When it comes to video games that are based on movies or television shows you really don’t know what you are going to get quality wise. Many years ago these kind of video game tie-ins were usually always bad as they would be rushed out to coincide with the release of said movie or show. In today’s market we don’t see as many as we used to but every now and then another one comes along. Last year, developer BonusXP released a Stranger Things game based on the third season of the show and the game was just OK. Now they are back again with The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics that is based on the recent Netflix show. Did this adaptation turn out better than their last one?
Age of Resistance Tactics is a strategy RPG so fans of games such as Final Fantasy: Tactics or Fire Emblem will kind of know what to expect here. The story in this game pretty much follows the events of the Netflix series but it does sprinkle in some new things here and there. Those who have watched the show or the original material will of course get the most out of this game but I think it presents itself well enough that even newcomers will understand what is going on. You play as characters on the Gelflings side and fight against the Skeksis. The game has a total of 14 different playable characters but you only start off with a couple. As you progress you gradually unlock more of them giving you new options in how to approach the battles. There are well over 60 different scenarios to play through in this game and it also offers a New Game+ to give you even more mileage out of it.
Maps in the game are laid out like a grid just like you would see in other games in this genre. Characters are placed on it and every character can only move a certain amount of spaces at a time. There are also other factors that can affect how and where you move such as environmental obstacles, enemy abilities and certain types of terrain. Paying attention to what is around you and the abilities of your characters can be key to winning the fight. You may find an area of the map is full of poison but if you send a character who is immune to it in there and lead the enemy to fight you then you can have the benefit of them taking damage from it. Positioning your characters on high ground is also a good thing to do as you’ll gain a damage bonus against your enemies below. A lot of the battles play out the same as you work to complete the objectives on screen. Most of the time you just have to defeat all of the enemies but from time to time you do get some other objectives such as collecting items around the map. Boss battles also occur at certain points and these can be quite challenging even when playing on the easier difficulty settings.
At the end of every mission everyone on your team gains XP to steadily level up to the max of 99. As your characters level up they can be assigned a job of which there are around a dozen or so. Every job gives you different skill trees to pick abilities from. One job may be for close range fighting while another is for healing. After enough progression your characters can gain a second job giving them access to a whole other skill tree. This is cool because you can start tinkering with with all kinds of different builds for your team such as giving your close ranger fighters the ability to heal others. Another way you can customize your characters is by spending orbs which is the currency in the game. They can be used to buy new weapons and armor for your party members as well as various items that can give you different kinds of buffs. You can’t really change the look of your characters though as all of the stuff you buy and equip doesn’t actually appear on them which is disappointing.
The graphics in the game look pretty good with all of the character models having a nice colorful look to them although they could’ve used a bit more detail. Likewise every scenario you play looks different enough from the last so you’re always looking at new things. The music is also nice to listen to and has a lot of the same tunes as the show has. Sadly there is no voice acting to be had in this game which was a bit disappointing considering the show had a great cast. The trophy list in the game has 27 in total including a Platinum. It’s a pretty simple list with most of them being story related but you will have to beat the game on New Game+ to earn the Platinum.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics has some flaws but overall I walked away feeling good about it. There are a lot of battles to play through here and leveling up the characters and trying out new job combinations can be fun. If you know nothing about The Dark Crystal you can still kind of follow along but fans of the material will get the absolute most out of this. It’s sad that the game has no voice acting as the show had a great cast that could’ve done wonders here. If you enjoy a good tactical RPG though then The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is a solid choice.
*The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics$19.99
- Solid tactical RPG gameplay
- Follows the story of the show but adds some new surprises that fans will enjoy
- Really nice visuals and soundtrack
- Lots of missions to play through and New Game+ is included
- A lot of the battles feel too similar
- No voice acting
- Can't customize the look of your party members