Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Critic Reviews11 Reviews
For a freshman effort by an indie developer, there is just enough to really get your attention in Masquerada, and I look forward to seeing what Witching Hour Studios does next. For behind the mask of this game is a studio with a lot of heart behind it, and while their first outing is ultimately flawed, their heart is sometimes all you need to make your mark in the gaming world.
Through a combination of a fleshed-out world and interesting characters, Masquerada is the rare role-playing game that really sticks with the player after the credits roll (and that’s not just due to the game’s cliffhanger ending). Rather than deal with trope-filled characters, every member of Songs and Shadows‘ cast feels like a real person, and this makes their actions seem much more believable when they’re forced to deal with some truly terrible situations.
That being said, there is very little to no replay value. Masquerada costs a bit less than half the price of a AAA title, and you’ll certainly get a fair amount of play hours, but once you’re done, you’re done. A good story is a good story, but this book felt like it could remain shut once it was finished. For the price, this is absolutely worth your time if you’re a big RPG fan or really dig the art style.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows rides the line between too little and too much, and often swerves into the too little range. Between the difficult to manage combat, and the constant breaks from gameplay for story, this could have been a misfire. Fortunately, it's saved just enough by beautiful artwork, sublime voice acting, and a presentation to die for.
Copious amounts of story content occasionally broken up by challenging tactical combat will keep you entertained for hours. Masquerada is a beautiful game with fantastic well written characters and a plethora of story content. If you’re the type that likes to take their time and absorb themselves in the world then Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is the game for you.
While there’s nothing particularly poor about Songs and Shadows’ story or battle system, the way they come together leaves an unwelcome void in between. When playing, it’s hard not to compare it to bigger, better games like Baldur’s Gate or more recent RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity. Masquerada just doesn’t have the same level of rewarding complexity or seamlessness, bogged down by constant stopping and starting.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows sacrifices depth to tell an intriguing story. Its incredibly linear design keeps things moving, but between unremarkable combat and an over-reliance on exposition through a bloated codex, it's never able to fully capture your imagination. Masquerada is a stunted RPG that's entertaining enough while it lasts, but you probably won't be coming back to Ombre once it's over.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows tiene un desarrollo lineal y simple, una propuesta que a veces encaja con la idea principal del estudio y otras desentona con lo que se quiere ofrecer. Su apartado gráfico y sonoro está por encima del resto de campos –y mucho-, lo que le da puntos extras a una aventura RPG que se puede completar en 8-10 horas aproximadamente.