Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a return to classic role playing games. For Dungeons & Dragons aficionados, this game comes pretty close to adapting the 5e ruleset for a video game. For people who don’t care about D&D, the game is a pretty challenging, classical role playing game where the combat cannot be taken lightly.
The game goes all in for letting the player customize their characters if they want to. You can either select from some premade characters, which are very reliable, or you can fully customize your own class to great detail. The level of customization has incredible depth to it and I haven’t seen a character creator like it where your choices actually impact the game play to this degree. For example, a person with the spy background will be able to communicate with other spies, giving you a route previously unavailable.
Customizing your class is pretty involved and you can intentionally, or unintentionally, mess up your character to the point that they can be comically useless. For example, I created a bard like rogue named Bard Bardman with max points into charisma, intelligence, and wisdom and with only diplomatic skills. Needless to say, he died every battle but he was able to talk his way out of many situations. I regret this build.
The combat is brutally difficult. You have to go into every battle prepared and willing to play carefully. Blindly charging into battle will be a guarantee to a quick defeat. Since Dungeons & Dragons rely on dice rolls, it is entirely possible to miss what would look like a sure fire hit on an enemy right in front of you. To ensure you can come out of every battle victorious, you need to pay careful attention to every spell and ability, because many of them increase your chances to hit an enemy, while others will protect you.
Overall, Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a very lovingly crafted tactical role playing game. The character customization is incredible, the story is solid and well written. The way that even minute details like character background can affect the story was interesting to see. The combat is challenging and rewarding. Victory must be earned, it won’t just be handed to you. Solasta is definitely a game to keep your eye on if role playing games are your thing.