The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

I was a child of the 80’s, and Jim Henson stuff was a big part of my childhood.  I watched TV shows like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock.  I saw films like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and heck, the very first movie I ever remember seeing in a theater was the first Muppet Movie.  So I was very interested in seeing the new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.  And I LOVED it!  I don’t normally binge watch things, but one day when I was off work, I watched two episodes of it in the morning and two more in the evening.  It was so good.  I’d watch it again if I had time.  So I was excited when I heard they were making a video game out of it, but I was disappointed that it was a tactics strategy RPG game.  I don’t like those.  Could my love of the series and Jim Henson stuff in general save this game for me?  Well you’ll just have to read this review and find out!  The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is available to download on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

The game follows the story of the Netflix series, more or less.  They’ve added a few new levels that they claim fills out the backstory, but it just felt like padding out the game for me.  If you’ve ever played strategy RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, Project X Zone, or Disgaea, you’ll be able to jump right into this one.  I like to describe these titles like they’re board games.  You take turns moving your guys on a 3-D isometric battlefield, putting them in places to strategically attack the enemy, who will be moving and attacking you when it’s their turn.  You generally get to do two things when it’s your turn.  You can move your character, and then choose an attack, spell, or skill.  The round is usually over when you defeat all the enemies, but sometimes it can change to be to defeat certain enemies or get from point A to point B.

You’ll mostly play as Gelflings, the heroes of the show.  Each one has a main job, like soldier, healer, or ranger.  But as you defeat enemies, gain experience points, and level up, you can take on secondary jobs that can let you have more skills to use in battle.  You can have up to three main job skills and two side job skills.  This job system is deep enough to keep you interested, but it doesn’t get any more complicated than that, so it doesn’t bog the game down with too many rules like so many other RPGs nowadays do.  Other characters you can play as include Podlings and Fizzgigs, each with their own job system.  (Hup the Podling paladin is the best character in the show and the game, by the way)  You’ll view missions on a map, and can go after story missions or level up in side missions if need be.  You can also view your party members and edit their equipment and jobs, as well as shop for new weapons and armor.

I can understand why some people might give this game a bad review.  It’s not as grandiose as other tactics titles and doesn’t have the high production values as the TV series.  But personally, I really liked the game.  My favorite part is that it has multiple difficulty levels.  I put the game in Story Mode which is very easy since I don’t like tactics games.  And aside from a couple of times when I died because a mission goal wasn’t clear or I needed to gain a level or two, I was able to breeze right through it.  And the game isn’t too short, but not too long either.  Plus the graphics are nice and crisp.  If you want a simple no-frills tactics game, or if you really like Jim Henson stuff and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance like I do, then you should definitely check out this game.  It’s the first ever tactics RPG I’ve ever beaten, and that’s saying something.  Heck, I even got all but one of the trophies for it, and the only reason why I didn’t get the last one is I didn’t want to play the game again in New Game+ mode.  I would’ve rather the game had been an action platformer or a top down Zelda like adventure, but they did make a pretty good tactics game here.

Kid Factor:

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference and Fantasy Violence.  You do fight in pubs, so that’s where the alcohol reference comes in.  You can hit enemies with weapons and magic spells, but defeated characters just say ‘Ugh” and fall down.  Reading skill is needed for the text.  Might be a good strategy RPG for beginners.

One thing I will add about the show is that even though I gushed about it, it might be too scary for little kids to watch.  Heck, it even scared our cat!  One night when I was watching one of the episodes, our cat laid down beside me.  But then one of the evil Skeksis did something scary on screen and went “RAAAARRR!” and the cat jumped about three feet in the air, bit me, and then ran off!  So just something to watch out for it you are interested in watching the series with your family.

2 Responses to “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. Neat. I look forward to playing it. It does seem like a strange genre choice for the IP, though.

  2. I love Dark Crystal, but I heard this game is kind of repetitive and basic. But I like my tactics games pretty hardcore.

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