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 (148 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 14, 2013

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until 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

"Fallout-like combat spliced with multiple ways to progress and different routes to take based on your character build. Challenging and unforgiving."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

September 23

September update - improvements, changes, and fixes

First and foremost, we're still working on Ganezzar. It's coming along well but at a slower pace than we've anticipated. Too much work (as we didn't cut any corners and didn't shy away from any options or consequences), not enough hours in a day. We'll post some screens and concept art on our forums in a few days, so you're more than welcome to visit our forums and participate in design discussions.

As for this month's update, it fixes most issues in "new Teron", adds balance changes, expands some dialogues (for example, you can discuss the situation with Antidas when you return to Teron), and numerous tweaks and changes, adding flanking, mobility bonus, a new crafting techique, and god knows what else.

Fixes:

- Fixed issue with Feng not being in Teron when you get back to town.
- Fixed issues with Map travel in new Teron.
- Fixed issue when talking to the healer in new Teron.
- Fixed issue when talking to the undertaker in new Terons.
- Fixed issue when talking to the storyteller in new Terons.
- Fixed issue when talking to the innkeeper in new Terons.
- Fixed issue when exploring the smithy's interior.
- Fixed issue when exploring Feng's house.
- The Arbiter is now properly recognized for critical strikes checks.
- Fixed issue that sent you to Old Teron after the ending with the alliance between IG and Daratan.
- Fixed issue that broke Paullus conversation when you arrived from Caer-Tor.
- If you go to the camp after Teron has ended and you've never been there, the description of the raiders is no longer triggered.
- Fixed issue that if you destroy the mine when everyone has been killed, you stay inside the mine.
- Fixed coordinates issue with Tiberius cage.
- Fixed issue with respawning deleted characters (for example, Hermon's Gang after being killed and bodies deleted).

Changes:

- Added more kadura leaves to traders.
- Poison damage changed from 5,6,7,8,9 to 3,5,7,9,11.
- Increased potent poison extra damage from 2 to 3.
- Poison now lasts on the weapon for 20 hits.
- Displayed hidden INT check when entering the Abyss.
- Reduced INT bonus by 5 overall. Now it goes from 0 to 30.
- Showing the map to Domitius now gives you 5 SP (instead of 15).
- Increased the price of the arena trader's unique item from 600 to 1200, and the trading check is increased from 4 to 5, lowering the price to 800.
- Increased the price of the exotic trader's unique item from 300 to 600; the trading check lowers the price to 500.
- Increased the price of the ordu trader's unique item from 200 to 400; the trading check lowers the price to 300.
- Increased the price of the ranged weapons' trader's unique item from 250 to 500; the trading check lowers the price to 400.
- Increased the price of the imperial weapons' trader's unique item from 500 to 1000; the trading check lowers the price to 900.
- Increased the price of the shield trader's unique item from 200 to 400; the trading check lowers the price to 300.
- Reduced combat SP from fights.
- Constitution now gives a bonus to block (strength doesn't).
- The balanced technique no longer lowers the weapon AP, but adds THC: 3 at level 2, 6 at level 4, 9 at level 6, 12 at level 8 and 15 at level 10.
- Implemented serrated edge technique, increases CS: 3 at level 3, 6 at level 5, 9 at level 7, 12 at level 9 and 15 at level 10.
- Implemented flanking, side hits give 5 extra THC/CS, back hits give 10 extra THC/CS.
- Dodgers now get a "mobility bonus" of 3 points for each passable tile around them.
- Armor sets have been rebalanced, increased dodge penalties for all armors, and lower CS defence for lighter armor.
- Increase Bash success chance by 10.

