The Age of Decadence is an isometric, turn-based, single-player role-playing game set in a low magic, post-apocalyptic fantasy world, inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire. The game features a detailed skill-based character system, multiple skill-based ways to handle quests, choices & consequences, and extensive dialogue trees.
User reviews: Very Positive (189 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 14, 2013

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Welcome to the Age of Decadence Early Access launch!

We’re proud to offer you the first two chapters (roughly 75% of the game) and send you on an exciting (hopefully) and one of a kind adventure.

The first two chapters have all the features of the full game and give you:

- 15 locations: two towns where all the scheming, plotting, and back-stabbing take place, raiders’ camps, an ancient tomb, a tower of the Magi in a ruined city, the Abyss, which claimed many lives, a mountain pass protecting the southern towns from the barbarians of the wastes, and more.
- Over 100 hand-crafted fights (no filler combat), 130 if you count all variations
- Over 70 quests with multiple solutions, choices, and consequences
- Over 100 characters you can talk to
- Over 350,000 words of dialogue (that would be a 1,300-page book)
- 6 mutually-exclusive questlines
- 40 different weapons, 15 different armor sets, dozens of other items (alchemical reagents, crafting components, artefacts, scrolls, throwing nets, etc)
- A lot of death screens

It’s a challenging (no, really), turn-based game with a lot of text. Its design is influenced by RPGs your grandpa used to play, where dying a lot was half the fun and the only way to learn. If you aren’t sure if this game is for you, try the demo first.

Keep in mind that even though the content is done, we’re committed to quality and will continue improving balance, optimization, and quests (based on your feedback).

We need a few months to finish the third and final chapter of the game (we’re planning to start the beta test in June 2014) and your support and suggestions will help us deliver a quality RPG. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please visit our forums at http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum
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Recommended By Curators

"You can imagine it like one of the old fallout games with dark souls difficulty. Extremely immersive, experimental and addicting new and underrated RPG."

Recent updates View all (13)

January 19

Jan update - Ganezzar beta is out

The beta of the third ‘chapter’ is now available to anyone who has the game in their Steam library. To access the beta build, right click on the game in your Steam library, select Properties, click on Betas tab. If it’s set on “None - Opt out of all beta programs”, change it to Test – Private Testing Branch.

Enter the Access Code (‘blacksheepwall’), click on Check Code, and wait for Steam to download the files.

About this beta. It’s a 'work in progress' build with many rough edges. It's in the same state Teron and Maadoran were when we released them to the testers, so for us it's business as usual (except for releasing it to all Early Access’ patrons rather than to the closed beta testers). For people who just want to play the next chapter expecting a few odd bugs here and there, it might be not what they expected.

To remind you, we put the very first playable build on Dec 24. We spent the next 3 weeks improving it, testing, moving things around, tweaking, etc, so the chapter is in a much better shape, but at this stage it’s still about functionality rather than form.

It would take us at least 4-5 weeks to bring it to an ‘enjoyable’ level and another 2-3 weeks to get it to the same state as Teron and Maadoran.

What makes a game city a city? In AoD it’s:

  • Interconnected faction quests that are the foundation. They are the hardest, most time-consuming development aspect. Scripting them is a nightmare.

  • Side quests that aren’t connected to anything. They are isolated situations that fill the city with activities and random things to do. They are a pleasure to write and script and can be done in 2 weeks at most.

  • Static NPCs and visual touches that would make it *look* like a city

  • Things you can click on it and read descriptions or interact with.
So far we did a rough implementation of the faction quests, which means that the city is fairly empty and lifeless, which can be jarring. So if you want more, wait a few weeks.

Now that we did release something, we will update it on a weekly basis, improving the foundation, adding all the missing things, and making it an enjoyable and atmospheric location, so stay tuned.

17 comments Read more

December 29, 2014

The Russian version is now available!

Сегодня началось бета-тестирование официальной русской локализации The Age of Decadence. Если вы обладаете копией игры и желаете помочь команде переводчиков отлавливать ошибки, скачайте русификатор и ознакомьтесь с инструкцией от координатора перевода, которая представлена ниже.

«Приветствуем всех русскоговорящих игроков Age of Decadence! Наша команда представляет локализованную на русский язык версию этой замечательной игры. Она совместима с последней Steam-версией 0.8.8.0306 и оптимизирована для разрешений экрана 1366×768 и 1920×1080, хотя работает и на других. Перевод требует интенсивного бета-тестинга и с вашей помощью может быть улучшен».

Инструкция по установке:

Распакуйте архив в папку с английской Steam-версией игры с заменой всех файлов. По умолчанию это «С:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Age of Decadence\»

Найдите в директории «C:\Users\<Имя пользователя>\Documents\My Games\Age Of Decadence» файл «prefs.cs», откройте его при помощи любого текстового редактора. Отыщите следующую строчку:

$pref::ITS::Language = "english";

И замените значение "english" на "russian".

