Stories: Path of Destinies

Once upon a time, there was a narrator, one who would tell us a story and at the same time be the cast’s voice actor. He would grant us the fulfilling joy of telling the story not once, not twice, but 24 different times, because that’s the number of endings Spearhead Games’ Stories: Path of Destinies has to offer.

Stories: Path of Destinies is a hidden gem, a game that tells effectively, stories. You play as Reynardo, a sword master fox, who fights against the evil emperor and his army of ravens. With many decisions to make, you must find the way to win the war.

At the beginning, you gain access to this mysterious book, a book that is pretty much the whole excuse of the “try again” dynamic of the game. Once you obtain an ending, Reynardo’s story ends in different ways but the truth is yet to be revealed, so the book sends him back to the starting page.

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WAIT. WHAT?!

Remember how some roguelike games do this thing were when you get defeated you somehow come back to the starting point? The book is this element, only that this isn’t a roguelike per se, it’s an adventure fantasy isometric hack & slash RPG. Yep!

The game revolves around choices, each “playthrough” offers you many of these that branch out into different chapters, each having it’s own unique ending and will effectively give you some insight on the lore of the story and clue pieces for what the other characters have planned for.

The game guides you through a combination of interesting 3D hack & slash combat and a stylish book page turning art with indicators and summaries of what choice you can make. The thing is, this is a very committing game, once you choose something, even simply walk through a door to a next zone, you can’t go back (unless you close the game or go to the main menu and restart the checkpoint, but that’s not really the joy on this game). So in other words, play however you feel like and explore every possibility you’d like to experience, in a very fluid matter.

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You don’t have to do every single ending, it’s more for player ‘completionists’ that want to learn everything and every outcome. The game directs you with indicators to the “correct” choices and eventually finds the true ending, unlocking the mysteries around the whole plot. However, if aiming for the quick true ending, the game wouldn’t be very long.

This, nevertheless, is the aspect that bothers a bit. Even though the game has many different scenarios, ambiences, and for an old fox you learn new tricks and combos with your many swords, the game can get very repetitive. Even when choosing different paths, you still have to go through similar and basically the same zones, fighting ravens in the exact areas you fought them before (although they get tougher and new versions of them pop up progressively). My point here being, play through the endings and go for the true one when you feel like the game is not giving any new content anymore, but most importantly, play for as long as your satisfied really, some players can go through the whole thing and still enjoy it with everything maxed out, but the amount of choices can be hard to keep track of and to fill in every gap you have to basically replay a whole lot of the game over and over.

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The game is very attractive visually, the art style fits very well in every aspect but I feel it can be so much more on the 3D scenes. The models do look very nice however, and the effects and lightning look amazing when mastering combos. Not to mention the soundtrack works around quite well, not distracting and giving scenes their appropriate strength.

Stories: Path of Destinies is a game that can be played a bunch of times, each time being either very or slightly different, all with the aim to find enough insight to this strange plot.

4

In Short

  • + Clever plot branching
    + Variety of scenarios
    + Simple yet entertaining combat mechanics
    + Gorgeous aesthetic overall & soundtrack

  • - After a while the game tries very hard not to look repetitive.

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