Take a look at our Rain of Reflections Review which dives into the opening chapter – Set Free. With its fusion of classic point and click adventuring and tactical turn-based combat, is this worth a look?
Swedish developer Lionbite Games released chapter one of its hybrid adventure-tactical game Rain of Reflections on PC. Players assume the role of female character Wilona who embarks on a mission to save children held captive by her Father. Avoiding spoiler territory, Rain of Reflections presents a tale featuring a disjointed futuristic family set within a dystopian mix of cyberpunk themes and gritty fantasy futurism.
Rain of Reflections kicks-off with some standard point-and-click adventuring. Although the choice to use either mouse and keyboard or a gamepad is welcome here. Starting in Wilona’s apartment, players interact with key items before leaving. Pretty standard fare one might assume. Movement feels fairly slow-paced but that’s fine for this type of game. Once players leave the apartment, the game introduces turn-based battles. These are a good choice to include in an adventure game of sorts. Think XCOM on a lesser scale.
Interestingly, the first encounter acts as a tutorial and doesn’t give all the possible actions. In-fact the opening battle leans on the side of how players can stealth their way through the encounters. Whilst it’s perhaps all too easy for the three enemies to spot you here, it’s possible with Wilona’s cloaking device to evade them without detection. This theme follows through to the later encounters as well. However, toss a weapon into the mix and another character to control and well, the options increase.
What is interesting about the combat mechanics is the motivation system which determines whether a player is successful or not. This replaces health so-to-speak. For example, players move into cover but if the enemy destroys the cover your character will lose motivation points. If motivation reaches zero then it’s game-over. In reverse then, if the motivation of the enemy hits rock-bottom, they flee the battle. Motivation increases using voice options during bouts. Words of encouragement might bring a character back into the fight, although this uses up a turn. It’s quite a neat gameplay mechanic and works well here.
The story remains an interesting facet of the overall play experience with dialogue between various friends, NPCs and foes, some being optional. It’s the combat though where the game finds its feet although to-be-fair encounters are minimal in this opening chapter. Hopefully Lionbite flesh out combat moments in chapter 2 and 3.
Sadly, and this is where the game drags its feet a little is a reliance on hacking mini-games. Whilst interesting for the first few occasions they crop-up in the story, they become staple throughout the 3-4 hour playtime. Often breaking moments up unnecessarily. Three mini-game types exist in the digital world including rotating blocks to match a predetermined shape. Moving a ball to reach a location on the board , and finding a location using a sonar and direction input.
Rain Of Reflections offers some great visuals throughout, presenting neat contrasts between the wealthy citizens and those in the poorer parts of the city. Players interact with an interesting assortment of NPC characters often resulting in multiple choice dialogue trees. How much the player choice affects the overall story is unclear, but the right or wrong response isn’t always clear-cut. That’s if there is a right and wrong here.
Visuals look great in 4K on PC and with various options to tinker with means you can net 60 fps at times, however that’s using top-end hardware. The game might struggle on lower systems. Music is great offering a sci-fi theme bathed in rich synth-based music. The voice acting is reasonable but not the best part of the audio. Wilona just feels a bit wooden in her delivery.
In terms of playtime, as mentioned players can interact with everything and possibly net around 4-5 hours. It’s possible to shave-off some time if the mini-games are easy for you and if the combat sections offer little resistance. The enemy AI here isn’t as accomplished as you might expect which could work in your favour.
Rain of Reflections offers a neat adventure game fused with the combat element which sets it above similar games. Chapter 1 acts as an introduction and if the following two chapters expand upon the ideas here (especially the turn-based combat) then this will be an interesting series to dive into. The hacking lets the game down somewhat, but perhaps some players will enjoy the mild puzzle element here. For under £15 it’s not bad value at all but in terms of replay it’s not offering too many choices if any at all considering once you playthrough you know what to expect. Perhaps a difficulty option could have improved replay. As it stands, Rain of Reflections comes as a interesting prospect but not a game for all players.