Recently I discovered a pretty fantastic game with a (sadly) very generic name. Stories: The Path of Destinies is an Action-RPG where each choice leads you to a different ending. Most of the story is told through a picture book, narrated by Julian Casey (IMDb here). Everything from the narrative and voice acting to the artwork and soundtrack deserves praise.
|The Story Book|
You play as Reynardo, a fox, and your job is to help the Rebellion fight against the mad Emperor frog. You just have to figure out how you're going to destroy the Empire and save the Rebels and others you care about.
Each story takes about an hour to play through. You will have to play through multiple times to eventually get the "correct" ending. One reason I enjoyed Stories so much is the way it lets you fail, and multiple times at that. I completed the story through four different endings before I had a clear path to the "good" ending.
Most of the game play itself is spent hacking through hordes of ravens to continue along your path. The combat style used in this game could turn into monotonous button-mashing to get through the many waves of enemies, but the developers seem to have found a way to work around this. Just as you think you're getting bored of beating down all
|An example of combat|
Throughout the islands that make up the world, you'll find locked paths that require you to build different Hero Swords to unlock. Most of these paths will lead you to treasure which you can use to upgrade your swords and unlock other abilities. Now and then you will even find information that will help you piece together the whole story. Sometimes it is worth going back through parts of the story you've already seen so you can get to things you couldn't before.
|Different endings to Stories|
You're probably thinking this is all too good to be true - that I've given it nothing but praise so far. Well you'd be right. As it turns out, Stories isn't perfect and there are one or two little issues. First of all, this game uses Unreal Engine 4 so if you are playing on PC, you will need some horsepower behind it. (Thankfully it is also available on PS4.)
Second, even with a PC that runs The Witcher 3 smoothly with graphics set to high and nVIDIA HairWorks on - not to mention having Stories installed on an SSD - the load times are horrible. Seriously, you have time to go get a snack or start a load of laundry. Maybe both.
Last of all, since I got the "good" ending, I just haven't made myself play through any of the other stories yet. Maybe that's just my own problem, but it makes me wonder about the replay value. Maybe the best plan is to wait a few years until I forget all about it and play through again.
Now, we get to the important question: Do I recommend this game? Absolutely yes. It's only $15 on Steam if you play on PC, and the same price on PSN if you play on PS4.
Thank you for reading, please feel free to comment. -DED