«Играйте и пишите ваши баг-репорты по переводу сюда или в специальной теме на официальном форуме. С уважением, члены проекта локализации игры Age of Decadence».

22 comments Read more
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Reviews

“Ultimately, the demo of Age of Decadence has, more than any game in a long while, left my jaw firmly planted on the floor. As an RPG player who loves deep character systems, game worlds with rich lore, nebulous and amoral situations, deep reactivity and interesting quest design, The Age of Decadence doesn't just meet the bar, it leaves some of the best and classic CRPGs in the dust. And as much as I can complain and nit-pick about what the game does or doesn't do, I find myself constantly coming back to it, just to try the same scenarios again as a different character, or to see if I can win a challenging fight, and ten times through, I'm still finding new locations, events and characters - that's the sign of a great RPG to me.”
GameBanshee

“This brings me to the main point: replayability. Judging from the demo, Age of Decadence will be immensely replayable. And at three levels, at that: after finishing the demo as a merchant I immediately wanted to play the game as a member of a different faction, to get a different take on the situation, but also to play as a merchant with a different skill and stat distribution, to check out options unavailable for my original build; but also, which in other games would be ridiculous, to play exactly the same build and simply make different choices! My merchant ended up being a sort of a power behind the throne, facilitating a shift in the power distribution in the region, purely by use of persuasion, disguise, and, of course, money, insulting more than one person on his way but gaining powerful friends, too. But there were both diplomatic and combat-oriented options I steered clear of, leaving them for future playthroughs.”
RPG Codex

“Age of Decadence is a hard game. I’ve been killed so many times I’ve lost count. Combat is among the most challenging I’ve ever encountered in a game, and even the text-based portions of the game—sneaking into a castle, for instance—are rife with challenges that often lead to your untimely demise. The game isn’t like most modern role-playing games. It’s neither cinematic nor fast-paced. It requires you to read a great deal, not to mention reload. Basically it’s a tactical, turn-based fantasy RPG with a Roman-inspired setting. It’s a single-player RPG with a deep story, consequential choices, and no hint of “Kill Ten Goblin” fetch quests. In other words, it’s basically the antithesis of the MMORPG.”
Forbes

About This Game

The Age of Decadence is an isometric, turn-based, single-player role-playing game set in a low magic, post-apocalyptic fantasy world, inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire. The game features a detailed skill-based character system, multiple skill-based ways to handle quests, choices & consequences, and extensive dialogue trees.

Traditionally, many fantasy RPGs are about killing things, clearing up dungeons, and being a hero. Now, there is nothing wrong with mindless fun and wish fulfillment, but we serve a different meal here. Quoting from one of the reviews:

“Well, if you want a hardcore, heavy metal roleplaying experience that challenges you, this is the ticket. Otherwise, take a pass. The game is vicious, both in its lack of morality and its merciless systems. If you want to be the hero of a story, run and don’t look back. If you want to be Attia of the Julii or be a power player, this is your RPG.”

The focus of the game is not on killing monsters, but rather on dealing with fellow humans and factions, trying to survive – easier said than done – and making a name for yourself. Naturally, to accommodate all that scheming, plotting, and backstabbing, we give the player plenty of choices, from multiple solutions to quests to different paths you can take through the game. You (and your actions) will determine who your friends and enemies are. There are no default good and bad guys.

Features

  • 23 skills, ranging from Dagger and Critical Strike to Disguise and Persuasion to Alchemy and Lore.
  • Tactical combat system, featuring a flexible set of standard attacks, special attacks such as whirlwind and impale, and aimed attacks at different body parts.
  • 8 weapon types: daggers, swords, axes, hammers, spears, bows, crossbows, throwing weapons, each with individual traits.
  • Non-combat quest resolutions and a well-developed diplomatic path.
  • Over 100 quests, taking you to 20 locations: towns, outposts, archeological digs, sealed places of Power, underground facilities, and temples.
  • Each situation has multiple ways of handling it, based on your skills, reputation, and connections.
  • An interesting world with rich history and unclear future that your actions can shape into seven very different game endings.
  • Detailed crafting and alchemy systems: forge your own weapons with different properties, brew different potions, experiment with Greek's fire and black powder.
  • Hundreds of items, ranging from weapons and armor to scrolls, tools, flasks, and pre-war relics.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8500 GT / ATI Radeon HD 7290 (512 Mb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTS 250 / Radeon HD 4870 (1Gb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
24 of 25 people (96%) found this review helpful
47.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Early Access Review
I'll start by saying this:
This is easily one of the best RPGs I've ever played. I don't think there's another game out there that captured my interest so quick. But that doesn't tell you much. Let me elaborate.

