Masquerada: Songs and Shadows for PC, XONE and PS4 is another production of the Singaporean studio called Witching Hour (Ravenmark, Romans in My Carpet!). The title is a tactical 2.5D isometric RPG. The main inspiration for the gameplay were such classics as the Baldur’s Gate series and Dragon Age.
The action of the game takes place in Ombre, the only city in the world where magic exists. Its resources are not infinite, however, and to be able to cast more powerful spells, one must wear a mysterious mask. Its power can also deplete which makes the rivalry very intense and makes Ombre a nest of intrigues, political games, and everlasting quarrels. The player assumes the role of inspector Cicero Gavar who is summoned from exile to solve a case of mysterious disappearance that could possibly shaken the entire city. The developers made sure that the plot — although linear — is adequately extensive. The script takes about 500 pages.
The game’s mechanics draw inspiration from the abovementioned titles. We assume control over a several-people party. Looking from an isometric perspective, we explore the world and engage in combat. The latter can be conducted in two ways: the fast one that is focused on action, and the tactical one that lets us pause the game, think things through, and choose what actions we wish our subordinates to take. The characters naturally have their unique abilities, and the magic cumulated in the masks we find plays an important part in any battle.
The thing that distinguishes Masquerada is the interesting visual style that combines elements of many completely different environments. The city of Ombre is based on Venice, and its atmosphere and the inhabitants’ clothing are taken straight from the carnivals held there annually. The color palette and animations, in turn, were the effect of the influence of Japanese and French comic books. Moreover, the developers took inspiration from other games such as Bastion, Transistor, and The Banner Saga.
PC / Windows
Minimum: Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz, 4 GB, graphic card Intel HD or better, 16 GB HDD, Windows 7