Decisions, combats and a lot of narration awaits you in this title. Put your best hat, because this is our City of Shroud review.
Games can be filled with annoying mechanics but also may contain an interesting plot that makes you keep going forward. As well as this, we can face dull stories balanced with interesting or fun gameplay. What place this game belongs to, you ask? Well, continue reading this City of Shroud review to find it out.
Choose your own path… As always
One of the main gimmicks that City of Shroud offers is the ability to shape the plot based on our choices. This is something that video game developers have been telling us since the creation of RPG titles, and for the most part, it’s usually not that big of a deal. And with this title… It’s even worse. You see, if I had to describe this game’s plot with one word, it would be generic.
Take a drink every single time you read something that has been done before in other games or media: we are a stranger who travels to a big city in order to earn some money, but the moment he arrives he gets involved in the middle of some issues regarding religion, poverty and some magical portals that spawn evil foes. Okay, hope you are still conscious because I’ll keep going with the review.
The worst thing about Shroud’s story is the pace, as it is non-existent. The tutorial takes almost an entire hour to finish, and it’s just filler text after filler text with words popping out of the screen and the same 5 or 6 static pictures over and over again. No emotion, no joy, just pressing a button to continue. But better watch out, because sometimes if you press the button too much a sudden decision will come out of nowhere and you won’t be able to tell what you just selected. And trust me, it will happen.
Real Time Tactical Ugh-PG
So the plot is bad, but the gameplay could be able to save the game right? Right? Well, you see… City of Shroud wants to go one step forward in the world of story-driven titles with the addition of a Real Time Tactical Grid Combo System (this is not how the game calls it, but I think it fits it good enough).
As the name suggests, this type of combat is in real time, so no need to wait for those pesky cooldowns. Except you do, because in order to move or attack you need to fill a bar next to your team member’s icon. This bar will drain whenever we walk or attack, and in terms of the Combo System, I think it’s actually pretty sweet! As a concept, at least.
You see, in this game you can throw punches, kicks, and whatnots in order to harm your foes (which are just color-swapped versions of types of characters you can play as by the way), but if we equip our team members with Combos, by combining some movements we can deal more damage or even give our enemies some status ailments. This is quite interesting until you start playing, then it gets really boring. You can’t fill the action bar by moving as it drains it, and standing still only makes you a target.
Don’t wait, there’s nothing more
City of Shroud is a game that I played it eager to like it at least, but I can’t like this game. The plot is generic and boring, the gameplay is just not fun and the final nail on its coffin: it requires Internet connection in order to play it, as the choices are saved on the game’s servers.
I’ll give credit when credit is due: the Combo System is quite interesting, and I’d love to see it implemented in another title with more tweaks and less annoyance. But I can’t recommend City of Shroud, as it doesn’t offer anything new, fun or interesting to the genre. It may say on its trailer that the players will finish the story, but I don’t think this one is good enough to start it nor finish it.