Age of Decadence is brutal. It's painful. It will kick you while you're down and do it again, and again, and again. Every situation you'll encounter in this game is either going to leave you in a life or death struggle or trying to piece together things you couldn't hope to understand, and that's a good thing. This is not like modern RPGs(i.e. the more recent incarnations of the Falllout Series, Elder Scrolls, Divinity, Underrail, etc) nor is it entirely like those of old(Fallout 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate, etc.). I am reminded of all, I see influences while playing it, but Decadence sticks out on its own. Again, I think it has to do with difficulty.

Decadence hands nothing to you: you pick your character background, assign some basic Stats, and then pick a few skills to upgrade. Character creation leaves you tied to what you make--A strongman swordsman with wind blowing through his ears will still be dumber than a bag of rocks by the end of the game, a persuasive talker who has no combat prowess will consistently get shredded within moments of entering combat. What you make is what you get.

To put it another way, Decadence does not put you in the shoes of the hero. You can die in the first fight very, very easily( I have, multiple times), and I'm sure you will as well. You are very much an everyman, someone thrown into a world that can and will exist with or without you. The only time you're ever going to be anyone of status('Hero', 'Chosen One', 'Scourge of Humanity', 'Demi-god', etc.) is by putting enough people down at your feet through hard-scrabble fights and barely coming through alive. You have to live a legendary life before you can become a legend yourself.

Thereagain, that's assuming you choose to fight at all. This isn't necessarily a combat oriented game--you can talk your way out of things, trick, cheat and steal your way to success--Decadence encourages you, in a way, to avoid messy solutions. In fact, it'll often get you farther in terms of understanding the game world, story, the politics of the world Iron Tower has created and the people and creatures living in it. It'll also leave you cursing yourself as misallocated skill points cost you the opportunity to read that dillapidated scroll in an ancient library, or pull off negotiations with a feuding noble, or figure out a way to talk your way through a horde of angry tribals who want to throw you into a pit with an abomination from ages beyond. It's not any easier, certainly, the life of a silver-tongued devil compared to a battle-scarred warrior.

Sounds rather difficult, right? For people who have some kind of enjoyment of punishment and pain?

This game will teach you to enjoy failure. Half the fun will be trying again, in dealing with the failure. There are moments, certainly, where things get to be a little ridiculous(I wasn't very happy when I had to trash my first character partway through) but once you get into the game, things move quick. Trying again isn't so bad after you know what to do, how to maximize your effectiveness in the playstyle you shoot for. And sometimes, you'll just have to reload and try again, and hope the rolls are kinder to you, that your hits land this time and that four-armed monstrosity you're fighting stops landing criticals every hit for the past twenty loads in a row.

Furthermore, it's very, very hard to make a decent jack-of-all-trades character, let alone an expert in everything. Honestly, it's hard to go purely for combat, or social skills, and so on. It takes some maneuvering to get your skills where you need them when you need them. More often than not, you'll be reloading or restarting entirely, trying to find out the best order to do things, the best way to spend your points, the best options to choose in each situation so you don't hit a brick wall later on, finding out you literally cannot progress past a certain point because of errors in character building.

Going off the jack of all trades, to fully experience the game, you(probably) will have to make multiple characters. At the moment, I've got a mercenary/warrior character with some light social skills and a character who is built entirely around understanding the ancient history of the gameworld(there is actually a skill for this in game, called "lore", and it's rather useful) as well as persuasion and the like. I'm probably going to have to make another one, and one more, and so on to really get the full picture. You will too, and probably will want to. Each character has a very different story, a very different interaction with the world: you'll need quite a few to get a good picture of it all.

Speaking of the world, the "bigger picture": This game has some serious writing behind it. It, quite simply, turns your expectation from a possibly predicatable RPG storyline to feeling like your reading a novel that's just setting the stage for an entire series. There's a huge meta-plot going on beyond the actions of your character--the story becomes as much about the world your exploring and its history as it does about your character's journey through it and it left me craving more. In fact, I made that lore-based character I mentioned earlier solely for the the purpose of digging deeper into the realm presented. Like the inhabitants of the world of Age of Decadence, I wanted to find out more about the fantastic world they lived in, what happened to it, and how exactly it got to where it is now.

At the time of writing this review, the game is still in early access, and we're waiting on a big update to wrap up the exisiting questlines, locations and so on. So, be aware you might not be able finish the game right yet if you buy this in early 2015. However, there is so much content you won't get bored while waiting. Best of all, you can(probably) use your previous saves in future updates--barring any serious scripting errors that might arise in the future with updates and so on, older saves seem to be pretty compatible with new versions of the game.

All in all, I am very happy with my purchase(I've owned this game four or five days and already have 30-40 hours in it) and I can't recommend it more. Well worth the price.

