In Exilium: Tough Crowd

Some games have humble beginnings. In Exilium is one such game, made by a small team, but unfortunately, charm only takes it so far.

Old School

In Exilium opens with you losing everything your character had. A king without a throne, cast into exile, and your job is to regain this former glory. The game’s pacing is slow and this isn’t a bad thing. You are trying to rebuild your kingdom, so it would make sense that you would have to put in some time. Leveling actually feels significant because of this.

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I noticed a huge difference from level 1 to 5. A HUGE difference. I went from running for my life from a swarm of wasps, to taking down large groups of skeletons at the same time. The click to move combat and movement makes placement a main focus during encounters so you need to be aware of your surroundings.

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The game has charm by the boat loads and that fueled attraction to the game during my play through. From the art style to animations, enemies to combat system, this game screams mid 90s. Unfortunately this is also it’s downfall. This aim to be “retro” strips the game down just a little too much.

There isn’t a large amount of depth here so and the systems that guide your adventures are pretty primitive. From the large fights to the “puzzles”, much of this game can be played through without any real effort or challenge. The game very quickly devolves into “hit, walk away, hit, walk away, hit” until your target is dead, and even though the character skins change, the tactics employed to vanquish them are fairly similar. There might be a wrench or two thrown at the player, but the skills you unlock don’t really give you new ways to play. They simply give you different ways to do more damage.

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Some of this can very easily be attributed to the genre itself. An isometric point-and-click rpg doesn’t give a huge amount of options, but games like Torchlight II and Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing try their best to breathe life into the experience as much as possible and that is something I feel is missing from In Exilium. The game is very unapologetically an old school rpg, for both the good and the bad.


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I enjoyed my time with In Exilium, but for $10, I don’t feel it’s quite worth the ticket price. Charm is great and all, but when you have crisp, new experiences in the same price range its hard to recommend this. Especially given the fact that Path of Exile is Free to Play and takes strides to reinvent the genre. I commend the hard work that the guys at Conflux Games put into this game, but unless you are a massive old school rpg fan, I would keep your money and seek out another option.

I look forward to future releases from this team and wish them the best of luck!


UPDATE: 4/4/15

Check out the developers response to the review, HERE!

 

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