The Age of Decadence is a turn-based, hardcore role-playing game set in a low magic, post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The game features a detailed skill-based character system, multiple skill-based ways to handle quests, choices & consequences, and extensive dialogue trees.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (63 reviews) - 77% of the 63 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (940 reviews) - 84% of the 940 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 14, 2015

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March 26

What's Next?



First, we’d like to thank you for your support. When we launched our game on Steam, we didn’t know what to expect. The Age of Decadence is a hardcore RPG that requires the player to forget everything they learned playing mass-market-friendly RPGs and approach it differently, which, in all fairness, is a lot to ask for.

We were prepared for the worst – ready to say “at least we tried” and go back to less exciting ways to make a living – but your support and open-mindedness ensured our survival as a studio and gave us confidence to continue and experiment with game design.

We’re a small studio. Our games will never sell hundreds of thousands of copies, which is fine, because we aren’t in it for the money. We want to make games that nobody else would (precisely because such games would never sell hundreds of thousands of copies) and with and because of your help we can do it.

Thank you. Again.

So what to expect in the near and not so near future?

The Age of Decadence

As our next “full-scale” RPG won’t be ready until 2020, we’ll continue tweaking and improving AoD, ensuring that there’s always something new for the returning players.

The next update will be released in a week or so and will contain:

  • Huge performance boost in Ganezzar, minor boosts in other locations
  • Animation speed now goes up to 4x.
  • Separate animation speed for combat and exploration
  • If a crossbow is loaded, a new icon shows the number of loaded bolts in the inventory screen.
  • Pressing "R" reloads the last used bolts in crossbows.
  • Option to hide skill tags in dialogues.
  • New camera option: follow the player’s character.
  • Separate camera modes for combat and exploration. For example, the camera can follow the player while moving in real time and switch to free camera in combat.

The Dungeon Crawler

Our short-term project is a dungeon crawler set in the AoD world. It's a combat-heavy, party-based RPG for people who like our combat system and want to play it in a party-based mode. It will use the existing engine, systems, and assets, although new creatures, animations, weapons and armor are being added as we speak.

We'll introduce it properly in a couple of months.

The Colony Ship RPG

Our long-term project is a colony ship RPG inspired by Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky. We want this game to feel and play differently from AoD. The core design (turn-based, choices & consequences, non-linear, text-heavy) would remain the same.
  • Character System

    Expect the same 6 stats (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Per, Cha) and 18 skills grouped in sets of three:

    • Melee (Fist, Bladed, Blunt)
    • Firearms (Pistol, Shotgun, SMG)
    • Energy Weapons (Pistol, Rifle, Cannon)
    • Science (Medical, Mechanical, Computer)
    • Speech (Persuasion, Streetwise, Trading)
    • Stealth (Lockpick, Pickpocket, Sneak)

  • Party-Based.

    It’s a fundamental change that affects every design aspect, most notably content “gating”. If you have 3-4 party members, most likely you’ll have all skills covered.

    Charisma will determine the number and quality of your party members. The party size will range from 2 to 5. Experience points from quests will be split between the human party members (a droid will have its own leveling up mechanics and won't cost you any XP), thus a smaller party will be able to gain levels faster.

  • Party Dynamics

    Typically, RPG party members serve a purely tactical role, giving your more bodies to control in combat and access to different combat abilities. In a sense, you’re role-playing an entire squad as outside of combat there is very little (if any) difference between the character you created and the characters you’ve recruited or created next.

    It works great in RPGs that are mostly about combat, but calls for a different approach when it comes to non-combat gameplay. The main problem is that party members offer nothing but combat benefits (occasionally, freaky sex to relieve combat stress and party banter), giving you very few reasons to treat party members any differently than the main character.

    In short, the problem is that in most RPGs party members are mindless zombies lacking any free will, agenda, goals, etc – the very qualities that separate an actual “character” from a zombie. Thus, our main design goal is to create proper characters that have a will of their own, as well as agendas, beliefs, goals, and other infuriating qualities.