If you have any doubts, try the demo first. It's there and is a good representation of the gameplay. Also, try reading the forums and asking around if you're not sure--the community is very friendly, as are the developers.

TL;DR version:

Do you like difficult, challenging RPGs with great writing that encourage that force you to learn from your failed attempts and turns it into something enjoyable?

Then buy it.

Oh, one last thing: Save like a madman! You're going to die soon.
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24 of 25 people (96%) found this review helpful
51.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Early Access Review
Non-linear role-playing game with emphasis on text adventures set in Ancient Rome with splashes of Mongolian and other ancient peoples.
Degrading world of post-war devastation with mysterious techno-magic and aliens.
Strongly branched story tree which separated branches opens only during the next walkthrough.
The original system of tactical turn-based battles allows various styles fighting, including entangling enemies with nets and the possibility of using poisoned weapons. Battles are hard while dying in them is very easy if you don't study the game mechanics during Training or test walkthroughs. However, if you wish, you can avoid fighting at all by playing non-combat character.
5 melee weapon skills, 3 - ranged, 2 - defensive, 1 universal Critical Strike skill which can be used in battles and text adventures, 12 non-combat skills for all occasions.
Over 50 000 strings of text which we have successfully translated on Russian (and there will be more with release of full version).
The player will interact with 7 factions with complex system of relationships. You can join any of them as the game progresses, double-cross it and flop over to its opponents - that's where the true decadence!
There are no classes in the game as such, but there are 8 backgrounds defining the game beginning.
There are no character levels in the game either, but progress is due to receiving and distributing Skill Points.
The main character isn't a superhero superior to all opponents in parameters, skills or equipments, but an ordinary man striving to survive and posed before a permanent choice on which depends his future, game plot and several different endings.
In a nutshell, game is very close to classic RPGs by its spirit - such as Fallout 1 and 2, Planescape: Torment by Black Isle Studios, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura by Troika Games.
I highly recommends it to all fans of hardcore old school role-playing games.

Нелинейная ролевая игра с упором на текстовые приключения в сеттинге древнего Рима с вкраплениями монгольских и других древних народов.
Деградирующий мир послевоенной разрухи с загадочной техномагией и пришельцами.
Очень сильно разветвлённое сюжетное дерево, отдельные ветви которого открываются только при очередном прохождении.
Оригинальная система пошаговых тактических боёв, позволяющая сражаться разными стилями, включая опутывание врагов сетями и возможность применения отравленного оружия. Сражения непростые, умереть в них очень легко, если не изучить игровую механику на пробных прохождениях или в Обучении. Впрочем, при желании боёв можно вообще избежать, играя небоевым персонажем.
5 навыков оружия ближнего боя, 3 - дальнего, 2 - защитных, 1 универсальный навык Критического удара, применяемый как в боях, так и в текстовых приключениях, 12 небоевых навыков на все случаи жизни.
Свыше 50 000 строк текста, который мы успешно перевели (и будет больше с выходом полной версии).
Игроку предстоит взаимодействовать с 7 фракциями со сложной системой взаимоотношений. По ходу игры можно будет присоединиться к любой из них, предать её и переметнуться к её оппонентам - вот где истинный декаданс!
Классов в игре как таковых нет, но есть 8 предысторий, определяющих начало игры.
Уровней персонажа в игре тоже нет, а развитие происходит за счёт получения и распределения Очков Навыков.
Главный герой - совсем не супергерой, превосходящий всех противников параметрами, навыками или экипировкой, а обычный человек, стремящийся выжить и поставленный перед постоянным выбором, от которого зависит будущее его самого, сюжет игры и несколько различных концовок.
Вообще игра очень близка по духу к классическим РПГ, таким как Fallout 1 и 2, Planescape: Torment от Black Isle Studios, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura от Troika Games.
Настоятельно рекомендую всем любителям ролевых игр старой школы.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
72.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Early Access Review
Олдскульная хардкор РПГ без компромиссов. Ближе к Fallout только сам Fallout. Не поддержать рублём - отказаться от олдскул РПГ навсегда. Всё. (60 часов)

Oldschool hardcore RPG without compromises. Closer to Fallout is only Fallout. Not to support means you will not see oldschool RPGs ever again. That's all. (60 hours)
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
Do you have a death wish? If so, you've come to the right game!

I've played a fair amount of the Age of Decadence (AoD), having been one of the first beta-testers for the title (most of my playtime are with non-STEAM builds). And I've died. Oh how I've died.

To make things plain, AoD is not a game you'd play when you want to go on a conventional videogame "powertrip". It's not a game you'd play when you want to play a hero. It's not a game you'd play when you want to play an ubermensch. In this game, your character is but one choice from death at pretty much all times.

