Thea: The Awakening Review

You are a god, or you were at least. But now you are weak and have lost most of your power. Now you can only see the world and influence it through the eyes of your few followers. When you awaken the world of Thea is in turmoil, there are monsters and beasts a plenty trying to kill all who get in there way. In Thea: The Awakening, your primary objective is to survive and surviving is hard.

You start with a small village and a small handful of followers. You must control these villagers to gather resources, expand your village and most importantly explore. Exploring is what this game does the best and the world is expansive with a lot to see and do in it. The problem is a lot of what you do is the same, and so is the dialogue and descriptions that you get. Repetition is the scourge of Thea: The Awakening and something that takes away massively from the most positive element of the game.

The storytelling in this game is fantastic, deep and rich which a lot of other games should take notice. This is a turn based strategic survival game but does things with its story that most games in the genre don’t go anywhere near. There is not only the main quest to complete but side missions and even sub quests. There is a lot to do here but above everything, you must survive.

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You can split your group of followers into different groups and set them different tasks. Some can gather resources for you to feed your followers with or use for crafting, while others can be sent off to explore a new dungeon that you have heard of, or simply just explore the world around you to see what you might find.

Sometimes it’s good when a game doesn’t hold your hand but Thea: The Awakening takes this to an extreme at times. Although you get tutorials about the very basics of the game but after this it often just leaves you to work things out for yourself. We find this to be specifically true for the crafting system. This meant that we didn’t do the crafting that we should have been doing early on and felt like we had missed out a little.

Now let us get to the combat system. You will often find yourself in combat with anything from giant spiders to the undead. The combat system is a card based system with different attributes and abilities that have been assigned to different characters with different cards. The actual act of combat involves a lot of different turns and can take a lot of time. Luckily there is an auto resolve mechanism which takes away the tedium of the combat and gives you an outcome straight away. The problem is that this way of doing things feels like you are leaving everything down to luck.

The look of the game is slightly grainy, almost like the drawings in a book sometimes. Its top down view makes everything clear but in no way is this a beautiful game. There is also background music as well but this quickly just fades into obscurity.

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One of the biggest problems with Thea: The Awakening is the amount of time that it takes to do anything. Most tasks take several turns to complete and you have to be prepared to wait a few turns before you can move forward with your adventure. For example, healing your team after combat can take more than a few turns if the damage taken is significant and only happens if you have the right resources to do this. This means that you either wait or risk carrying on with a slightly weakened group.

Thea: the Awakening is a PC game ported to consoles and it really does feel like it. The control scheme feels very unnatural on a controller and it is obvious that things would be much simpler using a keyboard and mouse. This, unfortunately, is a problem that many games in this genre suffers from and Thea: The Awakening has done nothing to overcome this problem.

True hardcore fans of turn based strategy games may find something to enjoy here but let us be honest for a moment. For the rest of us there are a lot of much more enjoyable games out there. If you really feel the need to try this game for yourself you can download it from the Xbox store for £14.39.

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