“Cuanact is dying; its barren fields provide little food and its crumbling walls offer no protection. As the power of the guardian mehnir fails, the wyrdness creeps ever closer, twisting places, breaches and even space itself. Despite this, the people of the Farmhold refuse to leave. Insteads Lord Yvain leads four of their best on a desperate mission to Kamelot. They promised to bring back help, but they never returned. Now those left behind are growing desperate; they will try to bestow the burden on someone else, new heroes, with an even slimmer chance of success.”
There are currently two game modes: the Tainted Grail Campaign and the Tainted Grail Conquest. Currently the Campaign is just a teaser for the story-driven experience where your choices will affect the fate of Avalon.
The Conquest mode is for hardcore players, slaying beasts while developing your village and skills. You will die plenty in Conquest, and each time you fail you’ll begin back at your village with whatever you had when you first started. Selecting to continue will open a window asking you to choose a slot for your game saves (there are three slots), after which you’ll be able to create your character. The options for your character consist of Gender, Skin and Hair Colour, along with Hair and Beard Styles.
Once you’ve chosen your character’s appearance, you can choose your Class and Rune. Currently though there is only one class you can choose: Warrior (more will be available in the future). You have the choice of three Runes: Brawler, Guardian and Berserker. The Brawler Rune focuses on inflicting heavy damage against single opponents. The Guardian Rune is an energy-efficient rune which focuses on sequencing cards into advanced combos. The Berserker Rune is high-risk, high-reward, which gains more power the fewer Health points you have. Once you’ve done deciding, hitting Create will start the game.
Beginning a new quest, you find yourself in a clearing standing beside a huge Menhir statue with ruined buildings around the edge of the clearing. To one side there’s some tents around a campfire, and nearby is a Milestone. There’s only one path leading out of the village; however, surrounding the village is a strange blue fog … the Wyrdness! Entering the Wyrdness is very dangerous; things won’t always be as they seem on the map. While in the Wyrdness, you’ll become weaker; engaging in combat will become much harder than normal but the rewards, should you survive, are more profitable. Stay too long in the Wyrdness and it will transform and corrupt your body and mind.
You begin with a Sword, Leather Armour, WyrdCandles and Travel Map, the wyrdcandles will allow you to move through the Wyrdness without any problems. However, the candles only last for a short time, so after leaving the safety of your village you’ll need to find a Milestone. These mysterious stones, into which runes are inscribed, light up and hold the wyrdness at bay. Some say that Merlin invented the runes, while others believe they hold a darker notion. If you find a Milestone, you can activate it by carving your name into it, which will disperse Wyrdness around the Milestone. It will cost you One Health. If you have enough wyrdcandles then you can light one and this will increase the Milestone’s protective range from the Wyrdness. Once you have activated a Milestone, you’ll be able to travel between any other activated Milestone.
This will then allow you to move about and search the surrounding area without any problems. In the top right corner is a mini map which will detail the current quest path with red dots. The map is partially covered with a fog of war and will become visible as you make your way around the area. Also, on the map you’ll uncover new Milestones, Buildings, Enemies and Loot (Hidden Wealth and Chests).
As you make your way throughout the map, you’ll come across some enemies. You will see the enemies and be able to hover your cursor over them to get some details on them. Moving towards them will instigate combat which will open the battle screen. Along the bottom centre of the screen are your cards for your current turn, while on the right side of your cards is the Energy Count and End Turn. In the opposite corner are your Combat Quick Slot items and your Weapon and Armour stats. The top left corner is your Rune Ultimate status, which will increase during combat and be ready for use once its full. In the top right corner is any Passive Skills you currently have.
Tainted Grail is turn-based and you will go first when combat starts. Each turn you’ll have cards placed in your hand from your deck. In the top left corner, every card has the Energy Cost to play that card, as well as some information on the type of card and what it does. While in combat if you hover your cursor over the enemy, you’ll gain some information on their behavior, such as if they’re immune to something. Above the enemy are some Icons; these will show what their intent is to be on their next turn. Keep an eye on the icons underneath an enemy’s health bar as you can gain valuable information to help you towards victory.
Upon defeating the enemy you’ll have the choice to pick one of three cards to add to your deck. If you don’t fancy any of the cards you can skip the process and gain some gold instead. You will also get the chance to choose one of three new Passive Skills and again should you wish to skip a new passive skill then you’ll gain some gold. You will also gain some Experience Points, Gold and maybe some random items to help you on your quest.
You will come across some characters who you can interact with; maybe they’ll join you in your village. These characters will take over one of the ruined buildings, although they will require some resources to rebuild them.
When you die (and you will die), your game stats will be displayed: Total Wealth Gained, Total Wyrdshards Gained, Total Damage Dealt, Enemies Killed, Rounds Fought and Total Cards Played. You will then have the options to carry on or to quit. If you carry on you will find yourself back in your village, and you will have lost any items you had collected before dying. However, any character who you have added to your village will still be there, as will any pathways you may have unlocked. If you decide not to carry on, then you’ll lose any unlocked characters or pathways and start from scratch.
The Campaign Mode takes place in Cuanacht, where the Wyrdness is closing in around the city. You will have to complete quests and protect Cuanacht. You will have the choice of playing as two characters, although currently they play the same. The campaign story hasn’t been completed yet; currently, you can play for a few hours, after which you may find some bugs, unfinished work and story. The game is in Early Access and they plan to have the campaign completed when the game comes out of early access.
In the options there’s settings for Game (Skip Animations, Mini Map, Map Edge-Scrolling Collect Data), Audio (Master, Music, Effects, Environment and Voice Volume Sliders), Video (Graphics Quality, Full Screen, Screen Resolution, Shadows, Shadow Resolution, Lights and SSAO, Anti-Aliasing, V-Sync, Vegetation, Sea Quality), Controls (Keyboard Shortcuts).
Tainted Grail looks fantastic and so far I’ve enjoyed playing the game. As for the campaign, while it isn’t completed, I look forward to the future when it’s finished as I liked what’s on offer currently. There is the Conquest mode which you can play while the campaign story gets completed. Conquest will have regular updates while it’s in Early Access. The game is in Early Access so if you can’t deal with an unfinished story and bugs then I’d say keep an eye on the game in the future.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Fantastic graphics
+ Good story so far
+ Two game modes
+ Choices matter
Negatives- No achievements currently
- No cards currently
The Wyrdness is spreading across the land, soon it will envelop everything unless you find a way to push back the Wyrdness and save everyone.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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