    Unlike the player’s character, the party members will have a complex personality & beliefs system that would determine their reaction. Most likely these stats will remain hidden from the player and you’d have to figure out what you’re dealing with by talking to them and observing how they act/react.

    We're planning to go with 10 traits (values ranging from -5 to +5) strictly for the purpose of reacting to different situations and the PC's choices.

    • Religion (-5 means raging atheist, +5 means true believer)
    • Politics (-5 filthy liberal, +5 glorious conservative)
    • Loyalty (-5 treacherous scum, +5 loyal to a fault)
    • Volatile (-5 comatose, +5 always ready to fly off the handle)
    • Connving (-5 honest abe, +5 Miltiades)
    • Opportunist (-5 a man of principles, +5 what are principles?)
    • Idealism (-5 cynic, +5 starry-eyed idealist)
    • Greed (-5 above money, +5 can quote Gordon Gekko)
    • Altruism (-5 selfish bastard, +5 For the Greater Good!)
    • Agreeable (-5 doesn't play well with others, +5 gets along with Hitler)

  • Feats & Character Levels

    Your characters will gain levels using experience points from quests. When you level up, you’ll select feats, unlocking or improving your abilities. The feats will be an important aspect of character development (i.e. they won’t give you minor bonuses but help you develop your characters along specific paths: lone wolf vs squad leader, offense vs defense, gunslinger vs sprayer or gadgeteer, melee vs ranged, which will go beyond which skill to develop, etc) and make as much of a difference as the skills levels.

    We want the skills to determine your chance of success with certain tasks and the feats to define what you can do and how you can use these skills to maximum advantage. For example, not every guy with points in Pistol is a gunslinger, not every guy who travels alone is a Jeremiah Johnson when it comes to survival, etc. Basically, the feats will define your character much more than your skills.

  • Skills & Learn by Using

    You will not gain XP for killing, talking, sneaking, picking locks, using computers, fixing mechanical things and such. You will not increase your skills manually. Instead your skills will be increased automatically based on their use.

    Instead of counting how many times you did something, we’ll assign a certain value (let’s call it learning points) to each activity (attacking, killing, fixing, sneaking, convincing, lying, etc). So killing a tough enemy or repairing a reactor will net you more points than killing a weakling or fixing a toaster. Basically, it will work the same way as XP but go directly toward raising a skill that did all the work.

  • Gadgets

    While melee builds will be viable, most enemies will use guns. Ranged combat will be dull if everyone just stands there, firing their weapons and dodging bullets. It needs cover but we don’t want to place cover everywhere, which means we need gadgets to make your own cover (among other things):
    • Depletable energy shield (absorbs x damage)
    • Reality distortion field (THC penalty against you)
    • Optical illusion a-la Total Recall (chance that enemies will target the illusion)
    • Cloaking field aka Stealth Boy
    • Stasis field (holds enemy, no damage can be dealt)
    • Brainwave Disruptor (don’t leave your home without Psychic Nullifier)

    Expect 10-12 gadgets with 3-4 upgrade levels.

  • Factions

    While factions will get a lot of attention and play a large role, you won’t join a faction but will remain an outsider, free to work for and deal with all factions, which fits the setting better as these factions aren’t guilds but different hubs. However, many quests would have conflicting interests and reputation would play a stronger and more immediate role than it did in AoD, so you won’t be able to please everyone for long.

    In addition to your reputation, which will play a much bigger role in the game (the main quest is sort of built around it), we’ll add two important stats that will be affected by your actions: faction strength & morale (your actions might increase or lower both or increase one and lower the other). More on that in the future updates.

Here are the first 3 design updates if you wish to read more:

Setting Overview

Party Dynamics

System Changes

Again, thank you for your support and encouragement. If you’re interested in AoD, buy it today while it’s on sale to support the games we're working on. If you aren’t sure whether or not the game is for you, read this overview first:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/aod/announcements/detail/79169731941085705

90 comments Read more

February 3

A Bit Of Everything



The update contains a lot of things that were requested by the players:

1) A Stash!

As requested, a stash to store your ill-gotten gains. Rent a room at any inn and get a magic chest that will follow you everywhere (i.e. to the inn in the next city).