Combat Balance:

- Teron: raiders: There is one less raider, all raiders have 1 point more in attack and defence; Esbenus has a masterwork gladius, wounded raiders have 5 HP less.
- Teron Bandits: Fight gives 5 combat points.
- Mining Outpost: There is one less soldier, all soldiers have 1 point more in CS.
- Mining Outpost: Fight gives 5 combat points outside and 4 inside.
- Maadoran Gate: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 1 to 5.
- Basil: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 2 to 5.
- Quintus: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 2 to 5.
- Leon's Mercs: Increased attack and defence by 1.
- Senna's Guards: Increased attack by 1.
- Valla's Mercs: Increased attack, defence and CS by 2.
- Lord Varus' sons: increased CS by 1.
- Arena: Thief has 1 CS more.
- Arena: Zealot has 1 CS more.
- Arena: Isatis has 1 more attack and CS.
- Arena: Yochan has 1 more attack and CS.
- Arena: Raider has 1 more attack, defence and CS.
- Arena: All barbari have 1 CS more.
- Arena: Nicander has 1 more attack and 2 more CS.
- Arena: Bendidoros has 1 more defense and 2 more CS.
- Arena: Sarpedon has 1 more defense and 2 more CS.
- Arena: Ordu warrior has 1 more CS, ordu archer has 2 more CS.
- Arena: Butcher has 1 CS more.
- Arena: Mack has 1 CS more.
- Arena: All triarii have 1 attack more.
- Arena: Al-Sahir has 1 CS more.

That's about it. Now, keep in mind that these changes aren't set in stone. We have an opportunity to try different things and see what works and what doesn't. If we went too far somewhere, we'll scale it back.

As always, your feedback is vital and much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

3 comments Read more

August 22

August update - back to Teron

Welcome to update # 8. It’s a big update that adds all kinds of things but very little new content, unfortunately.

1. You can return to Teron now. There isn’t much to do there yet as the unfinished quests have been resolved without you (thanks for nothing) and new content will be triggered by the events in Ganezzar, which hasn’t been released yet.

So much like Caer-Tor, the new Teron maps (there are two actually, one where the Imperial Guards took over, the other where House Daratan reigns supreme and the town is swarmed with mercenaries) are nothing but a foundation on which new content will be build.

Still, you can walk around, chat with people, admire Antidas’ grave, stop in front of crucified Miltiades, meet a mercenary captain who will replace Mercato if you had him killed, and report any bugs and consistency issues (people who should be dead being alive and kicking, etc).

2. We split the Teron map into 3 to improve performance. The old map included the mine and the raiders’ camp, which wasn’t the best way to handle it. Now Teron, the mine, and the camp are truly separate locations, which - in theory - can cause all kinds of issues but hopefully won’t.

We tweaked the mine location a bit, replacing the old tower with something equally Roman but more combat-friendly, plus made it easier to explore it outside of text adventure. Overall, there is less ‘teleporting’ now.

3. We tweaked Alchemy as per very helpful players’ suggestions

  • Added more reagents to Maadoran and Teron alchemists' inventories
  • Increased poison damage by 1 point for all levels.
  • Bombs and liquid fire no longer miss.
  • Bombs critical chance (knockdown effect) is now 50 - (victim's constitution - 6) x 15.
  • Alchemy level 9: Black Powder Bomb (Frag) has vsDR 5.
  • Alchemy level 10: Berserk potion homeostasis gives 3 DR and takes 5 HP at the end of the effect.
  • Alchemy level 10: Neurostimulant (Eagle Eye) gives 25 THC bonus.
4.Difficulty

As many of you noticed the difficulty takes a nosedive in Maadoran. One of the reason for that is that the metal bonuses greatly increase your offensive and defensive capabilities. Each metal adds 2 points. Whereas in Teron adding 2 points is a good bonus (and iron weapons are harder to find), it's relatively easy to buy high quality gear in Maadoran and increase your damage output and/or DR by 5-7 points, which is too much.

So, the no-name crafted items are removed from trader inventories (if you want them, invest in Crafting). Some of them have been replaced by much more expensive unique items. Coincidentally, each metal now adds only 1 point, so getting your hands on some blue steel will increase your damage/DR by 3 instead of 6.

