This game looked terribly adorable, and being a sucker for such games, I had to give it a go. Unfortunately, it’s also stealth-based and lord knows I suck at being sneaky–that, or I’m super slow at getting around for fear of being caught. It’s fine though. It’s not hardcore stealth, turns out.
I didn’t think anything of it, but there have been several people who’ve noted that this reminds them of both the book series Redwall, and the movies of Secret of Nimh. I’ve heard of both of these, but never had an interest in reading/watching.
Maybe I’ll take the time to look into them in the future.
It’s got me curious…
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I was streaming this game on my Twitch channel and talking with a friend on Discord. We talked for maybe two hours, give or take. Around an hour and a half was me running around the game trying to figure out where I was and where I needed to go.
I’ve never felt so lost in a game that actually gives you maps. But they’re so hard to read and figure out what leads you to where. You really need a good sense of direction, or to remember where shortcuts are.
I couldn’t. So much time was lost due to looking for a single location. So, so annoying.
If you’re bad at navigating, you might be in for a rough ride. You might become terribly lost.
But hey, you’ll probably see a lot of the world around you, at least, right?
I’m very pleased with the graphics of this game. You might not think a grungy dungeon and castle-esque layout would be a pretty thing, but they did a very good job on making the world around you. The character models and the textures of everything. The waving flags, the night and day cycle, the way you can use candles and the different types of lanterns. Even falling tree limbs.
It really puts you in the setting.
It’s not just environmental though. There are hand-drawn imagery when you speak to characters. They each have their own facial expression as they speak with you, so you know if they’re happy, annoyed, sad, don’t care, and all that.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of graphical glitches if you’re in the wrong spot or move the camera a certain way.
Although Ghost of a Tale is a stealth-based game, it’s pretty lenient on the sneak factor.
Certain guards are meant to stay in a specific area. So if you get caught by them and run out of their jurisdiction, they’ll end up giving up the chase. However, other guards are free-roaming. Unless you completely escape them by hiding somewhere, they’re going to continue to hunt you down, and they can kill you.
You can bypass their scrutiny by blending in with them via an armor set.
Which adds another interesting aspect to the game. There are a variety of outfits you can obtain during the game, and I’m pretty sure all of them deal with some kind of quest or pretending you’re someone you’re not in order to fool someone.
Speaking of quests…
The order you’re given them, and the order they can be completed in don’t match. It’s downright terrible of a design, because you never really know what to do first, and you get stuck looking for one thing that you aren’t even able to find yet, because you haven’t unlocked an area that said item is in.
While you won’t always hear a soundtrack unless you’ve been spotted, or you’re in a specific area, when they music does pop up, it’s all great and well-played. Though the soundtrack does differ, I know some areas remind me of walking into a tavern in a fantasy setting. Flutes are a lovely thing.
Since the game is more focused on stealth, you’ll be hearing a lot of ambiance. The sounds around you give a real feel for the areas you’re wandering around in. It’s eerie sometimes. But other times, it’s nice.
It sounds like nature in the morning, when nothing disturbs the peace.
If you like a forgiving stealth game that’s not terribly difficult, this game may be for you. If you like a game where you’re constantly going back and forth from one area to another, then you may want to give Ghost of a Tale a chance.
But holy hell if you can’t stand getting lost, not knowing which quest you’re actually supposed to be on, suffer miserably when you find bugs, and can’t read these maps they give you…be on guard when buying.
I truly like the game. But it feels like it needs a lot more work done to it. A lot more polishing.
It feels sort of rushed, up to a point.