2) Sneaking & Stealing

As requested, more opportunities to ply your shady crafts. Stealing from sleeping inn patrons and merchant stalls is now a thing.

3) Spearman's Kit

As requested, a one-handed spear with a longer reach. It comes with a fancy buckler, a well-crafted blue steel helmet that doesn't restrict your vision, and its current owner. Enjoy!







To get your hands on that kit you have to bravely enter a tavern in the Arena district and challenge a dreadful pirate currently terrorizing the peaceful patrons. Are you bad enough dude to save the patrons and claim the villain’s spear for yourself?

4) Trading Cards.

As requested, now you can trade cards and craft your very own badge (or two). Steam gave us hard time ensuring that the divine badge is up to the code and meets the highest requirements (shines like the North Star on a dark night), so hope you won't be disappointed.


One of the badges

5) Expanded Endings

If you always wanted to know what the Zamedi demon is up to (and other memorable characters you've met on your journey), well, now you can. As requested.

6) Camera & Interface Resolutions

As requested, the camera's code has been updated and now it's much smoother. Don't expect any miracles but it's better than before. Plus we added higher resolutions support for the interface.

7) Minor things

Several new characters, text descriptions, bug fixes, improved textures and models, minor balance tweaks.

Thanks for playing.

34 comments Read more

Reviews

“Age of Decadence is an RPG to its core. It offers the player a wealth of choices, many of them carrying lofty consequences along with them. The core design element of player choice transcends simple dialogue choices, as players can progress through the game in a variety of styles. Many games offer up the illusion of choice while failing to actually deliver, but Age of Decadence serves up difficult and tangible crossroads with no looking back. It may have some rough spots, but it is one of the most well-designed RPGs I have had the pleasure of enjoying.”
9/10 – Destructoid

“But Age of Decadence wants nothing to do with kobolds, just as it wants nothing to do with Doo-dads of Unimaginable Power. The overarching idea is a crumbling society divided among three noble Houses, each fumbling around in its own version of darkness to comprehend what destroyed the world. That’s the central mystery. It plays out like noir in that you are the detective, piecing together what really happened from differing accounts, all vividly written with clear voices and efficient prose. And like a detective in a noir yarn, you can’t help but become part of the central mystery, effecting an outcome you might not have intended. Age of Decadence might run away from you.”
4/5 – Quarter to Three

“The Age of Decadence is a dream game from fans of the purest form of cRPG to others. An very interesting narrative driven title with a superb C&C system in place, a well meditated combat system and a world and inhabitants that keep surprising you at every step.”
9/10 – Meristation

About This Game

The Age of Decadence, our first but hopefully not the last RPG, is now available. If you've been following it or playing it in Early Access, you know what to expect. If you've just discovered it, "stay awhile and listen". The most commonly asked question is:

What Kind of Game Is It?


It’s a very different game than anything you’ve ever played. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the RPG genre hasn’t really been explored yet and most RPGs follow the formula that didn’t change in 20 years. While there were always games that strayed off the beaten path – Darklands, Planescape: Torment, King of Dragon Pass – such games were the exceptions that only reinforced the rule.

The Age of Decadence is an experiment, an attempt to explore a different direction, taking you back to the PnP roots of the genre. It doesn’t mean that the game is awesome. In fact, there is a good chance that you won’t like it, precisely because we took too many liberties with the established design.

So What Sets The Age of Decadence Apart From Other Games?

1. The Setup


Traditionally, many fantasy RPGs are about killing things, clearing up dungeons, and being a hero. There is nothing wrong with mindless fun and wish fulfillment, but we want to offer you something different. To quote Tom Chick (Quarter to Three's game critic):

"But Age of Decadence wants nothing to do with kobolds, just as it wants nothing to do with Doo-dads of Unimaginable Power. The overarching idea is a crumbling society divided among three noble Houses, each fumbling around in its own version of darkness to comprehend what destroyed the world. That’s the central mystery. It plays out like noir in that you are the detective, piecing together what really happened from differing accounts, all vividly written with clear voices and efficient prose. And like a detective in a noir yarn, you can’t help but become part of the central mystery, effecting an outcome you might not have intended."

