|Stories: The Path of Destinies|
|Release date(s)||April 12, 2016|
|Platform(s)|| Microsoft Windows |
Stories: The Path of Destinies a action role-playing game developed by Spearhead Games. It was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on April 12, 2016.
The player controls an anthropomorphic fox named Reynardo that is part of a resistance force fighting against an oppressive Emperor. The player controls Reynardo from a third-person perspective, using a combination of attack combos to defeat foes, gain experience to unlock new combat skills, and craft new weapons that unlock parts of levels. During his escapades, Reynardo comes across a magic book that lets him see potential choices and their results, and subsequently go back and make different choices; however, Reynardo retains all the experience and upgrades earned up to that point, thus able to proceed along different paths at these points. The goal is to seek the best-possible ending out of the twenty-four that are set in the game.
Stories is an action role-playing game. The player can move Reynardo across the landscape, using a grappling hook to help cross open spaces between floating islands. At times, the player will encounter enemies and Reynardo must fight them before the player can proceed. The player starts with a number of basic attacks and blocks they can use, but as Reynardo gains skills, earned by gaining experience points from combat, more advanced combat techniques become available. Should Reynardo lose his health during these fights, the character will be respawned at a recent checkpoint and will have to start the combat over again.
Skills can be gained once Reynardo has gained enough points at various altars across the landscape. Treasure chests hold material items that can be used to craft or improve one of several sword types at a workbench. These swords can be used in combat for more potent effects, but also are required to unlock certain doors that are present on the level.
Within a level, the player may find an option to complete it to one of multiple endpoints, or may find only a single endpoint. Here, the game will then present the player, through narration, with two or three options they can take the story, which will determine which level the player will next start; in a few cases, a choice will lead to an immediate conclusion of the story often in the capture or death of Reynardo. There are generally four or five of these choices before the player reaches a final level and the conclusion of the story at that point. At this point, the player is then shown the magic book picked up by Reynardo at the start of the story, and how that ending fits into the overall picture. In this meta-game, there are four "truths" in relation to the game's narrative that will remain fixed regardless of the decisions the player takes, and the player's goal is make the right selections to discover each of these four truths.
When the player repeats the game to discover these truths, Reynardo will retain all upgrades he has earned. This can enable access to areas on some levels that were currently blocked without having the correct sword. When the player comes to decision points, they will be shown which decisions have already been made in a previous playthrough, so they can explore other options. Information from the narrative can be used to determine which decisions are better options; for example, one path may reveal an ally to actually be a mole for the enemy, so by avoiding choices with that character will likely lead to one of the truths. Once the four truths are discovered, the player can use their newfound knowledge to find the only victorious path, thus winning the game, though they may go back to explore the other possible endings.