AoD is a RPG with turnbased combat. It features a very deep and quite broad RPG system. Choices & consequences is the name of the game here, playthroughs vary *wildly* from one another. With the pre-requisite that you'll get your hands dirty, this game features very different ways to go through the game. On one hand, you can choose to play something like a Mercenary, killing your way through the game. Very, very hard (choosing the combat path in this game is *the* difficult choice interestingly enough) but very doable. Or, you can play a slimy Merchant, bribing and persuading your way through the game without ever entering combat.

This heavy emphasis on choice is why I adore AoD. There is a *true* sense of your character forging your way through the world. Even if you happen to fail a certain skill check and screw a situation for your employer when working for one of the guilds, chances are the game will still allow you to continue though the guild and gameworld will likely remember what you've done.

The turnbased combat may feel slightly clunky at first due to how it looks and "feels". But here is a combat system that actually has some immense depth to it, *if* you have the patience to go through the trial-by-fire where you'll die over and over. Encounters are crafted carefully and to provide immense challenge. Not to mention that your character is just another piece of the game's board. You're not special, you're not more powerful than anyone else. You're just another dude who happens to excel at a few things (depending on your skill choices) and so is everyone else. In another game, you'd scoff at the group of thugs threatening you in the slums. In AoD? You'd best be damn well prepared if you're gonna take on *any* group of people.

My main critique of the gameplay is that, since so much of the game is driven by your characters' skill choices, you can quite easily get into a situation where you're just just shy of one measly point of Persuasion to get through that particular problem, but... you may have no way to get that point. And the other options can likely lead you into death (especially if you're not prepared for combat). It feels rather "strict". And while I actually like that in many ways, I do hope and think there will be a balancing pass on the game before it's final release. Hopefully "loosening up" some of the requirements without making the game casual or easy.

The game relies heavily on its writing with most of its non-combat gameplay missions taking place in very elaborate "text-adventures". If you don't like to read, this is not the game for you.
The game's writing is very good and quite harsh. There are no goody-goody characters here, and it's rough world. Characters will lie to you and screw you over. But the good news is, you can lie to others and screw them over as well!

The game's length will vary a *lot* depending on how you play. Combat is the most time-consuming tasks. Battles can take a fair amount of time. If you choose to go a route where you are diplomatic and avoid combat, the game-length will also be shorter.
That said, one of the main *points* behind AoD is the replayability. If you don't want to replay the game, using different builds and seeing different solutions, then it's not a game for you.

The game is currently in early access and has a few months left of development. The game is made up of 3 big city locations (with various smaller locations scattered around) and the final big city is about to be released in a rough, beta form to the public. There is still plenty of things to do and experience in the game but it is not currently "complete" so to speak.

If you want to be challenged by a RPG, and if you like old-school design and feel, then AoD might just be worth it for you. For me, it has filled a niche that no other game has done yet (even right now with Kickstarter projects and indie-games being as prominent as they are), it is truly a special game that I've grown to love, despite the many kicks in the balls it has given me.

I'd highly recommend it for people looking for a more hardcore RPG experience. But to be on the safe side, you can give the demo a try as well!
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Early Access Review
You will know true decadence as you recline on a sofa of the finest writing as a nubile young choice hand-picks consequences and places them in your mouth and you watch nearly naked turn based combat fight for your enjoyment. You clap your hands to advance the festivities and are then treated to a unique setting singing for you and a roasted in-depth character skill system is brought in.
Mid way through the event you feel sick and rush to the bathroom, only to void your bowels as your character dies over and over again. But it's alright, here's a swan for you to wipe yourself off on.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
28.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Early Access Review
Praise the Lord that there are still people who make these kind of games. This game is more than wonderful. To my opinion, if this guys had normal budget about 5-10 millions, Age of Decadence even could be better than Fallout 1/2 and Planescape. Developers really talented, and I want to thank them for this wonderful game.

