlocking special abilities, she will also provide us with direct support in the fight.
Is there anything to improve?
Despite the fact that Arboria was created through Early Access, the creators did not manage to get rid of all errors. Many players have had a bug in which they are unable to collect the armor plans needed to upgrade them. This makes an already difficult game very difficult. Sometimes we will fly through textures, we will not be able to pick up the item or the game will crash to the desktop after an error. Little things, but more irritating. The balance of the game and the way some skills work will also require minor tweaks. Clearer, better structured descriptions would certainly help in assimilating the principles and dependencies of Durnar. The Dreamplant team can be praised for their humor and attention to small tastes that make the game unique.
The visual setting is on a decent but slightly uneven level and can turn heads in places. However, the whole thing is kept in a coherent, dark atmosphere, which is often broken with absurd jokes. You can get the impression that the audio setting has been pushed to the margins, and the only thing I remember about it is the specific voice of the fairy Rata, matching the character of the character. The authors can be praised for the number and designs of opponents available in the game. Bosses and minibosses are a bit worse, as the battles with them are not particularly exciting. But here I am smiling down to the last monster that spoiled my blood and tested my patience. If you like Arboria, then completing the game once will be a lot of fun. In my case it was over 35 hours, but the time needed to complete the transition will depend on your abilities. The New Game + and New Game ++ modes are waiting for the most persistent.
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Is Arboria worth playing?
If you like to beat yourself up and are not afraid of roguelikes, Arboria will be a great choice. I must admit that the production of the Dreamplant studio positively surprised me and I did not expect it to be such an extensive title. I got into the game and for these few days I became completely addicted to it.However, after cooling down, I was eager to get back to the game, and the pattern repeated until the end credits. I recommend Arboria with a clear conscience, but it is worth knowing what the creature is reaching for. Hope the review above made it clear ..