Among the sentences I least expected to write, “At E3, Nintendo just announced a PC-bound strategy-RPG based on Jim Henson’s cult ’80s fantasy muppetfest The Dark Crystal” ranks pretty high. The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics (I’ll just call it Dark Crystal Tactics, okay?) is based on the upcoming Netflix-produced prequel miniseries, and developed by BonusXP. It’ll be a single player, turn-based SRPG ala Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, and expands on the conflict between the hobbity Gelflings and the vulture-like Skeksis. Below, a fittingly weird debut trailer.
I’m a sucker for a good fantasy (or sci-fi) tactics game, and Dark Crystal Tactics is set in a world I’ve been wanting to see built on all my life. My main worry is that the animation in the trailer below is a little stiff, and that up close the models don’t have that rough, tactile look that the Creature Workshop puppets are famous for. Still, excusable given that the game is coming to Switch, too, and they don’t want the handheld catching on fire. We don’t get any look at the interface or deeper systems in the trailer, but we do get a look at some interesting terrain hazards to exploit.
The official site mentions the standard RPG trappings, with a job system (hopefully aping Final Fantasy Tactics), customisable gear and upgradable abilities. So long as Dark Crystal Tactics’s combat holds up, it sounds like there’ll be a lot to do, despite it being a purely single player game. BonusXP boast of an eighty-mission campaign, with a New Game+ mode offering remixed, tougher versions for a second playthrough. The studio are mostly known for their mobile games, but includes some talent from Age Of Empires outfit Ensemble. This might not be their usual brand of strategy, but I’m hopeful they can pull it off.
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics launches later this year, although no date has been announced. The new Netflix series starts on August 30th. The game is published by En Masse. You can read a little more on its official page here, and its Steam store page.
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.