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Critics haven't exactly jumped at the chance to review the full version of The Age of Decadence, Iron Tower Studio's long in the making turn-based CRPG, but we've still managed to round up a couple of critiques published since the release.
We Got This Covered was simultaneously fascinated and maddened by the game's harsh difficulty curve, 3.5/5.
Overall, The Age of Decadence is a game whose sentiment appears to be '˜welcome to the real world, asshole'. Iron Tower Studios have sacrificed common RPG tropes such as whimsical characters and magic; instead, they've tried to emulate real world logic and consequences as much as possible. There is no margin of error, no room for experimentation, and no use in relying on luck or second chances.
You want to confront a gang of thugs? Then you best make sure you have a powerful character with good armour; otherwise, you'll get stabbed to death in seconds flat. You want to put your trust in a dangerous assassin? Then you had better stay on your toes with your wits about you; otherwise, you'll get betrayed (and eventually stabbed to death). I found the end result both refreshingly unique and unbelievably maddening.
At times, the game feels like a blunt morality lesson about the consequences of violence; when the opening message says that combat isn't always the answer, they really mean it. It's a game that's almost nihilistic in its tone, expressing a very pessimistic view of the human race as a load of lying scumbags who can't be trusted, and that if you ever want to make it in an immoral world, the only person you can trust is yourself.
GENWire was unimpressed by the whole package, though they appreciated the game's writing and the heavy emphasis on choices and consequences, 6/10.
The Age of Decadence does a lot right. The well crafted world, brought to life through excellent character dialogue and general writing, alongside the good use of choices to define your experience, prove a good lesson for even the more established role playing games on the market. The developers clearly spent a lot of time considering this approach. These quality aspects of the game would be most welcomed in the likes of the Elder Scrolls series, whose own implementation often comes across as immaterial and frivolous. However, the Age of Decadence can not stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its AAA brethren, whose visual style and quality completely outshine this RPG and prove to provide a more well rounded experience. If you enjoy a very traditional RPG that encourages you take things at a much slower pace, then this game is for you. However, if you want more action, stay well away.