Realms of Arkania: Star Trail – PC Review

Genre: Adventure, Indie, RPG
Developer: Crafty Studios
Publisher: United Independent Entertainment GmbH
Release Date: Aug 11, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger

Realms of Arkania: Star Trail is the second game of a trilogy brought to us by Crafty Studios. It is a faithful remake of a 1994 classic RPG by the same name. Comparing what it was then to what it is now, there have been loads of changes. I will not be covering them in this review, but feel free to look up both games on Steam and compare screenshots. Storywise, Star Trail takes place shortly after the end of Blade of Destiny, where the orcs were turned away by the heroes. However, they have regrouped and are attacking elsewhere. The heroes have been summoned by an elven ambassador to help stop this new attack. What I immediately noticed is the fact that when you start a game, you can import your save from Blade of Destiny and continue your adventures with the same party and items.

That is a very nice feature to have for any game series because it gives the player a sense of attachment to the series. On the flip side, the player can choose to start with a brand new party of heroes, using the character creation system in game, or use the party provided. The game uses a cross of version 3 and 4 TDE (The Dark Eye) ruleset for dealing with the characters and combat. Personally, I never used the TDE ruleset before, so it was interesting to see it in action. I do know for sure of one thing that has been improved from Blade of Destiny, which is the NPC conversation system. It flows a lot better and has a new keyword conversation topic system.

From my experience with the combat of the game, it seems to flow remarkably like an actual tabletop D&D campaign. This actually pleases me to no end and is one of the key draws of the game. The other is the epic storytelling the series made itself known for in the 90’s that is still present in the game. For someone who has played such games over half his life, this is an absolute must have for a game such as this. The game just delivers this in spades and then some. Here comes the bad part of the game. However, bad (in this sense) doesn’t mean the game is not good; it’s just bad in a sense they could have done better.

I am speaking, of course, about the graphics of the game. While what they do have in the game is a lot better, it is still not up to today’s standards. While the scenes that appear when you go into a building and interact with a NPC are slightly passable, the battle scene isn’t. While trying to maintain a faithful remake of the classic game, they failed to update it to be more appealing to a modern audience. Combat does, however, flow well and matches the experience from a tabletop campaign.

All in all, it is a great remake of a classic, but it doesn’t make it a great game. While the epic storytelling is amazing and the feels of a D&D session are great, it does not carry the game enough to make it a great game. As I said, the graphics just drag the game down to be something that someone overlooks instead of something that someone says, “Hey, this looks cool; let me look into this.” This is a sad thing for me because I really do love the storytelling in the game, but it just is not enough. I am hoping the third installment of the series (when it is released) does better than this.

Pros:

  • Mod support
  • Can import save from Blade of Destiny
  • Offers a tutorial for every system
  • Amazing storytelling

Cons:

  • Can be a very slow game unless in combat
  • Graphics not as good as should be

BoxCatHero gives Realms of Arkania: Star Trail a Drastik Measure 6.7 out of 10 (67)

Realms of Arkania: Star Trail is available on Steam for $3.99 (USD).