Games Gazette Logo

THEA 2: The SHATTERING is the sequel to the extremely popular THEA: The AWAKENING (2015). It is currently in 'Early Access' mode and the publishers, MuHa Games, are hoping to see it launched fully somewhere around April/May 2019. For now though it is a good idea to visit the game's website here for the official information on its progress.  The kind of info you will find is all that you need to know about the game, including current price structure. 

This game puts the player in the position of a mythological god/goddess overlooking the movement and adventures of a small group struggling for survival in a world of unusual excitement, diplomacy and danger. As they traverse the land they have a ronedla of options that include moving, crafting, setting up camp etc. all available at the press of a button and some careful thought. I enjoy playing it solo and as yet haven't tried the multi-player option, though this seems to be a promise of extra enjoyment worth pursuing.

 

Although there is animation in the form of an angled overhead view this is not a game like a regular MMO or basic action-adventure. THEA 2: The SHATTERING is more of a strategy game that combines elements of random encounters and combat than a World of Warcraft (tm) style game and thus it shouldn't be classed in the same genre. 

At this point in time and play (remembering that this is early access and things can be added or deducted until its date of release) This is reminding me of creating a recent background for an avatar/character for a role-playing game. You get to make choices all the way through, from answering or asking questions, investigating the local terrain or village, or deciding whether you want to fight and then whether you want to allow the game to auto combat for you or whether you want to control the action yourself - after a few rounds of self control I decided it was just as interesting and a lot quicker to let the Artificial Intelligence take care of it for me with an instant result. 

 

The result immediately pops up on screen in text with an option for you to accept it (and move on) or try again with the other option (if you chose auto-combat then you get to fight again with you in control and vice-versa). To date each time I have opted to change and try again the result has always been the same, not one volte face.

The visuals and sounds are okay, nothing out of the ordinary, but then they aren't truly the crux of this game. THEA 2: The SHATTERING is a game of options and decisions and many other possibilities including the spending of experience and other points on the variety of spread-sheet style tables, such as crafting, actually making stuff and also gaining the skillset to be able to collect the many resources available. I like that you can press a button and have the position of the closest resources to you show up on the screen in the terrain hex from where they can be gathered.

 

When you have completed doing what you want to do in your Turn you can hit the sand-timer and move time on. There is a cycle from Night, to Day to Dusk to Night and not only does the map, as you can see it, change colour to match the time of day or night but you can also track the movements of any possible adversaries. If you have an injured character in your group you need them to eat and rest so you set up a camp, from your possible actions menu rotunda. Healing isn't immediate, this is not real time it is fantasy, but it is fantasy with a touch of realism. You may need to gather resources whilst camping and at the moment that isn't visibly possible. There is a screen that allows you to choose which character/s you want to send out gathering and so you naturally send out the fittest and leave the injured to rest up.

At the moment it appears that to get to the gathering screen you have to break-camp which means you cannot have a character sit in camp and heal whilst the other one goes gathering the food you need to help the healing process. Because my injured guy healed, although slowly, I figure that the campsite, although 'broken' still has some influence, but the camp isn't actually visible onscreen. 

Speaking of hunting and gathering, you assign these tasks to characters on a separate screen and then you wait. There is actually nothing to see. Numbers don't begin to crunch and there are no action scenes where you control the characters or cut-scenes where you watch to see the resources being collected. The majority of play is strategy based not action based.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015