Tails of Iron is a game where you are the leader of an iron mining company. You need to manage your workers, mine resources, and build up your company over time.
The Tails of Iron is a game that takes place in the post-apocalyptic world where humans have been driven to extinction. Players must use their skills and wits to survive and rebuild civilization.
When you first start up Tails of Iron, you’re met with what seems to be a grim, but approachable story about a young mouse who is destined to be king since his father, the current king, is growing old and wishes to abdicate. The tiny mouse’s world (as well as the player’s impression of how the whole game would be) gets flipped upside down after finishing a very dull tutorial and earning the right to become king by beating his own sibling in combat. A swarm of frogs attacks your kingdom and slaughters everyone. There’s blood and bodies all over the place. Your father is no longer alive. Your whole family has vanished. As the damn king, you’ve been charged with repairing this whole ultraviolent and ultra-awesome disaster.
What a sweet game! I’m certain that nothing unusual will occur in the next 10 minutes…
Consider how appealing this concept is in your mind. Imagine having this whole tale presented with storybook graphics, in a “cute but also very gruesome” sort of manner, with Doug Cockle, the voice of Geralt of Rivia from the Witcher series, narrating the entire thing. I can’t express how amazing it is to have one of the industry’s most recognized voices narrate the whole experience for you; it’s nearly worth the price of admission. You practically regard his narrative as a motivation to keep playing the game, since I didn’t really like Tails of Iron’s gameplay.
The controls itself, as well as the gameplay in principle, are flawless. This is a 2D sidescroller with features borrowed from previous 2D Soulslikes like Salt and Sanctuary and Blasphemous. It’s all about accurate dodging and parrying while delivering slow-moving but powerful punches to your opponent and mending yourself with limited medical supplies. Isn’t that supposed to work? It does, in principle, as I said. The darn thing works like a charm when the level design cooperates with you. Enemies signal their moves very early on: if they flash red, you must avoid their assault; if they flash yellow, you must parry with your shield.
The issue is that the game goes out of its way to make sure you don’t get to experience a natural, but fair, growth. Tails of Iron like cramming you into tiny spaces with more than two or three opponents. When compared to previous FromSoftware games, it has the same problem that made me hate Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: artificially inflating the difficulty by forcing you to juggle against a large number of opponents in small places rather than creating challenging, but fair fights.
It did increase overall tension since I couldn’t tell whether to defend myself or go full Leroy Jenkins on those barbarian frogs (thanks to the absence of opponent health gauges), but it never made for an enjoyable tension. Even with minimal gear, I’d constantly feel like I was too weak and sluggish to deal with many enemies at once. I began to despise every approaching battle segment, and as a result, I began to avoid taking on sidequests or even attempting to go off the beaten path. I simply attempted to cope with what was absolutely required, with Doug’s voice acting as a lullaby to help me relax.
If the enemy’s strike flashes yellow, parry it. Avoid its strikes if it glows red.
I was hoping to like Tails of Iron a lot more than I did. Everything about it drew me in, from the visuals to the incredible narrative. It had all the makings of becoming one of my favorite independent films of the year. However, the gameplay has no choice but to fall back on irritating cheap clichés seen in less popular Soulslikes, sending you into waves of tiny chambers where you must fight with swarms of foes that can one-shot you just by blinking. It’s an excellent game if you live the tough lifestyle of “I can defeat the Orphan of Kos with a Donkey Konga bongo.” But, chief, that’s not for me. I’ll hold out till the audiobook version is released, read by Doug Cockle, of course.
Tails of Iron has the appearance and animation of a children’s book, but it’s a lot bloodier. Its art style appealed to me much.
It attempts to replicate what previous 2D Soulslike games have accomplished in the past, but with much less movement and opportunity for mistake.
Doug Cockle, Geralt of Rivia himself, narrates the whole game. That alone is almost worth the price of admission. The music is actually very nice, but I’d rather have more Geralt reading me a gory bedtime tale.
I expected to like Tails of Iron more than I did. The presentation is fantastic, and the narrative is incredible. Unfortunately, the combat is very harsh, focusing much too heavily on flinging a large number of opponents at you at once to test your ability to deal under pressure.
Final Score: 7.0
Tails of Iron is currently available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox One S/X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
On the Xbox Series S, the game was reviewed.
The publisher sent me a copy of Tails of Iron.
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Tails of Iron is a game that takes place in the late 1800s. Players are able to create their own character and explore the world as they see fit. The game has received mixed reviews, with many praising its unique gameplay style. Reference: tails of iron review ign.
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