If you are a Rift owner, you’re probably no stranger to The Unspoken. One of the flagship games to be bundled with the Touch launch, it came to be one of the best multiplayer exclusives for the Rift. Unfortunately, something has always felt a little off. A missing piece of the puzzle we didn’t even know existed. Well, that first piece has finally been revealed in The Unspoken: Acolytes.
In a world where secrecy and skill are the main ingredients to an aspiring Acolytes survival, knowledge is power. Knowing about the world around you and the forces at play in the shadows could very well be the answer to your continued existence. More importantly, a little background could provide the insight needed to gain even more power in the arena.
The Story Begins
If you are unfamiliar with The Unspoken, it is an online arena-based game. Through matchmaking, two players go head to head in underground arcane combat. With a range of different magic classes, artifacts, and skills, players flex their intellect and reflexes as they try to dominate their opponent and become more powerful.
The new single player story mode provides around three to four hours of gameplay that is broken up into nice little segments. Each segment will have you fighting your way across some familiar areas in the game, investigating locations, and even taking down a few bosses. At the end of each segment, you head back to your apartment and learn a little more about the secret war being waged around you.
The story, without giving away too much, revolves around the ongoing war between magic users and the shadowy council that wants you all dead. You will uncover information about a time when magic was practiced in the open, and what events lead to your kind being forced underground. The story kicks off with the death of two Acolytes, and you are charged with the task of finding out who and, more importantly, why it was done.
Damn Dirty Demons
As you work your way across the various landscapes, you will find yourself up against a range of monsters that want to kill you. Some fly at you, some shoot birds at you, some throw gobs of green goo. Whatever the case, just know that the story mode has three levels of difficulty and the monsters’ variety can make this a relentless experience if you so choose.
The game makes use of support classes, shields, and traps that will keep you on your toes once the game gets rolling. Best of all, the AI makes the experience feel challenging even on the easiest setting while the games mechanics keep them from feeling overpowered. It really just comes down to you playing smart.
You will face off against a handful of bosses, each with their own unique abilities. Whoever designed the boss fights brought their A game. Each encounter felt well thought out when it comes to the arena they take place in. Each had ample places to teleport to during the fight. For fights like this, having the right mix of attacks that can follow a player vs attacks that can be avoided is crucial for the fights to feel challenging. Luckily, they nailed it.
If you have played The Unspoken, nothing has changed as far as controls go. You cast your basic spell or use your shield by holding down the corresponding key. Direct the path of the projectile or choose your teleport location by pointing, and throw objects by selecting them and tossing at your opponent.
The more advanced spells and artifacts are used through completing more complex gestures. This does a great job at making the process feel all the more gratifying when you score the desired result. The story mode has a great little tutorial that will get new players settled in nicely.
The only downside to the controller setup has more to do with tracking. For front facing sensor setups, you will run into tracking issues when you try to teleport to locations behind you. It isn’t game breaking, and it can be avoided with a different sensor setup, but it’s worth mentioning.
A Mysterious World
Graphically, The Unspoken is super. The world is vivid and alive with an active environment that supports the overall grungy feel of the city. Acolytes takes this even further with the new environments and spells. The hidden items in the levels will keep you hunting through the well-blended backdrops.
The monsters and bosses all look well done. While you will be seeing a lot of the same monsters throughout the game, each class of monster is easily identifiable and unique looking. The bosses really shine and their spells look nice and menacing.
The games sound design is good. Each spell has a unique sound and the environments has sounds that support them. The NPC dialog is a nice touch and good quality. The music is a little less impressive. It didn’t really do much to support the drama when it took place. Overall, everything came together nicely to create a deep and rich game world.
Bippity Boppity Boom
The solo experience is solid. The story plays out nice and makes the game feel more complete. Best of all, it leaves room for more. The quality of The Unspoken makes it a great candidate for a game that develops a rich story over time. The multiplayer is still amazing and will give players ample content while waiting for the next chapter. It is a perfect way to introduce new classes as well.
The Acolytes story completes this already great game. For a free update to existing players, it’s icing on the cake. For new players, it makes the $19.99 price tag hard to pass up.
Title: The Unspoken: Acolytes
Publisher: Insomniac Games
Release Date: December 14, 2017