The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is a video game based on Netflix TV show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel for the popular culture movie “The Dark Crystal”, created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
Your objective is to defeat the Skeksis, by uniting the Gelfling clans throughout Thra, and you will accomplish this by winning battles and recruiting other Gelfling as you advance into the game.
You will fight as the Gelfling race to defeat the evil Skeksis, the dark lords of Thra who control the Crystal of the truth that is connected to the entire planet they live in. In this game you get to live some episodes from the show and play as the protagonists: Rian, Brea and Deet. In the intro scene, you get comic illustrations that give you a brief introduction, Aughra summons all of the heroes to tell them their purpose so that they can group up and start their adventure to stop the corruption of Thra.
Rian, a Gelfling from the Stone-in-the-woods clan, is a brave warrior who will be tested many times and it’s one of the strongest characters in the game. His class lets him tank damage and inflict stun and some great damage. Brea, the Vapra Gelfling is a sorcerer, able to fly and heal, who will take a while to start casting offensive magic. And Deet, more or less like Brea, with a different passive ability. These three won’t be available for the beginning except for Rian, as you keep going through the story, the others will be unlocked and can be used in other battles.
In the first minutes of the game the story is explained to us and from there we get into a battle as Deet, a female Gelfling. In this battle you get the basics of the combat; each turn is individual, you only have one action per turn, and if you perform an action before moving, you can’t move anymore, so it’s important to plan ahead. Usually you get to place your units before a fight but in the first battles which are pretty scripted, you play with the characters that fought that battle in the show, more or less.
It’s interesting to know that each character has their own passive, depending on the clan they’re from, for example, if they are from Drenchen, they are immune to Poison. This makes Drenchen Gelfling really good against enemy thieves, whereas Spriton have a bonus to their defense and magic damage, they make really good sorcerers. Apart from that, we have the innate ability from female Gelfling, who are able to fly, males just can’t. This is good to know if you’re planning which character to use as a mage or as a warrior.
There are also other species like Podling and Fizzgigs, they have their own unique abilities so it’s good to have some of them around, specially the medic Fizzgig that in a certain level will have the ability to revive a dead character in battle. Now Podlings, that’s where the fun starts, you have Cooks, a pretty unique class with their own mechanics, Tamers who can summon beasts, Potion Masters who can heal or hurt enemies with their complex potions.
The classes don’t work exactly as in other Tactics games; there is a primary job and a secondary job, having the primary job will get you more abilities for that job, and with the second job you’ll only have a few abilities, you can use a warrior who can throw rocks, or a rogue with some control crowd abilities and even sorcerer abilities. Bear in mind that only primary job is the one that will level up and will allow you to get more abilities from that branch. You can combine primary and secondary to get specific jobs that will allow you to get better abilities, such as the powerful Strategist, both a warrior and a support class, can inflict stun on a line and grant Attack Up, Barrier, Majic Up, Shell, and Haste for three turns.
Not all missions are the same. In some you will have to achieve a certain objective and in others you will only have to beat a certain boss. All in all, this proves to be a fun challenge most of the time, in which you can also just pretty much defeat all the other enemies before dealing the killing blow on the targeted enemy. There’s one mission in particular in the story of Brea that you will have to clean dirty Podlings, although this one seems easy it’s a little bit tricky to do, but nevertheless fighting and equipping your army it’s pretty fun.
You get money and experience after every battle, there are more battles than the ones that appear in the show, and even random battles that you can freely go to, so you can actually grind a few levels if you struggle with some boss battle.
You can also get special equipment after winning unique battles and this equipment will certainly be better than the one you can buy in the shop. Every piece of equipment sure helps in all battles; however, they are quite expensive and they don’t make a big difference until you’re on a higher level.
The game is pretty fun and inevitably makes you think of another Tactics games such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre, even levels have certain mechanics from these games, like traps or elevated surface from which you deal more damage if you can hit an enemy, just like high ground archers in any Tactics game. The game can be played with mouse and keyboard or a gamepad. You can rotate the camera to get a better view. It has a simple interface, but very intuitive and it will be easy to navigate through menus.
However, this game is not very long, it usually takes 20 hours to beat it but you can also play in the hard difficulty that will prove to be a challenge.