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Songs of Silence: Preview Impressions
We’re back! January inches on, and it is that time for more games. The coming weeks will be like a bit of a hangover on here. I have a couple of interviews I held with developers backed up from December, so they will go up first. Then there are the reviews! December was a wild month as I scrambled to finish my GOTY series, another big undertaking.
Therefore, this month will be a bit lighter on content. Despite the brief respite, I am working on my impressions of several games, many of which I ran out of time for last year. Damn, saying that feels weird, even if ‘last year’ was only a handful of days ago, doesn’t it? In the priority queue, I’m working on reviews for Pioneers of Pagonia, Amnesia: The Bunker, Soulash 2 and Paleo Pines.
This week, I chose to invest some time into an upcoming game called Songs of Silence, an intriguing 4X fantasy game that focuses heavily on story and character development. Unlikely many games in this genre, Song of Silence bucks that trend, promising players with a tight, well-versed story with full voice sequences. The demo allows people a glimpse into the campaign mode, although the full version will offer skirmish and multiplayer as well. It reminds me a little of the successful Songs of Conquest, which too focuses its core on storytelling. The world map is beautiful, surprisingly so perhaps for a game like this. I was not expecting to be blown away by the visual design, but Songs of Silence looks great. The demo version has very few ways to change graphical settings, so I hope that gets changed on the full release.
Unlike Songs of Conquest and many other strategy games, Songs of Silence favours an autobattling system for the many skirmishes in the game. Armies of fantasy units from all walks of life battle each other, influenced by your intervening hand through an intriguing card system. I rather enjoyed this mechanic, as the lightning pace of the real-time combat pushed me into thinking on my feet, as a commander in the thick of battle would. The cards activate on a timer so they cannot be thrown willy-nilly at enemies or allies, so they cannot be abused. They have a variety of powers like hurling fireballs down onto ranks of soldiers, healing or protecting your ally armies, or stunning enemies so they cannot move or fight, giving your forces a chance to recover. A 4X game with auto battling mechanics is fairly rare, and Songs of Silence manages this combat system reasonably well.
This is the earliest of previews, so I haven’t got a concrete opinion on the game yet. As with all demos, they are a solid way to experience games, either as a playable slice of the full game or experiencing an early build. So far, Songs of Silence looks promising. I ran into a few performance problems — this is more power-hungry on the computer than I expected. While this is an early build of the upcoming game, I had to reduce graphics to low to get playable framerates, and even then it made my computer sound like a jet engine. Optimizations will naturally come as the game reaches the release window.
Things are looking optimistic. Songs of Silence has no concrete release date yet, but it has a launch window for the first quarter of 2024. Keep an eye on it! I’ll be sure to pick this up for review when it launches.