Слава Аллаху, что есть еще люди, делающие подобного рода игры. Эта игра более чем отлична. По моему мнению, если бы ребята получили нормальный бюджет, хотя бы 5-10 миллионов, Age of Decadence могла бы быть даже лучше, чем Fallout 1/2 и Planescape. Разработчики действительно талантливые, и хочется сказать им спасибо за эту замечательную игру.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
315.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
15 out of 10: A must play for every old school RPG fan.
The game is a true renaissance of cRPG classics, it's like a rich interactive book including more text and choices & consequences than even Planescape: Torment did. The tactical turn-based combat system is as much fun as Fallout 1-2, Arcanum, The Temple Of Elemental Evil, or Divinity: Original Sin feature, plus it's really challenging and unforgiving, this makes victories even sweeter and triggers your adrenaline gland every time you're 5 HP away from finishing the final opponent. The character development system is really diverse, both combat wise and text adventure wise. The graphics is a combination of old school isometric and modern-day 3D, once you get used to how the camera works you'll find it convenient. The small graphical details, the lighting and textures are pleasing enough for the eye if you're a high-end graphics fan, visually it's as good as, say, Heroes Of Might and Magic V.
I've been playing the early access/demo builds of The Age Of Decadence for several years, and the new features and content added always make it even more fun and more polished. The replayability aspect of the game is unprecenent as on every playthrough you can follow a new path and view the factions, the characters and various aspects of the setting and its history differently, it's like a series of books exploring a story through the eyes of different characters involved. The endings are also mutliple, and it entirely depends on your PC's choices and characteristics what he/she achieves in the end, provided you don't fail on the way. Do save often before taking key decisions, both to avoid failures and to explore various possibile outcomes of your actions.
I'd say I've never been so excited about and so much enjoying a game for several years before it has even been released.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
58.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
Age of Decadence is a CRPG that is just getting ready to move to Beta and has been some time in development.

Age of Decadence feels like a game specifically designed for those that love to replay a game. To play with the numbers, experiment with the skills and statistics, a game you either need to love doing just that or be willing to spend quite a lot of time with, to get a feel for the underlying mechanics, to be able to explore the many possibilities and varied storylines.

The replay value is enormous. The experience and storyline vary quite a bit depending on your choice of class or skillset. It can be *very* frustrating to reach a point in the game where you just can't do what you'd like because you don't quite have the stat or the skill - and it can be just as rewarding when you go back and try again after tinkering with the numbers. It is anything BUT a game where the only difference between a thief and a warrior is the title.

I like the feel and the setting for the game. It has a setting and a backstory that is both well thought/fleshed out and unique. Things that happen within both make sense and have the feel of "A Canticle for Leibowitz" to them. (BTW great novel you should read.)

I am looking forward to playing it off and on through development and seeing what it has become when it finishes. If you are a die hard CRPG fan I think you will too.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
I disagree with the "old-school RPG" label that some people give this great game. At least when comparing to games like Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale, etc. which are often mentioned as said "old-school RPG". This game is called "hard" by many people, but I don't think this describes it properly either.

First and foremost it is a game set in an apocalyptic, fall-of-the-Roman-Empire inspired low fantasy setting. In such a dystopian world human lives don't matter much to most people - except, of course, their own ones. This is the atmosphere you should expect when entering this game: Most people are unhelpful, will try to cheat you and use you for their own selfish purposes, and in such cases the game rewards a character dedicated to specific skills of two categories: either "civil" or "combat". For example, when you meet a friendly guy who wants to show you something 'at his house', your "Streetwise" skill (if it is high enough) will kick in, and tell you that something isn't right. This will give you an extra dialog option to leave or at least ask an inquisitive question. You can also be a thief, who breaks into peoples homes to steal their valuables, but just make sure that you have the required skills - a sneak skill will allow you to stay unnoticed, but it will not unlock doors or prevent your untimely death by a trap. Finally, if you decide to resort to violence you have a plethora of options to choose from: axes, daggers, crossbows, throwing weapons, spears, swords, hammers, nets, bows etc. all with different versions (for example some axes are huge 2handed with a ton of damage, but a slow speed and little defense, while others will allow you a shield for protection). As if the weapon skills weren't enough you also have the option of choosing different types of defense: Block (with a shield), dodge, and armor, all which can be viable with the right build. Also there is a critical strike skill, which not only works in combat, but also sometimes to quickly end a life without resorting to the fighting part. Above all these skills there are basic attributes, which you only predefine at character creation, but these are also very important in determining your character's strengths (if any) and weaknesses. They are: Strength, Dexterity, Perception, Intelligence and Charisma. Oh, and I forgot to mention that all combat is turn based, while dialog is limited by a certain amount of choices. The "adventure" part of the game is in real time, but as soon as you run into an "event" dialog will be initiated, this still allows you to look ahead at those 5 big guys with axes and hammers and think "Hmmm... I won't go down that road".

Now I started by saying that "hard" isn't a proper word for descriping the game and here is why. While the game will end your life at any point if you don't pay attention to what you are doing, you can also be rewarded if you DO pay attention. Remember to specialize in only a few skills, because a "swashbuckler" all-rounder character is simply not very viable unless you meta-game a lot and have a lot of experience with the game. This is a more realistic experience given the setting than most RPGs which leaves you half-asleep while rushing through enemies and dialogs and even the "ultimate" endboss.