The Age of Decadence is not a game about killing monsters or exploring mystical lands, but rather, surviving amid the greed and brutality of your fellow humans and carving out a name for yourself. Good and bad are purely relative. It’s a world of scheming and backstabbing in which your words and actions have the potential to forge alliances and sow discord, and your path is never certain.

You get to play with seven different factions: three Noble Houses and four 'professional' guilds: merchants, assassins, thieves, and the army, all fighting for power or influence; over 100 named characters, over 750 ‘generic’ characters with unique IDs taking part in violent take-overs, assassinations, and power grabs, and over 600,000 words of dialogue: a well-developed and thought through world, believable characters, realistic motivations, but no elves, dwarves, magic, and wizards in fashionable, pointy hats.

2. Combat difficulty


Another design aspect worth mentioning is combat difficulty. It’s a hard game.

Combat difficulty is integrated into the setting. You can’t say that the world is harsh and unforgiving and then let the player kill everyone who looks at him or her funny. The game has to be hard, dying should be easy, and you should have reasons to pick your fights.

You aren’t a powerful hero who can defeat anyone and save the world and it is the difficulty that reinforces this notion. Make the game easier and we’re back to the powerful hero setup. So unless you’re a natural born killer, watch what you say and think before you act or you’ll end up dead before you can blink.

3. Choices & Consequences


Choices are what the game is all about - crafting your own narrative via a variety of choices that alter the story, playing field, and your options down the road. From multiple quest solutions to branching questlines you'll have plenty decisions to make and consequences of said decisions to deal with, which is what makes the game incredibly replayable.

Starting the game as a mercenary and joining the Imperial Guards will give a completely different experience, different quests, different content and points of view than, say, playing the game as a merchant (less buying low and selling high, more scheming and plotting to gain advantages for the guild), a praetor serving a Noble House, or an assassin.

The questlines are interwoven, forming a large, overarching story, so playing the game only once will be like witnessing events from a single perspective, which is limited by default. You will have to play the game several times to better understand what’s going on, piece everything together, and see the full effect of the choices you make.

The Big Question: Should You Buy The Game?


Try before you buy. Even if everything I said sounds exactly like your kind of game, try the demo first. That’s what it’s there for. It gives you access to the first Chapter, consisting of 3 locations and about 30 quests split between mutually exclusive questlines and decisions.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10
    • Processor: 2 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTS 250 / Radeon HD 4770 (1Gb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1900 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTS 450 / Radeon HD 4870 (1Gb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1900 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (63 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (940 reviews)
Recently Posted
dafran
( 19.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I do like the game. Finished just one walkthrough and I plan to add a few more. The problem I've got with this game is: It is not really about your desicions, it is about skillchecks, you need to plan how you level your character so that you are able to complete the quests you want to complete... this for me is not fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
blizzardmetal
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
I've been playing games for well over 30 years. RPG's, action games, puzzlers, adventrue...you name it. Say what you want about mechanics, graphics, writing...the only thing that makes a game worth playing is FUN. Why else do we spend countless hours playing? I could not find one enjoyable thing about this game, nothing that made it even remotely FUN. Before you say "you don't get it" or "you aren't into hardcore games"; I've successfully beaten several of the classic Wizardry, Ultima, and MIght and Magic games that balanced FUN with challenge. Don't dare put "The Age of Decadence" in the same category of classic CRPG's...because it severly lacks what the classics had, and that's playability. It can't be called a role playing game if you have to do things a certain way, it becomes a guessing simulator. Sadly, I was 1.8 hours over the limit for a Steam refund. I see plenty of people enjoy this game...but the ones like me, who don't, REALLY don't like it. On to one of the other dozens of games in my library...
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Maximus
( 9.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Brutal.

Like sometimes reload a dozen times for one fight..
Then reload a previous save because you wernt ready for that fight to begin with or never will be because loremasters are made of paper.


Great tho.
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gytfunke
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
This game is bone-jarringly terrible and it's not what it claims to be.