We also tweaked some stats of unique items to make sure they are consistent with the overall balance.

5. A number of bug fixes and minor improvements.

* * *

As always, thank you for your continuous support and patronage. This update is a stepping stone toward a much larger update which will include 3 new locations, so your feedback and suggestions will be much appreciated.

16 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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Extremely awesome game!
Love the difficulty
Love the story
Love the mechanics

Has helped me get over being an obsessive completionist.
Especially if I treat it like a roguelike, I tend to forget to save anyway, and it lets me replay so much of it over and over.

Get it,
Get it now!
Posted: October 10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Brutal! If I had to use one word to sum up this game that would be the word I would use. Age of Decadence is an excellent RPG that has all the hallmarks of one of the classics. What puts it apart is not just the difficulty, but the approach. If you try and solve every problem with your sword you will die! Again, and again, and again. Political save and cunning are the only tools to surving this unforgiving world and combat is for once a last resort to dealing with the issues presented before you.
Posted: September 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
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.
Posted: October 20
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
74.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Died in the first encounter... and got an achievement for it. 10/10
Posted: October 12
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
22.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Note: Game isn't fully released yet.

Personal Rating: 8/10
Replayability: High
Budget: Worth it.
Length: The currently released areas, which isn't the full game, takes at least a few days to play through if you already know how to play successfully. This is the kind of game you restart several times.

Age of Decadence is a snap-back to the old-school roleplaying games like Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate.. Litterally. The only truly bad feature about this game, is that graphics wise, and also to an extent gameplay wise, the game is outdated by at least a decade.

For those who still enjoy such games, this is a must-have title.

It features origin stories and various opportunities in the game depending on what story you chose.

Set in a strange fantasy setting that can be a little difficult to understand at first, exploring this setting and trying to get the full picture is half the fun of this game.

Exploration, roleplaying and choices. In this game, you do not HAVE to fight (at least, I don't think so), but if you play a character who can't, save often. Being smart and being socially adept are much more important and rewarding features in this game than being a god of war, but being unable to defend yourself in this game (or just a poor fighter in general) means having to play it VERY smart.

The game has incredibly good dialogue, but as it's still in production, don't expect everything to be perfect yet. Occasionally.

I was captivated by this game for many weeks, and I'm very much looking forward to the full release.
Posted: September 29
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Well, based on comments with Dev below, I am updating this.

At this time, this title had nothing that held my interest for very long. I think the biggest part of that was in the fact that shortly into it, the mention of DEMO kept creeping up. Then on finding that I did feel locked in, the only exploration option being in the town, or on the world map of just having the quest locations available, with no free roam option at that time I just wrote it off as incomplete.

However, as I stated in the earlier review, I see a lot of potential yet to come, but for me it was just not there yet. I do intend to give it another go, and to watch as it progresses further.

But, at this time based on my feelings and time I did spend with it, I dont recommend it unless you just want to contribute or be in early.

It will, again imo, be a good title, and may hold the attention of many people now, but just not me yet.
Posted: October 15
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
87.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 12
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2 of 9 people (22%) found this review helpful
34.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Suicide by stapler would be more fun than this game. If you are the type of person who thinks it would be fun to read a "choose your own adventure" book where 90% of the pages say "HAHAHAHA YOU SUCK!!!!" then this is the game for you. Create a character, play for 10 minutes, then die horribly. Rinse wash and repeat for hours. Log in to the forums and ask for some help. Get called a stupid noob. There is nothing enjoyable about this game. Even pure combat build will get thrashed by the RNG more often than not. 50% chance to hit with a 100% damage variance after DR. Yeah, real fun. In short this is a game written by sadist jerks for massochists.
Posted: October 10
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27 of 28 people (96%) found this review helpful
156.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
For the turn-based old school RPG fans, this game is a must buy. I have been waiting for it for a long time, paid the full price and am happy with the beta.

however, this game is not like most modern RPGs. This game is the closet to playing a tabletop DnD or gurps game I have ever seen. which means that death is the certain outcome in certain places if you are not geared up right, and have built the right character.

