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Review: Operencia: The Stolen Sun Dreamhack 2020

Operencia: The Stolen Sun (PC, Xbox One) Developer: Zen Studios Publisher: Zen Studios Release Date: March 31 on PS4, Steam, GoG

Nothing beats the nostalgic feeling of a classic dungeon crawler where players build up their team and gain experience to defeat tougher and tougher foes. I have been waiting for a game that lets me feel that sort of thrill again, and Operencia: The Stolen Sun delivered exactly that!

Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a classic dungeon-crawling rpg set in a unique fantasy world that is inspired by central European folklore. I cannot wait to explore it more.

I was able to play a short demo of this gem of a game at Dreamhack 2020. During my demo, I was hesitant at first because the game looked very similar to Might and Magic X and Demise: Rise of the Ku’tan. I played both of these games, and they were some of my favorites growing up. It had been a long time since I found a first-person dungeon crawler that made me feel the same as I did when I played them, but the more I played Operencia, the more hopeful I became.

For the demo, I started by testing out the functionality of the controls as well as navigating the menu. I was very pleased that all the controls made sense and the menu was easy to navigate, which is very important for new or inexperienced players. After the game passed my test, I decided to play a little more and traverse the dungeon before me. It wasn’t very long until I encountered my first enemy. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as I was just wondering what combat would look like.

For my first battle, I encountered a few frog people. The battle was arranged into classic turn-based combat and the enemies stood in front of me in three different sets of range: close, medium, and far. This mechanic is designed to make the enemies in the back row more difficult to hit with melee attacks while the enemies in front are easier to hit. In this design, using ranged attacks, like bows and magic, are better choices for taking out far away foes. After exploring the abilities at my disposal and dispatching my enemies, I was awarded with experience and some loot.

One of the other pleasant aspects of this game was the descriptions that the items I received form battles had. After my first battle I opened my menu to equip the boots I found and I found myself laughing because of the description they had. The name of the Item was cloth wraps and the description for them was “its better than nothing, right?” I know this is kind of a small thing to write about, but its small details like this that help me enjoy the games I play.

Throughout my demo of Operencia: The Stolen Sun, I was continuously and genuinely pleased with what the game had to offer. There were several puzzles to solve and monsters to kill and it truly felt like I was back to playing one of my favorite games. It felt as if I were dropped into a dungeon straight out of a D&D campaign.

After a few battles, I had enough experience to level up and I got to learn more about what character progression looked like. When you level you are given some attribute points to distribute to your stats and you also get to pick new abilities to learn.

The stats were straightforward to understand because when you hover over a stat there are green highlights that tell you exactly what that stat does for you. Again, this is an excellent way of helping newcomers to the RPG genre and it also helps veteran players who like to min-max their characters.

My experience with Operencia: The Stolen Sun was immensely enjoyable and I can’t wait until the game releases on PS4 in March. When I concluded my demo of the game I tried pretty hard to think of anything bad about the game and I honestly couldn’t think of anything. It seemed like a very well-polished title. The only suggestion I have, if I had to make one, was to clean up some inconsistencies in the art. The 3D world of Operencia was so beautiful, but during cutscenes, I felt like it was a little weird to see characters with such hard edges. This is just a minor nitpick though, I could play this game a thousand times over and not be bothered by the art.

Operencia: The Stolen Sun Is a beautiful ode to old RPGs and it is definitely worth a playthrough. You can purchase the game on the Epic Games Store or the Microsoft Store for a fair price of $29.99. The game is also available to download from the Microsoft Game Pass and it will also be released to the PS Store, Steam, and GoG stores in late March.

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