Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms Preview - Page 2

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Eschalon: Book II

Release Date:TBA
  • Action,Role-Playing
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Races also provide minor percentage-based bonuses to various stats like bleed resistance. And these minor bonuses are pretty much a staple of the game's roleplaying system.

Each level you gain (up to 10), you get an attribute point that lets you improve your Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, and Luck. A point of Strength, for example, raises your melee damage by a whopping 3% and slightly increases your carry weight. Believe it or not, the other attributes are even less impactful.

All the gear you find also tends to provide similar increases for your stats. But at least there you can find artifacts that give you something like 14% extra crit chance. It's still pretty boring, but at least it's noticeable.

Now, every two levels, you also get a Trait and an active skill. Traits once again provide percentage-based bonuses, but at least they're more inventive and improve stuff like the amount of gold you find.

The game's active skills (limited by cooldowns and a stamina cost) come in three distinct trees - physical skills, elemental skills, and holy skills. These skills range from game-breaking to borderline useless. Thankfully, you can freely mix and match them. But you only get a total of four skills, so choose wisely. The same goes for Traits.

But here's the thing. You gain a level every time you clear a dungeon. And with the way the game is set up, you'll pretty much reach your level cap by the time you leave the starting area. This being an early access game, such limited progression is forgivable, but it really needs to be expanded for the full release.

What Can Change the Nature of a Game?

With that in mind, let's talk about the game's general premise and setup. The world map is separated into four large kingdoms, each with its own cities, dungeons and points of interest. Your race determines your starting location, and from there, you will need to collect four divine shards, one per kingdom, in order to unlock the final dungeon and defeat the evil god chained within.

There are currently two main game modes - solo and competitive. If you choose the competitive mode, the other three kingdoms will have their own AI champions working towards the same goal as you. In theory, this may result in them "stealing" dungeons from under you or ambushing you on the world map. But right now, your rivals are not very good at what they do, and even if you take your time, they'll struggle to deal with even the easiest of dungeons.

Once you beat the game, you also get an option to start a Legacy for subsequent playthroughs, though at this point, it merely offers some cosmetic changes. But eventually, the developers intend to add some gameplay consequences for having a Legacy.

Upon starting the game, you get a quick tutorial and then go visit your king who entrusts you with your mission. From there, you get to explore your capital, trade, craft, and pick up some quests and bounties.

Bounties task you with defeating some enemies of a certain type, while quests usually range between "pick up this item here and go there," and "go somewhere, do something, then go somewhere else." And the game's journal in its current state does little to help you figure out what half of the quests even want you to do.

Listening to the quest-giving NPCs isn't overly helpful either. Especially when you consider that the game doesn't really have dialogues. It has monologues. A lot of them. Every conversation in the game has you pressing continue while an NPC shovels heaps of text onto you. In fact, Alaloth has two different types of NPCs that exist solely to provide you with lore tidbits.