Arboria is a well-made take on third-person action RPGs. If you like Dead Cells but you’re tired of everything looking a bit square… Arboria might just be the game for you!
All in! Games have once again published another solid title for players to get stuck into. Previously, I got a chance to look at Tools Up!. That was a lot of fun, but it lacked a little something to make it truly stand out. Despite this, I went into Arboria with high hopes. The promise of symbiotic weaponry, procedurally generated dungeoneering, and lots of murder had me ready to go! Check out the trailer for Arboria below:
Arboria Sets The Stakes High As You Delve Into The Depths To Save Your People!
While I’m not fully certain on what inspirations are behind Arboria, I was getting serious Nordic vibes throughout. Even from the narrative voice in the trailer above, you can tell that there was some degree of inspiration there. The Father Tree in Arboria is named Yggr, instantly reminding me of the Ancient Norse mythological Yggdrasil. Similarly, you play as a member of the Yotunz. This is remarkably similar to the Jotun; these are a race of giants in Norse mythology. You might be familiar with their appearance in the MCU as giant, sometimes-evil, blue people!
Although I don’t know as much about it as I’d like, I love Norse mythology. This connection inspired me to look further into some of the shared-ish names and the mythology behind it all. Unfortunately, Arboria does not share a fully Nordic aesthetic in the same sense as God of War, for example. However, this does not take anything away from the title itself. If anything, it was more interesting to see these lightly-inspired mythologies represented in a new way.
With all this in mind, the basic premise of Arboria is that you must fight to save Yggr and the Yotunz. It’s a lot of pressure, if you ask me, but this makes every success and failure matter more. Yggr is sick, and you’re running out of gifts to offer to the gods. The survival of your people is on a knife-edge, and you’re fighting out of desperation for survival. If you’re looking for high stakes, they don’t come much higher than this…
Power-Up Your Yotun Warrior And Mutate Your Way Into Legend.
I fear Arboria suffers from the same fate as the other titles I’ve played that were published by All in! Games. There wasn’t anything explicitly wrong with it and it does have some awesome features, but there’s just a little spark that was missing.
It plays exactly like you’d imagine, but this isn’t a bad thing. If you’ve ever played a third-person action RPG then you’d be able to pick up Arboria pretty quickly. Both right and left click are attacks, it has a target lock system and there’s dodges and rolls. I was annoyed that there wasn’t the ability to block… although I admit, I wasn’t playing with a shield, so this was arguably my own fault. But other than that, it was fun! The combat wasn’t largely challenging at first, but you need to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your health or you’ll get caught out.
Weapons Are A Part Of Your Religion In Arboria
Arboria’s combat system can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. There’s opportunity to look deeper into the weapon statistics and elemental factors, but then you can also just run around clicking things until they die. It’s open to casual and hardcore gamers alike, and I believe that there is opportunity for both to enjoy it.
Due to the fact that the Yotun are strange, wood-like troll creatures, the symbiotic weapon system employed in Arboria works well. You find weapons rooted into your surroundings, and when you equip them, they become a part of you. The game also employs an elemental system similar to something you’d encounter in an early Pokemon game. The three elements are fire, water, and earth. One is strong against another and weak against the third. It’s a simple system but it brings a much-needed degree of strategy to an otherwise basic hack-and-slash.
The Underground Faerie Aesthetic Works Well!
Firstly, I want to discuss how I feel about the Yotunz. At first, I didn’t quite realise how troll-like they were. I just thought it was a part of the aesthetic Arboria was setting up. However, upon further inspection once I got into the game properly… I found them to be almost off-putting in their appearance.
The Yotun are self-described trolls. They sport shaggy, mossy hair and appear to be more bark than flesh. This, as previously stated, makes the symbiotic weapons work well. Perhaps this was the decision behind it, but either way… They were a little odd. That being said, though, I learned to love the strange creatures as I was playing. I began to grow attached to my little troll and found myself frustrated when I died. He deserved better than my abilities, in truth, but I’d like to say I was improving as I was playing.
Despite the fact that I found them off-putting to look at, I couldn’t deny that it was also an incredible character design. It also offers up the opportunity for some truly epic-looking warriors.
The rest of Arboria, however, is a true joy to look at. The whole thing reminded me of a twisted interpretation of Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal. Twisted roots lined the walls, intertwined with strange glowing bulbs and blazing open torches threw orange light over the rest. It was a unique setting and one I found myself very excited to explore.
Overall, Arboria Will Have You Rooted To Your Seat
Arboria is a fairly fun hack-and-slash roguelike adventure game with all its potential coming from how long you’re willing to play it for. It’s easy to jump in and out but truly becomes rewarding when you spend time developing your Yotun and exploring the dangerous depths of the ever-changing Durnar.
All in! Games’ Arboria comes out on Steam May 7. For more of the latest gaming news, reviews, features, and more… Visit Gamezo.co.uk and follow @GamezoGG on Twitter!