There is no meaningful amount of freedom in this game. You're allowed a few starting choices such as which guild you want to start with and which faction you want to ally with. From there, you're often railroaded through scenes without even the illusion of choice.

For example, I wanted to play a persuasive assassin for my first play-through. A rogue who uses poison and guile to perform their vile tasks. No, that's not possible. Spoiler alert: you're going to kill your first mark with a crossbow whether you like it or not.

From there you'll notice the terrible writing. It's awful. The content is like something from a Jerry Springer script. Which is disappointing, because story was advertised as one of the highlights of this game. For example, certain NPCs swear because this world is 'edgy'. That would be fine, but for two reasons. 1) They swear like they're disgruntled teenagers from the modern world. The language used and the way it's presented clash with the setting. 2) The profanity is a placeholder for actual content. I have absolutely no idea why half of these people are swearing so much because there's nothing in the script illustrating why they feel the way they do.

The combat is half-♥♥♥♥♥. It's dull. Simply not good. There's no dynamism. You select from a lame, text-based menu which attack you'd like to perform, then you run away. You keep doing this until one side dies. And yes, the combat is balanced to present you with a fair chance of dying. But it's not difficult because it takes skill. It takes no skill. It simply requires you to have built your character to be a combat character. If you're not a combat character, you're simply going to die if you get into combat. There's no way to talk your way out of it, either, once you're in it. And some setups throw you into combat with no warning. It's punishing, but not at all made with any sort of an eye for gameplay.

Without freedom of choice, a good story or good combat, I find there's just no reason to play this game. Which makes me very curious about all the positive reviews it's received. If you look at the negative reviews, the majority of them seem fairly well-written. However, they're heavily downvoted. All of them. And all of the positive reviews are heavily upvoted. To me, this says that these guys either have a rabid fan base, or they're paying for positive reviews and favorable up/down-votes. Either way, it feels like there's some seriously dirty false advertising going on.
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A developer has responded on Jul 27 @ 6:18am
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Cylexus
( 85.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
This game is hardcore, if you are looking for a mercilles RPG that will kill you for being stupid or for thinking you are too smart then this is for you. Although it is possible to get over 200 Kills in this game, it is also possible to finish it without 1 single kill and just talk you way through. Now that is good varied gameplay.

I never thought exploring Fallout Rome could be so fascinating and I would definately purchase another game based in the setting if they ever make one.
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Mr.0rc
( 21.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 19
Loved this game. Hardcore oldschool feel. GOing to replay it more than once.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jamisonkfox
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
This game has a great concept and great potential. Unfortunately the devs confuse terms like "challenging and hard" with "arbitrary and tedious".

The typical interaction:
1 - I am presented with a choice and little to zero information on how to make that choice
2 - I make the wrong choice - oops death.
3 - I reload, still wrong choice.
4 - I reload again - OH! They wanted me to do X....

This is neither hard, nor challenging. It's just a methodical slog where your primary options are to either (a) read a walkthrough or (b) savescum your way through the options.

I'm confounded by all the reviews likening this to PnP RGPs (unless they had an adolescent GM with sadist tendencies). This game would be like if your GM said "There are two levers and you must pull one" then when you say "I pull the left one" they reply with "Sorry, wrong choice you die. Make a new character". This game plays more like a choose your own adventure book than a classic PnP RPG.

Yes, combat is hard and deadly. Check, got that and that can be good in a game. However "oops, you died because you chose to scare the loremaster off instead of killing him"... that is just fickle and arbitrary.

Great game if you feel like trying to guess your way through the devs plotline to discover their story. Bad game if you like real choices and player development in an RPG.

Edit: In addition to being a bad game, the devs (and a fan it seems) have the attitude that they'll just convince you how wrong you are for not liking their game. A disturbing trend I'm starting to see on Steam actually.
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chriskessel
( 27.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
Awfully good RPG stuff. You can pretty much play whatever style you like. I did one as a guy that only knew how to smash things with a hammer, was lots of fun, the combat is quite good. I played again as an all-brains character and finished without having to do combat a single time.

