ReviewsReview: Disciples: Liberation

Review: Disciples: Liberation

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Old-school RPGs had a generation of gamers hooked to their dark and in-depth stories. The evil creatures that lurk within these tomes were the thing of nightmares. Modern games have appeared to have lost this edge, so when a new RPG hits the market that is full of retro charm, I scrambled to get my hands on a copy. Disciples: Liberation is a wonderfully deep fantasy adventure that will grab you from the opening gambit.

Developed by Frima Studio and published by Kalypso Media, this is a classic RPG. With its wonderful hand-drawn aesthetics, creepy and dank dungeons, turn-based combat, and minor base building, this is a title that offers a lot of elements. However, unlike other games that complicate the matter by putting their fingers in many pies, Disciples: Liberation blends each ingredient beautifully.

Disciples: Liberation has a rich and intriguing world.

People play RPGs for many reasons, but for me, I want a story full of twists and turns. Disciples: Liberation offers this in abundance with its choice-based narrative, many recruitable characters, and a large intriguing world. You’ll enjoy in-depth grid-based combat, murky dungeons full of monsters and more.

You control a lowly mercenary known as Avyenna who doesn’t know where she belongs in this world. She is unaware of her potential and must use her savvy to build an army and forge her destiny. The plot revolves around the land of Nevendaar and the Denizens that reside within it. The landscape of this world is yours to shape, and who you wish to work with is entirely your choice. You must inspire an army, recruit warriors, influence clans, and build a beautiful city to house them all.

Venture through the daunting wilderness.

In-depth but much-loved mechanics.

What I particularly enjoyed about Disciples: Liberation was the use of tried and tested mechanics. The overworld area allows you to encounter monsters, raid dungeons, and progress the story. Alternatively, you have the option to build your city with resources earned through quests. This minor layer allows you to buy and sell items, place buildings for unit training, and so forth. It offers little originality, but its familiarity works beautifully with the rest of the gameplay. 

This feeling of deja vu extends to the combat and narrative elements. Don’t look at this as a negative, because it certainly isn’t. These well-done moments ooze old-school charm and capture your imagination throughout. 

The grid-based combat proudly uses buffs and debuffs, magic, ranged and melee attacks. There are tactical elements to understand and the environment plays a key role within your strategy. You must select your units and recruitable character for each encounter. You’ll face an array of creatures and gargantuan bosses who have weaknesses and strengths that you must exploit and avoid.

Death surrounds you.

Clans and multiple endings. 

Where Disciples: Liberation truly shines is its freedom to experiment and its array of story options. With multiple classes to specialise in, four vast locations to explore, four clans to interact with, and nine unique recruitable characters to pick, the developers have been generous. Moreover, they haven’t shackled you to a right or wrong path and every decision matters. This empowers you to steer the hero and guide the story to match your style. Will you negotiate, be forceful, romantic, or more! The choice is yours and it’s truly fascinating.

Fortunately, this approach heavily influences the flow of the narration. Every conversation has multiple options that drive the plot, alter relationships, and impacts the clans. You may worry that this is too in-depth. Luckily, its simplicity is wonderful thanks to its system of symbols that define the outcome of each decision. 

Disciples: Liberation has a grimy world that is beautifully illustrated. 

I’ve never needed my RPGs to be ultra-realistic. What I want is for it to suck me into its fantasy realm with a magical soundtrack and exciting imagery. Luckily, Disciples: Liberation does just that with its darker colour palette and wonderfully dated character models. The stunning landscapes you witness and the dark dungeons you explore are breathtaking, and I was never disappointed. The developers have balanced the insanity of its fantasy world perfectly and this ensured I was never overwhelmed.

It was easy to lose yourself in the wonderment of both the story and the gameplay thanks to the dramatic and varied soundtrack. The audio generates a wholesome and magical aura that ebbs and flows with the many twists and turns. I loved how the shifts of power were shown through the use of sound and this supported the ever-changing plot.

The dark theme is evident in every realm.

A clever UI. 

With so many elements working together, this could have been messy as hell. However, its clever and clean UI makes understanding the fundamentals a really easy task. Subsequently, you’ll get to grips with it quickly, but mastering it is something altogether different. 

When a game offers eighty-plus hours of enthralling action that can be played repeatedly, you know it’s great value for money. With multiple playthroughs offering a unique experience, it’s easy to keep returning. Furthermore, its obscene achievement list demands you revisit the action and completionists are in for the long haul. 

Disciples: Liberation is rewarding and highlights why this genre is great. 

RPGs have branched off into weird and wonderful ventures. Yet, a retro focus always gets me excited. Disciples: Liberation has captured the essence of what makes this genre great and has delivered a rewarding and well-structured experience. Thanks to its wonderful story full of lore and excitement and its interesting roster of characters, you’ll never tire of what you see. I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Lead your army to victory while influencing those around you. Remember your decisions matter and the land of Nevendaar is shaped by your choices. 

SUMMARY

Disciples: Liberation is a wonderfully old-school RPG. With a dark fantasy theme and heavy influences of strategic combat, this retro-inspired title will have you hooked immediately. Its clever UI and the blend of mechanics makes this a fascinating game to experience.

+ Excellent graphics.
+ Dramatic audio.
+ A brilliant and varied story.
+ Interesting recruitable characters.
+ Complex and well-balanced mechanics.
+ A clever UI.
+ Simple controls.
+ Great value for money.
+ 80+ hours gameplay and multiple playthroughs.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC and PlayStation.
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

3 COMMENTS

  1. I hope you were paid for this. Otherwise it seems that you played very little.
    I had the same experience at the beginning but the more I went into the game the more boring it got. Repetitive battles. With skipping them with “Conquer” as much as possible. Plain story with a lot of cliches. Out of place hero reactions. Abundance of sex.
    All of this accumulates the longer you play and after some time you’re just skipping dialogues.

  2. I wasn’t paid for the review and my opinion is clearly explained in the review. Thanks for your input.

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