Resonance of Fate (also known as End of Eternity in Japan), is an RPG title that was published by SEGA exclusively on consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3).
The game has an above average difficulty level and the gameplay is a cool mixture between real-time and turn-based strategy: while cities are explored to your heart's content, the battles will be waged in turns.
The developer, tri-Ace used the second generation version of the ASKA (Superlative Knowledge-based Architecture) Engine for the creation of Resonance of Fate, engine best known from games like Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope.
Superior cinematic, an intricate and complex story, many hours of gameplay, fun quests, a unique take on the world map are just some of the things that Resonance of Fate brings to the table. Let's unfold the role-playing wrapping and see what we'll find inside.Story
The setting is the Tower-City of Basel, a place in the far future, where humanity seeks to survive after a toxic cloud has decimated almost everyone on Earth.
Where biology fails, technology is ready to take over as everything in this tower-world is held together by a huge machine, which, among other things, makes the air pure and breathable. Like any machine, this contraption is not meant to run forever. What will happen when it fails?
Let's meet the cast that will be your companions throughout the game, changing the world as everyone in Basel knows it.
Vashyron (the cool character - age 26): is the leader of the Hunters group that takes on various contract missions for money. He stands as the sole survivor on the losing side of a large scale military assault under the command of a Cardinal. He was also a Knight of Zenith, a person blessed by the Zenith system, but he rarely talks about it.
Zephyr (the rebel character - age 17): was part of an experiment involving the children of Crank Seminary. The experiment succeeded, but not without taking his tolls. Everyone involved in the experiment, except Zephyr, got murdered. He is now part of Vashyron's Hunters squad.
Leanne (the cute female character - age 21): like Zephyr is also part of an experiment meant to expand lifespan. She tries to commit suicide, but is saved by Zephyr and takes her place among the Hunters.Gameplay
The game basically redefines RPG titles with its revolutionary combat system, unique map exploration, character and weapon customization, and more.
Resonance of Fate starts with a normal difficulty that cannot be changed until you finish the entire game. Upon completion, you'll be able to play the game on hard and so on. There are a total of ten difficulty levels available, so make your choice if you feel up to the challenge.
After a cool introduction, you'll reach the City of Ebel where you are immediately directed to your missions.
Before heading out into the wide world, I strongly suggest you complete the combat tutorial (16 stages) at the Arena. The learning experience was quite difficult for me, particulary when it came to tri-attacks and smack downs. Skipping this tutorial will most likely result in defeat during future battles, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with this type of games
The new cinematic action gameplay system is centered on gun play, and a steam punk styled world. Stepping away from the traditional sword and bow titles, the damage in Resonance of Fate is done by machine-guns, hand guns or throw-weapons (like various grenades and Molotov cocktails).
There are two types of damage: scratch damage (done with machine guns) and direct damage (done with hand guns). The perfect combination is to inflict the scratch damage first and then finish off the target with direct damage.
Whether roaming in the world map, or exploring a forgotten dungeon, combats can break out at any given time. Holding your balance in the air while shooting and performing a good combo assures the success of your party.
To spice things up a bit (and increase the difficulty), the turn-based combat system also adds Hero Action into the mix. Each hero has a limited number of moves in which they can simply attack or use a Hero Gauge tile and perform a combo: slide / walk / jump and shoot the target. Be careful as the Hero Gauge also represents your resistance to scratch damage, so if you lose it you'll be quite vulnerable.
Fights become boring sooner than you'd expect, the only thing keeping it together is the battle system and the fact that from time to time you'll be fighting powerful monsters and bosses.
Customizing the weapons improves their accuracy, fire power, and adding special bullets can help cope with a wide variety of monsters. Each monster you encounter can later be seen in the Bestiary, where you can also find out all there is to know about its strengths and weaknesses.
Personally, I found that some fights are difficult just because they need a right approach. Seeking out the weaknesses of an opponent and using all the elements on the battlefield ensured my success even when the fight seemed impossible to win.
The Arena is a place that you just have to visit from time to time. Besides the fact that this is the best stocked and high-tech armory, you can also level-up characters in arena fights.Video and Audio
When I first started the game, I was amazed by the detailed and dynamic cinematic footage and also captivated by the story, just like watching a good movie.
The in-game graphics match-up to these story movies, as the future city is one you'll not forget very soon. Every piece of this last human resort is in constant motion and the details of clothing, characters and buildings are over the top.
In this perfect landscape, there's one thing that jumps out like a bad pea in the pea pod, and that's character running. Regardless of which hero you choose, their arms are flapping around like they’re not attached to the body.
While the character animation doesn't earn any prizes when you're exploring the city, things change once you're in a fight. Using the Hero Gauge, you'll be able to literally fly through the air while hitting targets over and over again or slide while shooting and launching enemies in air.
When you exit the city you'll be a little disappointed, as the map looks like a giant board game with a high number of elevators that transport you through the hexagon tile levels of the Basel Tower.
Personally, I found the music to be more than acceptable, the dialogues are quite amusing at times, and the voice cast is great (Vashyron is actually the lead from Uncharted).
While playing, I always felt that the right song was popping up exactly at the right time, while explosions and weapon noise boosted the frenetic feeling of the intricate battles.Conclusion
Resonance of Fate is more than a game, it’s an attempt to rewrite RPG games, to break the traditional pattern and take this genre to the extreme.
This is not a game for the average gamer, the complexity and the difficulty of the game is only recommend to true RPG fans.
The hours you spend in-game more than make up for the value of the Resonance of Fate, and with 10 difficulty levels, I say go and buy a copy right now!