There are some spots in the game that I just couldn't figure out what to do with, even the 2nd time through focusing on a character that should figure it out (brains/lore/etc). It bugs me....but, that 2nd game I did find locations the first game didn't reveal and vice versa, so there is variety in replays. Not random mind you, just things some paths through the game will uncover where other paths won't.
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Ivelios
( 67.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
A hardcore game that old school RPG players (specially those who play or played PnP RPGs) will enjoy. You'll have to restart often and/or have plenty of saves. The world is well designed and combat is unforgiving, but you can finish the game (as I have) without entering combat once.
If you're looking just for another RPG with quest givers and quest markers, lame dialogues and easy combats until some kind of boss-monster appears, then this game is not for you.
For the new generation of RPG players I recommend you to give this game not 1 try, but many tries as this game is a very good example of how real RPGs should be.
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dustin.sutton26
( 328.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
Been playing this a while now and I have been impressed I am usually not very into this type of game but this one has been refreshing....however I have been plagued with several memory errors CTD's. It's ashame because I like the game but it's just not as stable as I would like. I have a pretty high tolerance for bugs and the occasional crash....but it's just too often for this game so I have to not recommend at this time...maybe with more development and support it will get better
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
If you play RPGs for combat, gathering powerful armor and weapons and saving the world, this game is not for you. If you like incredibly detailed histories, choice-driven stories, and replayable variable worlds, this is your game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
37.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
" And like a detective in a noir yarn, you can’t help but become part of the central mystery, effecting an outcome you might not have intended."

After playing through as a Praetor my first run, this quote nails the ending I received. Yes combat is difficult, however after a few failed attempts at playing my role, the praetor managed to survive through to quite an interesting ending and a mere body count of 2 to his name.

There were several things beyond the ability of my character , yet at each stage of the game he was able to find a way to go on, even if not quite in a way I expected. I can see high replay value here as there are many other paths you can choose and each character type seems to start off in a very different situation.

If you like pnp RPG adventures , dialogue and actions that have repercussions, then get this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Pros:

- Choices actually matter and affect you.
- Many different origin stories to pick from.
- Combat is challenging!
- You can't play god (Basically you won't be able to master everything and insta kill everyone you cross paths with)
- Lots of different outcomes; the game basically screams "REPLAY ME!"

Cons:

- You will die a lot at first.
- Skills can be inflexible IMO; If not properly placed it can break the game.

Bottom line is.....
Get this game if you appreciate challenging gameplay, strategic combat, interesting quests, and wasting your social life.

Stay far far away from this game if you like having your hand held, have raging issues, hate reading, or have a legit social life.



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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
A short/medium length game for a single play through. But the depth of character creation, character development, and worldly possibility keeps you wanting more. As you play there will be things you can't do, places you can't go, people you can't convince. And you'll remember each one and every failed attempt in an internal struggle when trying to design your second play's character.

Possibly the best CRPG to come out in 15 years. Will play again.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
This unique isometric RPG opens with a quote from Glen Cook’s The Black Company, and fans of Cook’s dark military fantasy novels will feel right at home in this gritty and grimy setting. The Age of Decadence drops you into a crumbling empire teetering on the brink of chaos, with several major guilds and noble houses vying for power while the general populace struggles to survive amidst gangs of thugs, mercenaries, and religious fanatics. It’s a harsh and brutal world with very little magic outside basic alchemy and very few monsters, though your fellow humans fill the latter role quite admirably.

Unlike most RPGs, The Age of Decadence emphasizes story and character interaction over combat as the player gets caught up in various schemes and power struggles. In many events throughout the game, the player is confronted with meaningful choices which alter the direction of the story in meaningful ways, opening new possibilities while closing off others. There are multiple paths through the story and the player can choose between allying with the Commercium (merchants guild), the Imperial Guards, the Boatmen of Styx (assassins guild), and several other factions. Each path provides a different perspective on the overarching story while the player’s decisions and actions help shift the balance of power between the various factions. This lends the game excellent replay value as each playthrough with a different character type creates a distinctly different experience.