While I consider this game great already, it is still in Early access and this also means a few flaws:
The ability to predict and avoid life threating situations is generally well established (as with the guy who wanted to show you his house-example as written above). However, in a few places something just happens with too few skill options to counter leaving only a very meta-gamed style possible for success in such encounters. Here is a (non-game) example just for illustration: Encounter requires for 1. step 6 crafting skill to succeed, next step will require 3 alchemy or 7 strength, then next one will require 6 intelligence and 5 persuasion. As you can see, these skill checks are sometimes very diverse, but require a very narrowly defined criteria to succeed, and there are rarely any "partial success" or "at least I got out alive" alternatives. This is the second part that people call "hard" but I think it goes in the category "Work in Progress" which this game still is.

Overall it is a good early access game, which is forming up to be a very good finished game. Thanks developers!
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Early Access Review
I'm not going to blather on. If you don't like this game then it's your fault for being stupid, weak or probably both.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
I enjoyed this but it's worth stressing that it's old school, very difficult and a quirky bit of game design. Certain builds defeat certain plot "locks" and that's it. You won't see that plot element if you don't have those exact skills.

The combat is tough and requires you to fully spec as a combat character to have a chance but I enjoyed it. Satisfying to win many fights.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
57.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
Wonderfull game -- not for everyone, though! Please, do check out the free demo before you buy it.

It's hard but rewarding. A unique experience definitely. You won't be able to run around doing fetch quests or kill hordes of rats for xp. But! The quests that you will be able to do are all well crafted and really thought out, while every fight is a struggle for survival where no one can feel safe.

Great game for the lovers of cRPGs, but more importantly -- for people who can appreciate the wonderful story and harsh challenges that the game provides.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
39.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
-Do you hate giant worlds of bland, procedurally generated content filled with meaningless "quests" and storylines?

-Do you hanker for absolutely brutal, highly realistic and utterly unforgiving combat?

-Do you enjoy fine tuning character builds where every single point matters?

If all of the above apply to you, Age of Decadence is definitely might be the game for you.

The game is about one character, set in a post apocalytpic civilization that seems to once have had both Star-Trek like miracletech, like Force Shields and Holographic Emitters, not to mention teleportation gates, but also some serious anachronisms; Sentient Animated Stone Guardians are armed with swords (forged from Meteoric iron, but still a sword), the Old World was ruled by a Techno-religious priesthood with superpowers... and I should stop the spoilers.

=D

I've found this game incredibly enjoyable. The replay value is off the charts, the variability of combat and builds and story choices are all tied into each other in a way that only years of painstaking, laborous work by a true master can achieve.

This isn't just a game, it's the creator's vision chiseled out of Torque with manually constructed storyboards, sanded down with gorgeous art and music, then polished by thousands of hours of playtesting - tens of thousands if you count the volunteers.

This game isn't for everyone, but for us hardcore nuts, there is no equal.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
146.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Early Access Review
This may well be the best RPG I've ever played, and I've played a lot of RPGs. It has an engrossing story, great gameplay mechanics, and enough content to keep you entertained for countless hours.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Early Access Review
Get ready to die, a lot. Get ready to reload, even more often. Get ready to hoard XP until you firn the perfect use for it - and then die and reload again.

AoD is not a pretty game - neither in the visuals, nor in the character. It's an intentionally bland, gritty and unforgiving setting, in which you are not The Chosen One, you have no Great Destiny, and elves, dwarves and wizards neither will help you, nor do they exist. Your enemies will not be All Powerful Demons, whom you will fight with Legendary Artifacts. Instead, most of the time, you'll be fighting thugs or beggars with sticks and stones.

There is little XP to be had in the game, and it will not be enough to create the Charming Persuasive Warrior Mage Assassin you may know from contemporary titles. In fact, you'll need to hold on to evey XP point until you really, really need to raise a skill (of which there are plenty of, often used in combination). And even, then your Master Manipulator may get shanked by a smelly thief armed with a rusty metal spike. Your Fearless Gladiator can still get stoned to death by angry beggars. And so forth, and so forth. If you try to play this like you would play Dragon Age, your character will die within the first minutes of the game, no joke.

The developers prepared dozens of death screens for your entertainment, and you'll see a great deal of them, even if you play the game right. The world of AoD doesn't warn you of impending doom, doesn't provide tool tips, doesn't highlight important characters and frankly, just doesn't care.

If you're fine with all of the above, you may love the game, try it. If you're not, there are other titles you'll have fun with, try them. This is not everybody's cup of poison, as an example - myself. I've tried the game, understand what it tries to do, can appreciate it, but have left it behind.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
It's challenging and it's unforgiving but when you it right this game is very rewarding. If you like a good challenge then you'll like The Age of Decadence
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Early Access Review
Do you like to have choices with real consequences in games you play? Would you like to have a branching storyline which starts off differently depending on 8 different character backgrounds (in an essentially classless character creation system)? Would you like both challenging and tactical turn-based combat and a deep dialogue system?

