Trulon: The Shadow Engine (PlayStation 4) Review

By André Eriksson 18.11.2017 4

Review for Trulon: The Shadow Engine  on PlayStation 4

On paper the idea of mixing a CCG with an RPG seems great. They are two genres that are heavily based upon resource and tempo management, and the strategic element CCG mechanics can bring to RPGs and the progression of RPGs can enrich each other a lot. The premise for success is there, and there is an interesting hook. The question is, will Kyy Games' Trulon: The Shadow Engine deliver upon it? Cubed3 takes a look.

There is a lot to talk about in Trulon: The Shadow Engine. The interesting gameplay mechanic and the cheeky art style that feels very authentic, save for the bad animation. There are a lot of things to talk about; the one that first comes to mind when reading about it, is the combat system that mixes RPG elements with CCGs. The combat plays out quite nicely and feels fresh and well-implemented. Each card in the deck is a "tactic" to use during the battle. It can be anything in-between strong attacks to haste cards that allow the player to take extra actions. The key to success is to build great decks for each character, and it does feel quite nice to do so. The menu interference during the deck-building does the work well, and there are never any issues about what a card does thanks to the extremely clear effects.

While it in part makes the game very RNG-dependent, the developer had a wonderful solution for the problem in putting a wild card into the hand that can be used at any time to get replaced by another wild card. These wild cards can be the most basic cards put in the decks of the characters (in other words, non-character specific cards). This adds another layer of thought into the process of building the decks by having very few basic cards in the decks. It is possible to manipulate what cards can appear as wild cards, putting a heavier emphasis upon good deck-building, while at the same time having too few will make the deck run out during longer encounters, forcing a balancing act.

The only downside that can be noted about the card system is the fact that they do not have any artwork on them. It might sound minor, but it feels really boring to look at these basic looking cards with nothing but text on them. One of the biggest appeals of CCGs is, after all, the collecting aspects, and pictures do a lot of work for that experience. They could have easily tried to create some neat artwork for the cards as the character designs would do quite well on those cards in action-filled poses - if they could draw good action poses, that is.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine  on PlayStation 4

While the art looks charming in still shots, one of the first negatives that comes to mind during the gameplay is how dead all the animations look. It is something that has to be seen to be believed. All the movements look very stale, sort of like the flash animation movies that became huge in the 2000's, when flash animation became a thing and made it possible for literally anyone to animate their own movies. It is nothing that ruins the experience completely, but it picks up attention.

It might be noted that there isn't much talk about the story in this review, well; here comes the huge thing that ruins the entire game: at the time of this writing, it is impossible to finish the game on PS4. Partway into the game there seems to be a giant coding error in one area that makes certain parts of it non-interactive, one of which is a key story NPC, whoops. It doesn't matter how fun or intelligently designed the combat system is in a game, because the combat system sure is interesting and it would be great to just keep focusing this review upon that aspect and have it on a high note. But the fact that the game is currently seemingly impossible to beat, and the trophy history on PSN can back it up. At the time of this writing, 0% has gotten the beat the game trophy.

It is extremely sad as from what has been shown through the starting part of the game Trulon: The Shadow Engine seems like an extremely interesting game. It is by no means a masterpiece, or even a very good game. But it seemed to be an interesting game that took its idea and ran with it. Currently, however, it is a terrible game thanks to this. While the parts that work are interesting and nice, it just feels like it scratches the surface of what the system is capable of, and the inability to finish a game is one of the things that nag on the mind in an extremely unpleasant way.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine  on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

1/10
Rated 1 out of 10

Awful

Trulon: The Shadow Engine truly displays an interesting combat system and artwork that has some charm to it. Despite that charm, its animations are extremely dead, but that is far from the biggest problem in this version of the game - the dead animations would not have killed the game, only make it a little less enjoyable. The biggest problem is the fact that the game currently sits at a 0% completion rate going by trophy data, in this humble reviewer's experience. This is due to an error that breaks, among other things in the zone, one key NPC that is required to continue. It is very sad, as Trulon: The Shadow Engine shows some interesting aspects in the combat that would have been much more fun to leave the experience with rather than the broken mess it currently is thanks to the error.

Developer

Kyy Games

Publisher

Headup

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

they released an unbeatable game?
did nobody playtest this?

I ran into the same problem when I reviewed the Xbox One version almost nine months ago.

Incredible a dev has the audacity to not fix a game breaking bug whilst porting it to other platforms.

Ikr. This is like the biggest "wow, were they seriously releasing this" moment of 2017 for me. It is really sad as there is so much else that is interesting in the game to focus on over a literally gamebreaking error.

( Edited 23.11.2017 14:17 by Andre Eriksson )

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

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