Skills are split between Combat Skills (e.g., Swords, Bows, Dodge, Block, etc.) and General Skills (e.g., Sneak, Streetwise, Crafting, Lore, etc.). Building different skills unlocks different options throughout the game, allowing the story to progress in different directions. Of course there are never quite enough skill points to go around, so you’ll need to make some choices in terms of what to focus on, and those choices will impact which options or paths are available as you work through the story.

While combat isn’t the primary focus of the game, the turn-based combat system makes for some challenging conflicts. There’s a good variety of weapon types with poison, potions, and other items like nets and bolas supplementing your character’s abilities. Fans of traditional RPGs should be advised that The Age of Decadence takes a slightly more realistic approach to combat; you’re not likely to become an unstoppable killing machine but focusing on combat skills will allow your character to progress quite a bit. Or you can focus more on non-combat skills, leveraging skill-based alternative options which allow you to progress through the game with minimal combat.

The game’s fairly heavy on text, drawing inspiration from Cook’s noir-flavored narratives to build a broken and decaying society filled with shady characters. The world design follows suit with lots of yellows and browns, crumbling ruins and scrabbly flora. All together, it builds a cohesive world with a very distinctive feel.

Bear in mind that it isn’t an open world RPG, each area is broken up into zones and the paths to navigate those zones are somewhat limited, so you don’t get the kind of free range exploration found in open world RPGs. It also isn’t a terribly long game, though what’s there is plenty substantial enough to be satisfying, and the variations when playing through it with different characters lends it a lot more life.

Despite those limitations in scope, The Age of Decadence accomplishes what it sets out to do extremely well, delivering a unique and challenging RPG experience in a dangerous world echoing the spirit and tone of Glen Cook’s landmark military fantasy series. Just as Cook challenged and subverted the fantasy genre’s conventions in the 80s and 90s, The Age of Decadence flips around many of the conventions common to modern RPGs, offering meaningful choices and branching story paths while focusing on street-level characters with limited abilities rather than gods and kings.

Highly recommended for fans of isometric RPGs who'd like a change of pace emphasizing story and meaningful choices over endless combat.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
EN

I've only played few hours but If you're a player of "old" RPG games you will love this because:

- great player immersion from the very beginning (different backgrounds)
- combat turns (fallout 1 and 2 soul mates)
- different choices mean different endings
- you can play the evil way and you will have a lot of satisfaction
- you can't do everything (if you try, you'll die)
- leveling system related on your way to play the game (more non-combat skill if you play the "talkative" way, more combat skill if you want to beat everyone to a pulp)

You DON'T want to play this game IF:

- you don't like to read (or you're not able to..but you wouldn't be able to read this too)
- you're looking for something graphically fabulous
- you click always "easy" when you select the game difficulty
- you always need a guide explaining where you have to go and what you have to do


ITA

ho giocato solo poche ore ma posso dire che se sei un giocatore di vecchi giochi di ruolo amerai questo gioco perché:

- ottima immersione del giocatore fin dall'inizio (grazie anche alla differente scelta dei backgrounds)
- combattimento a turni (fallout 1 e 2 hanno un sistema molto simile)
- scelte differenti portano a finali di quest differenti
- puoi giocare da malvagio e avere grandi soddisfazioni
- non puoi fare tutto (se ci provi probabilmente morirari)
- il sistema di progressione del personaggio è legato alle azioni in gioco (più si combatte + si alzano le skill di combattimento, più si parla e più si ricevono punti abilità sulle abilità sociali)

Non vuoi questo gioco se:

- non ti piace leggere (o non sai leggere..ma non staresti leggendo neppure quanto scritto qui)
- stai cercando qualcosa con una grafica esagerata
- clicchi sempre "facile" quando devi scegliere la difficoltà del gioco
- hai bisogno di una guida che ti spieghi sempre cosa fare e dove andare



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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
Product received for free
Age of Decadence is a fantastic RPG that easily puts to shame many AAA releases from the past few years. It is one of those games that truly lets you roleplay however you wish, and this gives it great replayability value through all of its factions, multiple ways of building your character and different stories to be experienced. I have only felt like this in Fallout 2's New Reno, where I had the freedom to join any of the families in the city. Oh, and I could also become a pornstar. Age of Decadence takes it one step further with all the possibilities it offers and is a must play for any gamer that misses the "golden era" of CRPGs.


