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Still, that’s a minor gripe with what is otherwise a very enjoyable dungeon crawler. The game clocks in at around 20 hours, which is about the perfect length for a title like this. It doesn’t overstay its welcome or drag things out, but it doesn’t feel like it ends too soon either.
Systems and Combat
When it comes to combat, Operencia doesn’t have any random encounters or respawning enemies. Instead, each level features a handful of hand-placed fights and maybe a boss battle or two. What’s even better, most enemies are exclusive to their levels, and have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.
With the exception of some bosses, the game’s hostile creatures actually exist on the maps, patrolling their winding tile-based corridors in real time. This allows you to sneak up on them, or occasionally, even get ambushed.
Once a battle is initiated, you get transported to a battle arena where you settle your differences in a turn-based fashion. The combat system is actually pretty intricate. Your active party can consist of up to four characters, each of them armed with nine active skills and a consumable item.
Most skills vary in effectiveness depending on your target’s position, and very few of them simply do damage. The absolute majority of your attacks come bundled with assorted status effects, DoT effects, various buffs, and so on. They also all have an element associated with them. Using enough skills of a particular element gives you access to special party-wide abilities.
Using skills expends your Energy, a resource that doesn’t automatically regenerate in Operencia. Apart from some rare skills and potions, resting at campfires is the main way to restore Energy. Each rest consumes one bundle of firewood that you first have to find or buy, which can lead to some tense situations in the early game when your resources are limited.
And in general, the game isn’t a complete cakewalk. Even the default difficulty has some challenging fights. But then, you can further increase that difficulty by enabling a number of hardmode options before you begin your journey.
When the game starts, you first have to play through a prologue as three premade high-level characters. This gives you a decent idea of what to expect from the game’s three main classes that fall in the standard archetypes of warrior, archer, mage.
If you want a quick suggestion - play as a mage. But you will probably come to the same conclusion yourself after playing the prologue where the mage is the only character doing any real damage, while the warrior protects the party and the archer is mostly just there for moral support.
And while that may not seem like great class variety, all the story characters that join you on your journey have their own special classes. There’s an alchemist thief, a blacksmith necromancer, a shapeshifting shaman. You get the idea.
Each class has access to three unique talent trees split into three tiers. It’s a pretty standard fare where in order to progress through the tiers you have to invest a certain amount of points into that tree. Surprising no one in the world, you get these points by leveling up.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of depth to those skill trees and all the passive talents you’re forced to invest your hard-earned points into to get to the juicy active skills tend to be very minor and utterly forgettable.
The game also has attributes. You can increase your primary attributes like Strength and Intelligence when you level up, and that in turn will increase some secondary attributes, like your health or energy pools, critical strike chance, and so on.
Overall, Operencia’s character building is not very complex, but despite that it somehow ends up being needlessly convoluted at the same time. For example, the game’s active talents directly translate into its active skills, while its passive talents simply provide you with minor attribute bonuses. But there are also actual passive skills that are completely separate from talents and unlock on their own as your characters grow in levels.