Zen Studios’ modern homage to classic first-person dungeon-crawlers takes you to the land of Operencia, an unconventional fantasy world inspired by a faraway land referenced in countless Central European folktales.
During the latter half of the game you wouldn’t me amiss spamming your way through most battles whilst playing closer attention to the story, dialogue, and engaging world. In the end, the approachable combat gives the fantasy dungeon-crawling of Operencia a wider appeal than say a new Wizardry might. Fans of party-based RPGs in the vein of Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age will find a lot to love here too, thanks to the combination of great writing and wonderful presentation. And hey, any fantasy world that features a relic called the magical Amulet of Zotmund is one worth visiting.
Operencia: The Stolen Sun is an excellent throwback to old-school first-person dungeon crawler games, complete with solid mechanics, a predictable yet enjoyable story and a very well written cast of characters. While the old-school influence is dominant throughout the game, many of these features have been modernized, so even those who never played the classics will find something to enjoy in Operencia, from the beautiful art style to the turn-based battle system and dungeon exploration.
Best of all, though, this world is so stunning that you'll just look at the trees, the water, the rocks--everything. It’s a shame that some of the puzzle solutions are needlessly frustrating and present significant obstacles in getting through the story, but aside from that Operencia provides a truly special experience.
Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a neatly packaged dungeon crawler with a nice style and satisfying gameplay loop. I found myself wishing that the combat was a little more robust or distinctive, or that the game challenged me a bit more throughout, but I enjoyed my time with it. I'm looking forward to seeing how Zen Studios might follow Operencia up in the future.
Overall Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a good introduction if you’ve never played a dungeon crawler type RPG before. It has a few rough edges and a tutorial that had me wishing it was over sooner. But this is balanced by some really great world lore, tons of great voice acting and great level design.
Unique folkloric inspiration and interesting tactical considerations are let down by a slow second half.
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