The Age of Decadence Preview

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has published a new, fairly positive preview for Iron Tower Studio's The Age of Decadence, based on the latest Early Access build of the turn-based RPG. Here's a sampling:

Things go my way for a while. I'm happy with my mouth-based skills: streetwise, persuasion, and etiquette all have given me a bunch of extra dialogue options, and have helped me navigate through several tasks safely. I pull off a minor con. I talk my way out of a couple scrapes. I persuade a troublesome person to leave town, as if I pose some physical danger to them if they don't. All this success without ever drawing a weapon!

I can also see other paths that I'm prevented from taking due to not having the necessary skillsets. The local assassin's guild won't even take a meeting since I don't have a reputation for killing people. Another mission has several apparent avenues to success, and I'm barred from traveling any of them because the skills required (stealth, lore, or disguise) I simply don't have. This clearly isn't Oblivion, where I can be a jack of all trades and the head of all guilds. It feels odd to have to completely abandon a quest, but it also makes a certain amount of sense. I simply can't be a success at everything.

Something else about The Age of Decadence slowly becomes apparent, and that something is this: every NPC in this game is a filthy horrible untrustworthy back-stabbing goddamn liar. I buy something expensive from someone, only to find out later I've been hoodwinked by the salesman. I follow a seemingly friendly person around a corner and wind up surrounded by thugs and killers. I get pick-pocketed and chase the thief down only to have him accuse me of stealing, and the city guard takes his side.