This post was written by Robert Hudak for Big Shiny Robot you can find him on Twitter @mrproboto
Stories: The Path of Destinies - Spearhead Games - available on PS4 and PC - reviewed on PS4 - 04.12.2016
I’ll get right to it—“Stories: The Path of Destinies” is an interesting game and not quite what I thought it was at first glance. Based on my brief preview of it at PlayStation Experience 2015, I knew that it involved a degree of replay value, but I wasn’t sure how well that would work in the long run. During what you could consider my “first playthrough”, I thought the pacing was pretty bad, but as that run ended I realized the fun was just beginning.
You play as Reynardo, a fox who fancies himself a rather cunning and charismatic hero in the traditional sense, fighting in a war against a tyrannical frog emperor. Every chapter begins with a choice: will you save your friend from years past, or perhaps you’ll pursue the more aggressive route, chasing down a lead to a legendary war machine capable of turning the tides of war. Each choice leads Reynardo to a different location, accompanied by thematic and aesthetic correlations. The path to the armament is glowing with hues of orange and brown, whilst the journey to save your friend is much more lush and forested. Accompanying Reynardo on his journey through time is a cheerful narrator, who also voices every character in the game. While listening to his quips and dialogue, I couldn’t help but think of Dudley Moore in the 1986 film “The Adventures of Milo and Otis”.
Combat is engaging for most of the early game, but I didn’t find it challenging. Stringing combos between foes was satisfyingly similar to Rocksteady’s “Batman: Arkham” series, but as I approached the story’s climax, I never got the payoff that I expected. There’s only a handful of enemy types, and once you reach a certain point on the skill trees, they don’t stand a chance. If you’re in the market for a vibrant action RPG with a fairly low difficulty curve and replayability being the primary narrative mechanic, “Stories” is worth your time. The jokes can get stale and at no point was I really connected to the protagonist, but I never really got bored retreading through the same areas. I’d say that’s quite an accomplishment.