Vagrant Story is an Action RPG released on the PlayStation that resembled the pacing and design of an adventure movie.
Vagrant Story mixes gameplay and cut-scenes together seamlessly and creates a very cinematic experience. All of this is done in real time and you are constantly engaged in the adventure. You will be hooked in by the great sense of atmosphere and suspense that the setting of Leá Monde creates and you will stay for the reward of the intricate gameplay mechanics and intriguing narrative.
The story focuses on the protagonist Ashley Riot, who is accused of a murder and portrays the events leading up to incident. The game follows Ashley’s attempt to investigate a link between a cult leader and the senior Parliament member who is later suspected to be murdered. The story has many twists and turns as each little piece of the plot is revealed to the player and the interactions between the characters are sharp and well written. It is hard not to be constantly anticipating what’s next as you play through the game.
Progress through Vagrant Story consists of traversing dungeons by jumping, interacting with the environment, solving puzzles and fighting battles. While being completely in control of movement and engaging the enemies in combat at will, when attacking the game pauses the action and the player can choose a body part to aim their attack with differing outcomes. With fast reflexes, the player can also chain attacks together by initiating another move just as the first one lands. Ashley also gains access to special techniques and magic spells as the game progresses leading to the ability to encounter enemies with a variety of strategies.
The most in-depth part of gameplay is the weapon crafting system. At workshops you can build and deconstruct weapons ranging from crossbows, maces and double handed swords. Each weapon will be more effective against different enemies and as such you will have to be constantly upgrading and creating the best equipment. These systems in Vagrant Story are dense, but ultimately a rewarding experience as you just can’t go charging into battle without the proper preparation.
The atmosphere of a majority the game’s setting is dark and isolated. Silence is just as important here as the music and Vagrant Story’s soundtrack conveys this well. None of the music will jump out and grab you but you will feel like you are exploring a ruined city with mysteries around every corner.
Vagrant Story is a complex RPG with a mysterious world to explore. If you are looking for something unique and enjoy customisable battle systems, then you should play Vagrant Story.