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FICTORUM Review: RPG Fluff Without Substance

 
fictorum_logo
fictorum_logo
fictorum_logo

 
Overview
 

Published by: Scraping Bottom Games
 
Developed by: Scraping Bottom Games
 
Platform(s): PC
 
Genre(s): Action, RPG
 
Game Type:
 
FG RATING
55%
55/ 100


User Rating
1 total rating

 


Bottom Line

Fictorum is an action RPG developed and published by Scraping Bottom Games. It was just released on August 9th for the PC. To be honest, I haven’t heard of this game before but I’ve learned that it started out on Kickstarter. So let’s dive in to the full review. STORY During the Cataclysm, The Inquisition has […]

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Posted August 22, 2017 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Fictorum is an action RPG developed and published by Scraping Bottom Games. It was just released on August 9th for the PC. To be honest, I haven’t heard of this game before but I’ve learned that it started out on Kickstarter. So let’s dive in to the full review.

STORY

During the Cataclysm, The Inquisition has successfully wiped out the order of powerful wizards known as Fictorums. You play as the last known surviving Fictorum, and your ultimate goal is to find The Inquisition’s leader, the Grand Inquisitor, to avenge your fallen order. At the same time, The Inquisition is on your trail and are determined to eliminate the last Fictorum.

Fictorum_story

As far as action RPGs go, Fictorum’s story is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s pretty cliche at this point to be honest, and it’s hard to care about the characters (which are virtually scarce). The story and every interaction is told through text, instead of cutscenes.

GAMEPLAY

Before I go any further, this section is based on my approximately 4 hours of playing the game. I believe this amount of time spent on the game is enough — it’s the most I could tolerate, honestly — to give an assessment of Fictorum’s gameplay.

Fictorum_map

Your goal is to get to the location of the Grand Inquisitor, which is marked on your map. How you get there is up to you, as there are different paths you can take. However, since The Inquisition is after you, every step you make allows them to advance and occupy the locations. If you decide to go back, there will be a heavy Inquisition presence, making it much harder to roam around.

Much of the combat revolves around casting spells. You’re a powerful wizard, after all. There are two types of casting – a normal spell and rune-enhanced spell. Every cast costs mana, and the rune-enhanced spells cost even more. The rune-enhanced spells are powerful, but they use so much mana that sometimes they’re just not worth using, especially when facing a horde of enemies. As a result, you end up casting basic spells most of the time, and usually they’re enough.

Fictorum_rune_cast

If you lose mana though, it’s usually a death sentence. And the only way to heal in this game is through items or healing in a store – and they are few. It’s easy to die in this game, and if you did, you’ll start the quest all over again.

There are houses in some areas with items you can loot. The camera changes to first-person when you go inside, a decision that’s hard for me to understand. The transition can be jarring, and the movement becomes even clunkier. It’s preferable not to cast spells inside because houses can be destroyed. It’s a death sentence once enemies see you inside one of the houses.

Fictorum_inventory

The inventory system is basic and mostly tedious, therefore you end up selling most items you loot anyway since they’re useless. Aside from the armor customization, you can also choose the runes needed for your spells. These rune-enhanced spells, however, can only really be fully appreciated once you’ve upgraded enough to have huge mana resource, as mentioned earlier.

Fictorum_gameplay_01

The simplistic gameplay gets boring and repetitive after the limited enjoyment of going on a rampage wears off. Wait for the horde, cast your spells and destroy a few houses along the way. Rinse and repeat. There’s really nothing else to do. Usually, boring gameplay is compensated by a compelling story. In Fictorum however, It’s difficult to actually care about its story.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

Fictorum_visuals

After the Cataclysm, the ground was engulfed with deadly Miasma. So, the game takes place mostly on mountain tops. I can only assume the developers purposely limited themselves in the stage design. As a result, the game ends up looking the same and uninspired every time, with a couple of houses and some grass or snow to change it up, even after you’ve gone through different places. What’s even worse is that the graphics aren’t something to behold, especially for a 2017 game. It’s not that bad, but it’s definitely not impressive either. It’s just okay.

Fictorum’s requirements are fairly low, but I played the game on an i5-6500, 16 GB RAM, and RX 480 GPU PC build in ultra settings. I get 60 FPS most of the time, but it drops down to around 30 FPS whenever the game gets chaotic (e.g. enemy hordes, lots of spells). With a light specs requirement, that just screams poor optimization to me.

VERDICT

I have to admit Fictorum is not truly devoid of fun. Going on a rampage, unleashing deadly spells against your enemies and destroying houses is enjoyable at least. And that is all there is to it in this game, unfortunately. The game costs 995.95 on Steam, but even at that price, I’d say it’s not worth getting it. If you really want it though, I’d suggest waiting for a huge sale before buying.

Fictorum is now available on Steam.


Drew Bagay

 
Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.


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