Tunic is a vibrant mix of classic Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls pieces. The game has been developed since 2015 by almost one person Andrew Shuldice, who single-handedly managed to achieve the level of Nintendo both in terms of visuals and technical terms.
Tunic was supposed to be a launch exclusive for Xbox One in 2018, but it was released just now, but now it is available not only to Xbox owners with a Game Pass subscription (still working in Russia), but also to PC or Mac users via Steam (payment using Qiwi is available). in Kazakhstani tenge), GOG, Epic Games Store or Humble Bundle. The game will be released on other consoles at a later date.
The first glance at the game for every person unfamiliar with the concept will be erroneous. A cute little fox wearing a bright green tunic, referring to Link from Zelda. Some kind of plush world with not at all scary inhabitants. A leisurely exploration accompanied by pleasant music. But all this is combined with hardcore rules and unforgivable mistakes.
Isometric action starts from the moment the protagonist wakes up on an unknown island. In just a couple of minutes, you will arm yourself with a stick, but the research paths will be so limited that you will not even be able to go through the bushes, which can only be cut with a sword – and you do not have it. In the first hour, the game really feels like a cute adventure with exploring houses and collecting coins, but then it offers you several paths to choose from, and opponents become more dangerous.
You can spend dozens of tries wanting to explore an alternate path, but you won’t be able to get past the difficulty barrier just because you don’t have a special item that will lie on the more obvious path. So, for example, it turned out for me with ancient turrets, which cannot be destroyed without a special parry with a shield. But even when you find it, no one will explain to you that it has several uses.
After a while, you will begin to better understand the local logic and the usefulness of saving at statues with a fire, after which all opponents on the map will respawn. Help with understanding and scraps of drawings scattered around the world. They are written in special hieroglyphs, which are invented for this game, which introduces an element of mystery, but the main information is partially translated into human language, as if the fox himself did it when he found the leaf.
A mixture of curious lore and a sense of the unknown with cute, and sometimes disturbing locations, keeps you in this difficult game and does not allow you to completely abandon the passage at the moment when you are cutting circles and do not understand what to do next. This can really become a problem even with careful study of the map. It happens that the plot path is the most non-obvious, and even almost imperceptible. Such situations happen infrequently, but unsettle.
Do not let go and dangerous, at first glance, the bosses, a huge number of mysteries and a sense of growth, when you realize that you can easily break up the crowd of opponents, from which you ran away an hour ago. The principle of metroidvania also works great, when you have to return to familiar places over and over again in order to complete or find something.
The world, in fact, is not so huge, and for constant surprise, a mechanic is simply not enough. But the developer is trying in time to throw intricate locations with many mysteries or new abilities that can diversify both research and battles.
This leads to the fact that you have to fight on defense, and always act carefully. Endurance limitation will not allow you to endlessly roll and dodge.
Cover yourself with a shield in time, learn the attacks of each mob and memorize the world around. If this is not done, what is happening will infuriate and get bored in a couple of hours.
It would be strange not to compare Tunic with Death’s Door, which came out last year. They are very similar games with a similar concept, but Tunic is closer in every way to Souls games, while Death’s Door’s crow adventure is more story-driven. Tunic will appeal to those who love complexity, but are also not embarrassed by cute decorations that become quite gloomy towards the middle.
The narrative here is abrupt, requiring attention to detail and a diary. If after Elden Ring you want something more relaxed and friendly, then this is the best option, but do not think that the game will turn out to be a nice walk. It won’t be easy for sure – both because of the battles and because of the difficult orientation on the ground. But all these efforts are worth it to see the wonderful adventure of the fox and the mystical worlds of his ancestors.