Early Access Review: Arboria – A Promising Roguelike RPG Experience

Early Access Review Arboria

Arboria is a brand new upcoming roguelike RPG by the developer Dreamplant and publisher All in! Games. Arboria is releasing in Early Access on Steam on May 7, 2020, however, I got my hands on a developer build and got to play this brilliant title before it went live on Steam. The full game is expected to release in 2021 however the game currently looks amazing and we are sure that it will get even better during its Early Access period. This is our Early Access Review of Arboria in which we morph our arms into weapons and explore the beautiful dungeons of Durnar.

You play as a Yotun warrior in Arboria whose sole purpose is to find and heal the dying roots of the Father Tree. The Father Tree gives life to everything in Durnar but with it dying, everything is collapsing and your clan will not survive for long. You play the game alongside a very helpful Fairy named Rata who is not only your guide but also your support character. Together, both of you will explore the vast world of Durnar and find all of the Father Tree roots in order to heal them and also destroy the evil cap which is taking over the minds of Yotun Warriors and corrupting their minds.

Early Access Review Arboria

The gameplay of Arboria is pretty straight forward just like any other RPG title that you have currently available in the market. You have your normal hits, strong hits, dodge, roll, and sprint. However, there is no stamina management at this point in the game which makes fighting really easy. Dodging and rolling do not consume any stamina and you are free to use them in combat as much as you want. In addition, using your weapons have no remorse on you as well but spamming the weapons will not get you anywhere in the game apart from your grave as I found this out in the hard way. Arboria demands that you use your attacks strategically.

The main hub of Arboria is your main village where the Father Tree is also located. At the start of the game, you only have limited access to this village however as you continue to find and heal the roots of the Father Tree, you continue to gain access to more and more areas of your clan’s village. The village also acts as the main portal location where you find locations to different locations and travel to them in order to explore them and heal the roots of the Father Tree. These roots are located all over Durnar and you will fight your way through different procedurally generated dungeons to find them and heal them.

To heal these roots, you have to interact with the roots and the enemies will start pouring in. You will need to defeat a certain number of waves before you can heal the root and move forward. Accompanying you and also guiding you is Rata who is a fairy and she stays by your side throughout the game. Everything that you collect in the game, goes to her. You do not have any sort of inventory on yourself. Everything of use goes straight to Rata such as Veri which the main resource of the game. You harvest it from blue crystals and Rata quickly collects the items with her. She stays by your side until you die and at this point, she drops whatever you have collected so far so it serves as a death penalty which forces you to play good and avoid losing your collected items and XP for that level.

Combat plays a vital role in the gameplay of Arboria and it one of the good aspects of the game as well. Arboria brings its own unique twist on the classic roguelike RPG mechanics by introducing symbiotic weapons. Unlike traditional games of this genre where you pick up and wield different weapons, here you become the weapon. Every time you find a weapon, it is not a physical weapon. Rather, it is simply a symbiotic weapon or a mutation and your arms mutate into the weapon. For example, the starting weapons in Arboria are an Axe and a powerful Shockwave which transforms one of your arms into an axe and the other one into a powerful arm that slams down and forward when you land different attacks with it.

The combat is also different because every attack comes with a light and heavy attack and you can combine them together to land different combo attacks. Certain weapons go really well with each other but certain weapons simply make situations worse if you start combos with them. Generally, using a fast and heavy weapon is the ultimate combination in the game but the slam weapon is more of a useful ability in the game since certain doors and areas are excessed after you slam their doors open. Your build in Arboria depends on your weapons you equip.

Each weapon in the game will change the movement speed and gameplay style of your character so you will need to find the weapons that suit your playstyle. Some weapons are fast but deal more damage while some weapons are heavy but they deal heavy damage. You can change and equip weapons that suit your gaming styles such as slower but heavy damage dealing builds or low damage dealing build with greater agility and movement. There is not a lot of character customization other than this at this point. Even the character selection at the start of the game is just some pre-defined characters with pre-defined names. However, we can expect a fully functional character development update as the game continues in development.

Early Access Review Arboria

Even for an Early Access title, Arboria looks brilliant. I will agree that some things do feel empty and bland at this point such as your clan village feels empty and there is not much to do there at this point. But the game is still in Early Access and this is one of the aspects in their minds. We will have more activities and lively areas in the full release of the title. The game looks really pretty at this point however there is room for some technical improvements here and there since the game uses a little bit more memory than it should. In a few cases, the game froze and later crashed but that was expected for a development build. Other than these few problems, the game ran extremely well for me and I had a great time with it.

Final Verdict:

Arboria is entering Early Access on May 7, 2020, and from the development build that I’ve played for my review, I can say that Arboria is starting its Early Access in a very strong position. I’ll agree that the game currently lacks in terms of content but the game is currently in development and the developer will continue to add more levels and areas to the game as the development continues and the game nears its launch date. If the game lacks in content, it easily makes up for it in terms of its brilliant combat, beautiful world and art style and procedurally-generated levels which ensure that each run is unique and different than the last one you had in the game. The game narrative is not really something that you would look forward to but there is a bit of humor thrown here and there which keep things interesting over all. Arboria has a lot of potential of becoming an excellent roguelike RPG and if the developers play this right, Arboria is going to be a solid title upon its release. The game’s Steam page is now live and you can head over to Steam to add the game to your Wishlist or even purchase the Early Access version of the title.

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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