If so, you have found the right game. Age of Decandence has all of this, in spades. This is a game which does not hold your hand and where your character is a "hero" which can easily achieve anything. In this game, you are only a small cog in a big machinery and if you fail, you will die... a lot. If you want power, you will have to fight for it - prepare to reload a lot and learn things the hard way.

This is also not a game which railroads you along the same path no matter what you choose to do differently. This is a game where story, choices and character progression is woven together better than in any other game I have ever played. You could only stand frozen with awe at the thought of what these guys could do with a bigger budget. Therefore I consider buying this game being a matter of honor for RPG enthusiasts. This game symbolizes more than any other how good a game can be if you include all the things which has been removed from today's modern dumbed-down RPGs.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
83.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
Early Access Review
Based on the large Early Access contents, which I can't imagine will differ much from the final game, I cannot recommend this game enough.
In particular I like the
- fairly complex turn based combat
- well thought out and reasonable characters
- *meaningful* choices and consequences, which has been hard to come by in AAA games for years

In short, to the devs: Thank you very much for this gem of a game. Keep fighting the good fight.

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32 of 39 people (82%) found this review helpful
36.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
Early Access Review
***Decadent Times***

There are many worlds in one world. Some of them are known to the common men portraying themselves as harsh truths of the circumstances or a hopeful future...some of them are only known to people who seek things behind the illusionary curtain before our eyes. Age of Decadence makes you visit all these worlds at your leisure and with your style. Let us cut the fancy words and stab our knife deep into the meat of this game. What makes Age of Decadence, unique?

Age of Decadence is set on a post-apocalyptic world devastated by a war between the Empire and Qantari. The war, its consequences and the remnants (ruins, devices etc) from those times creates the mystical side of the lore but on the other hand the numerous factions vying for the power adds to the mundane part of the lore. As your character progresses, depending on your actions, background and character prowess you will find yourself uncovering things let it be political schemes, marvellous devices or simply glory of combat in the battlefield. Thus having a tasty background, Age of Decadence gives us a solid sign that it is a candidate to become a classic.

First of all, forget being a hero (though it is still possible) all the time since the game will allow you to back down from several dangerous situations...but once the die is cast...you'll have to live with its consequences. Depending on your character build (combat, non-combat, hybrid) you can find different kinds of solutions to a certain quest or mission. And mind you those different solutions may lead to different consequences. Your generosity towards a person may pay well later in the game or you might find yourself in difficult situations because some thugs marked you as a target due to your generosity. It is definitely a decadent world where you should READ and ASSESS the situation properly. If you do not notice the warning signs, understand the personality of the characters you are dealing with...you might find yourself in difficulty or pushing daisies.

The most striking part though...the cumulative effect the game presents you. From the start, you are subject to a different perspective on an assassination vignette where your background will affect it quite much. It will also make other NPCs of the starting town react differently. Such as, you might be the Assassin who is hired to kill the trader but perhaps you were the Mercenary whose duty was to protect the trader. Perhaps as a Mercenary you let the Assassin depart or avenged your employer and it may impress the Assassin's Guild (it is named as Boatmen of Styx and like every faction it has a neat backstory). Or you were merely a Drifter and heard some noises before stumbling upon the corpses of an assassin, a mercenary and a trader. I wouldn't want to spoil all vignettes here...regardless you will see from the start the game will offer you more depth into the matters.

Another striking point is the importance of factional relations. Don't expect to pay some sum to a shady man and magically all bad feelings are gone. Minor slights and such can be mended with some acts of goodwill...but if you screw some relations severely, you'll have to live with that and like every organization, Age of Decadence factions have enemies and allies in times of change. And even your personal allegiance can change at crucial times let it be for your personal gain, a change of ideals or merely you wish for some thrill. Choices and living up to their consequences...is the essence of this game.

Combat system is Action Point based where people should be familiar from Fallout series...This is one part I don't wish to go into detail because the game itself has a nice training mode where a starter player can try different types of weapons in order to get a hold of mechanics. As I said, don't be a hero and try this training :D

As one last positive, the demo of the game has the entire first chapter of the game with all its vignettes. You will not regret trying it out and will keep wanting more of it. I know I did and still do. I shall update the review for the future versions.
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30 of 37 people (81%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
Early Access Review
AoD is refreshingly different from most other RPGs. First, every enemy is as strong as you or even stronger, thus the combat is extremely deadly. In most other RPGs you pick one character and experience every quest and discover every location with your chosen class. In AoD every class offers a unique experience, because the story line is completely different from most other classes. You have to finish the game many times in order to experience everything. Every character is supposed to specialize on certain traits, a jack-of-all-traits does not exist. Futhermore, is the ancient low-magic setting a welcome change from the classic high-fantasy fare. The whole gameplay is similar to (classic) Fallout and can thus be recommended.
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