Since the days of Dungeons and Dragons, RPG’s have relied on the tried and true method of number based tactics. Want to storm the castle and save the princess? Better hope you roll high enough on your badass stat. Typically these numbers are buried in backend code where only the most dedicated players ever see them.
This system can make the consequences of player choice a bit ambiguous. You’re never quite sure how much the game rewards or punishes you for each action. Poetic Studios has decided to bypass the potential for morally gray options by showing players exactly where they stand in their new RPG, Sacred Fire.
Touted as a psychological RPG about revenge and loyalty, Sacred Fire puts numerical tactics front and center. With each choice, players have the ability to influence or change psychological traits in both party members and enemies.
Keeping Your Emotions In Check
Emotions are both a weapon and a weakness. Use anger to strengthen your attacks, but risk accuracy as you give in to rage. Instilling fear in your enemies may weaken their resolve, but it could also erode your strength. It’s an interesting mechanic played out over lovingly animated backdrops that make the Kickstarter campaign stand out.
Poetic Studios is trying to raise $50,000 through Kickstarter to complete the game. The plan is to give backers a preview release by the end of the year with the PC launch scheduled for Spring 2018. If (for whatever reason) that isn’t enough to peak your interest, the voice behind The Witcher, Doug Cockle, has signed on as the game’s narrator.
Storywise, Sacred Fire isn’t really breaking any new ground. The game follows Rome’s attempt to conquer Caledonia. The player takes on the role of an unproven protagonist, tasked with finding a solution to the conflict. Whether that takes the form of an all out assault on Rome or more diplomatic and subtle influences among your tribe, remains to be seen.
The ‘leveling up’ of character stats in real time through interactions and choices is innovative, if somewhat poorly detailed. For instance, it’s not clear how much a particular action will impact a related stat or what outcomes different stats may create. Even so, it’s obvious the developers have something special on their hands here.