Pros:
+ Interesting and unexplored setting
+ Lack of a clicheic main story, playing as a nobody
+ Multiple factions with individual and completely different storylines
+ Challenging and complex combat system
+ Plenty of ways to build your character and solve quests
+ Best replayability value in ages
+ Great writing
+ Beautiful soundtrack

Cons:
- Visually unappealing
- Lack of content in the last city
- Combat is partly based on luck
- Crashed a lot at launch (improved now)

Read the in-depth review here.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
95.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Despite a harsh learning curve, I wholeheartedly recommend this game. The gameplay/plot has choices and consequences that remind me of the best parts of Fallout 1 and New Vegas, though the settings couldn't be more different. The setting feels adult and mature without being either grimdark or humorless.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
42.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
For years I was put off by people saying this game was "very hard" so I never committed to buying it. Finally when the price got low enough I decided to give it a shot. I will tell you right now this game isn’t "hard" but it certainly isn’t the normal modern RPG, it's intelligent and you have to be smart in what you are doing or you will fail.

The story writing is excellent (immersive). The game play is fun. The places are interesting. The NPCs have soul.

The only real issue so far is combat is very difficult to figure out, and probably too much so. It hard to make a combat character who is just a thug that wants to smash things, but it is possible.

------------

Amendment: You can make an axe murdering thug! From the pinned discussions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9oCOPtF8VM
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
134.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Firstly, if you're in doubt, just try the demo. If it appeals to you, buy the game because the game is more of the same.
Now, real review time:

One of my favourite games from the last couple of years. It's not perfect, but it has strong design that very much appeals to me personally. I think it's the only game on Steam where I have all achievements and specifically went achievement hunting because most achievements represent different story paths/endings and I wanted to see everything on offer.
Overall, this game is the most fun I've had with an RPG since the ones released in the 90s and I thoroughly recommend it.

Performance and graphics are not ideal. I've had some technical problems, but nothing that broke quests or anything. Mostly odd graphics problems that could be fixed by restarting or the occasional crash. But that's also rather unimportant in my opinion, considering what the game does. Technical problems are annoying, but never stopped me coming back even for a second.

The game is not that difficult once you understand what's going on in the systems, or at least can be made relatively easy by placing your skills right.
Some general tips if you want to try it out:

Don't skimp on learning the ropes. Do the tutorial, read the help menu etc.

Save up skill points. Don't place them until you need them. This is especially useful in combination with the next point:

Save and reload a lot to see what options are available to you. Almost every single quest in the main questlines has branching points, options for betrayal etc. Make hard saves when you enter/leave major cities or hit major branching points. Feel free to set the number of quick/auto save slots higher than the default of 3.

For different playthroughs, I recommend starting by completing the game as a pure talker with no combat skills or physical attributes, following the Merchant questline (aka easy mode). This gives you a good general overview of the game without any challenging combat. Then try a pure fighter with focus on combat and crafting/alchemy, following the Imperial Guard questline, to get a grip on the combat. After that, you should have enough of a grasp of how the everything works to try your hand at hybrid characters.

For combat skills, focus on one offensive and one defensive combat skill. Never take both dodge and block. Critical strike is useful, but not necessary if you've other skills to focus on.

For non-combat skills, persuasion and streetwise are the bread and butter of talkers, along with impersonate and maybe trading. Lore is very good and opens up locations otherwise inaccessible. Crafting also has many non-combat uses in combination with lore.

For your very first playthrough, I'd recommend going through completely without guides/spoilers if you can (well, except the general tips like in this review). However, once you've completed the game in one way or another, don't be afraid to use google to check out some of the things you couldn't figure out (e.g. how to get into the Tower Of Zamedi or The Abyss)

Look in every nook and cranny of each map. There's a few things that are unfortunately rather easy to miss, even with highlighting of interactable objects turned on. And unfortunately NPCs don't have indicators for when you can talk to them.
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