this game has a lot of replay value-- each character class (or at least many of them) has a unique questline.

this game rocks.
Posted: July 3
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
34.1 hrs on record
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.
Posted: August 1
Was this review helpful? Yes No
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
64.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I have to say one of the most unique, intrigueing, and engaging games I have ever played. If you don't like thinking, don't play. This game is brutal if you don't consider your moves or plan ahead. Try to be a hero and you will end up dead. It is fantastic and hits you in the head with a cold taste of reality, ironically in a strange fantasy game. I love this eerie game. Well Done Iron Tower Studio.
Posted: July 23
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
151.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Stole much of my life energy, 10/10 would allow to steal my soul again.
Posted: July 21
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
29.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Steam and various developers, large and small, have left me quite jaded with early-access games of late. This game has piqued my interest though, and been on my wishlist for some time but my recent experiences with such things had left me hesitant to purchase it

Then I see that Age of Decadence has a demo!

I played the demo for an hour and was sold, even though I was absolutely terrible at the game.

It somehow combines the feel of Baldur's Gate, Fallout, and other old RPGs with a new edge that makes the whole thing fresh. Meaningful text content and choices, combat made intense for the risk of it, and a setting where you're only the protagonist because you think you are - otherwise, the npcs are equal. It's absolutely unique while being very familiar, witheringly frustrating while being utterly addictive, and I immediately recommended it to my brothers.

It restored some of my love for the genre, and my faith in current game developers in general. It is definitely a game I would recommend. Indeed, if you go throught he negative reviews, you'll only find that they consist of individuals who couldn't hack the difficulty, can't be bothered to read story choices in an RPG, or seemed to fail to understand that the game is still being developed.

If you can handle those things, do yourself a favor and buy the game.
Posted: September 19
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
(at the time of writing I have played 10 hours of the game; most likely I will edit it as I continue to play)
I've never played a game like the Age of Decadence.
It's a game that is brutal and never shies away from that realization. Almost every character is out to kill you; and rarely they are upfront about their motives. It's a game in which a skill is Streetwise; it levels up your mistrust of the common man.
It's a game in which you can complete a questline, convincing and conniving, and then be sent on your way to a bigger city. On your way to said bigger city, you get killed from your actions in the previous questline.
It's a game in which the achievements are 'Die in your first fight' and 'Die Culmatively 100 times'.
It's a game in which you are not 'Stabby Mcbeardeyson, Slayer of 3000 Goblins and Champion of All of (insert realm here)'. It's a game in which you are a person who has just decided to pick up a sword, and the people you are up against make a living out of death.
This is not a game that everyone is going to embrace. This is a true, hard RPG for those who want a real strategic challenge in their games.
Cheers, Iron Tower.
And to reiterate; I've never played a game like the Age of Decadence.
Oh, and "Remember to save. You're going to die soon."
Posted: September 19
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
114.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
The Age of Decadence (AoD) is a gem that captures the essence of role-playing games, putting choice and consequence above everything else. Since there are so many clichés and misconceptions about what a RPG should look like nowadays, some warnings are in order. This way we can begin to talk about the game in comparison with what it is not. First, it is worth mentioning that if your idea of RPG is that of an action game in which you just push buttons to kills everything in sight, you will be disappointed. AoD is not the typical action RPG. Combat is brutal. If you don’t think tactically, you die horribly. If you pick up every fight, you are history. The game has the same unforgiving learning curve than Gothic 2, if not harder. However, despite its combat system being difficult to master, it is fair.

Second, AoD is not a traditional RPG full of self-indulgent common places and bland quests. Don’t expect to get a job in the tavern to kill rats in the basement. You don’t have a group of buddies that will be part of your team. Do you want to be the Mr. Nice Guy that careless helps anyone that cross your way asking for help? Good luck with that. People will take advantage of you and gut you like a fish. You cannot be successful in every quest without ruining other people’s interest. If you defy powerful people they will mark you for revenge. AoD looks like a Hobbesian state of nature or the world of Game of Thrones without the most superficial characters. There is no space for quixotic dreamers here and you can’t survive for long if you don’t stay alert all the time.

