Trulon: The Shadow Engine (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 21.02.2017

Review for Trulon: The Shadow Engine on Xbox One

In Tripudia, the constant threats of disease of war keep many from living a fulfilling life. Some have chosen professions that reduce their chances of survival ever further. One such individual, who goes by the name Gladia, is a monster huntress. She seeks a cure to the plague that has ravaged this Steampunk world for a very long time. With the help of friends and allies, she might succeed in this honourable task. Then again, she most likely won't. Trulon: The Shadow Engine is an RPG with elements of card combat.

Gladia's journey will take her across multiple towns and dungeons. The towns are populated by the usual mishmash of quest givers and informers. Naturally, quests can be taken on to earn bonus items and experience. The dungeons are also filled with what gamers typically expect of RPGs; in other words, monsters and treasure. The battles are set in pre-determined locations, and can't be re-fought, even if Gladia leaves the dungeon and re-enters. Anybody that wants to gather a little extra experience can try the world map, since there are random encounters to be had there.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine on Xbox One

The battle system is an interesting blend of traditional turn-based combat and cards. Each card serves as a command, and can only be used once in a battle. The player should make every effort to build their deck, and organise it in a manner that suits the next fight. Too few cards will leave the party without any special abilities, necessary for those critical moments. Having too many cards can be just as problematic, especially if they aren't adaptable to the current situation. Having a suite of cards that deflect magic won't do any good if the party faces monsters that stick entirely with physical attacks.

Card combat is a pretty neat idea, and it feels rewarding crafting a good deck. The best decks will effectively counter practically anything enemies can throw at the party. Grinding experience and acquiring strong gear is important too, but won't guarantee success. The game conveniently saves before every encounter, so the player always has an opportunity to retreat and reassess their strategy. Battle animations can also be skipped by pressing the A button, which is nice for speeding through everything.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine on Xbox One

However, it's extremely likely that players won't be able to see the battle system to its full extent, let alone finish the adventure. It's possible to soft-lock the game within the first five minutes of play. After giving a giant turnip to an old lady, she rewards Gladia with a map. Upon receiving the map, Gladia thinks, "Now, what is this for?" If she tries to talk to someone else while that bit of monologue is on-screen, she won't be able to hold a conversation or even move. The only way to solve this problem is to reset the game.

An hour or two later, the heroine will receive a quest involving a suspicious house. However, as soon as she walks into the home, she's greeted with a black screen. Yep, the game has hung again; time to reset. Since it's impossible to complete this quest, she decides to focus on her main mission. Upon arriving at the Undercity, which is an overly affectionate name for a sewer, Gladia stumbles over a body with a knife in its chest. After a bit of exploring, she meets a few residents. One of them mentions a courier that has gone missing, which explains the body. However, when Gladia heads back to the corpse, she finds herself unable to do anything. To put it another way, the game is now impossible to complete.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine on Xbox One

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Trulon: The Shadow Engine has serious scripting issues. If one had to guess, the player was supposed to meet with the person asking about their courier first, and then go to the body. If they go to the body first, then, apparently, the script will snap, creating an unwinnable game.

Another quest in the Undercity involves fighting a vicious shadow beast. Unfortunately, encountering this foe causes the game to soft-lock… again. These constant issues are maddening, because they can result in hours of lost progress. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that the player will figure out how to avoid this horrendous bug in their next attempt at a playthrough. Actually, they shouldn't have to do anything of the sort. Videogames aren't enjoyable at all when they break at the slightest provocation.

Screenshot for Trulon: The Shadow Engine on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 1 out of 10


Somewhere in Trulon: The Shadow Engine lies what could be a decent little RPG. The use of cards makes for an interesting spin on tradition. The somewhat bland characters and storyline are balanced out by quaint graphics and pleasant music. However, in its current state, this game is broken. It's far too easy to soft-lock it, or even ruin a save. Progress is constantly at the mercy of increasingly slipshod scripts. Attempting to play an RPG where potentially everything can go wrong is nothing more than an exercise in frustration.






Turn Based RPG



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   


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