Of course, you can’t “invent the wheel” in the RPG genre and quests involving backstabbing and scheming for power are old news. However, in what AoD purposes itself to do, it does very well and without gratuitous self-indulgence. The character system was carefully designed and integrated with an immersive and addictive gameplay. Every single stat and skill have relevance and could make a difference between success and failure. Do you need to pass unnoticed by the guards? You have to sneak. You can’t sneak? Try to fool them with your disguise or persuasion. You can’t fool the guards? You have to fight or you are dead. Reactivity is key and your choices matter. There are no cosmetic decision here. In my second playthrough as an assassin, I end up on a very distinct path than the first and I suspect that in a third playthrough as an assassin I would still have many open possibilities. Considering that the game has seven backgrounds/professions at the start of the game (assassin, merchant, grifter, drifter, praetor, loremaster and mercenary) and each has unique quests, replay value is enormous.

All the elements of the game are top notch. The instrumental soundtrack is beautiful and captures the atmosphere of a post-apocalyptic world “inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire”. The graphics are good, but don’t expect the next generation graphics here. This is not a game full of cinematics that push your PC performance to the limit. Which is fine given the circumstances: we are talking about a cRPG produced by an indie studio without kickstarter funding.

But what really stands out above everything else is the writing. The writing is strong and consistent. There is always a risk that a game with so much writing end up being compared with Planescape Torment, the classic that pushed the boundaries of game writing to insane levels. Fortunately, AoD achieved the feat of being even better. The lore is sophisticated and since every single quest is connected to the main plot, the game feels truly dense. The absence of filler quests is irrelevant, since there is much to explore. The biggest city of the game, Maadoran, is not gigantic as Athkatla of Baldur’s Gate 2, but it is definitely more meaningful. NPCs and their motivations are believable. Dialogues and quasi-literary “scenes” are memorable, reminding us of the scripted interactions of Darklands. And even in the middle of all the backstabbing that are some moments genuinely warmhearted – came to mind the dialogue with a farmer that cries about his tough life.

AoD have been in the developing process for 10 years, which is perfectly reasonable for a RPG of that caliber, especially one made by a first timer indie studio (let’s not forget). Some little design tweaks and polishing of rough edges are necessary, but 70% of the game is already finished and 16 locations out of 22 are available in the Early Access build. I have a fear though that because AoD took so long to see the light of the day it will fail to live up to the hype of its hardcore fans or end up being treated with indifference for most RPG gamers. I hope that I’m wrong. AoD has all the marks of a classic. Let us give it all the praise it deserves.
Posted: August 1
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
The idea of the game is great - You can win by using diplomatic skills instead of fighting skills. It needs a bit of balancing, but dev team works great, and update in monthly basis. Worth it.
Posted: September 4
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Not a bad game, but hard to get into. Need to be in right mood to read and put up with a very hard and unforgiving game. Unless this type of genre is your thing, you probably should stay away.
Posted: September 13
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
It's amazing.

Brings back memories of Fallout and Arcanum when they were first released. If you are into oldschool RPGs, give it a go - and save your game often.
Posted: May 10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Hard, rewarding, and mass replayablity make this one of the few early access games I can enjoy for hours a day and still have much and more to do. Money over shadows morals and action gains reactions no matter what you do. Every update has me coming back for more and when it is finished I would gladly buy it again. Lucky that isn't the case and I get this gem for what I would call half for a game of this magantuide. 8/10, would buy again. -Heretic
Posted: July 7
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
If you like reading, choices and consequences and tactical turn-based combat (and if you don't you probably should), you cannot go wrong with AoD. A ridiculous amount of replayability doesn't hurt either.
Posted: June 18
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