Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep71: Sage Fusion

Explore a galaxy of conflict and intrigue where politics, wealth, religion and technology clash for supremacy!

Sage Fusion is a hybrid of point-n-click adventure, RPG and visual novel set in a far future where several major factions vie for control. You begin playing as a small group of spies with a mission to plant a bug in the Neo Vatican - the galactic seat of religious power - but that's hardly where it ends. After about 30 minutes, I completed this mission and realized I had simply finished the game's introduction! The focus then switched to the story of a bodyguard hired by a somewhat roguish space-faring merchant (think Malcolm Reynolds or Han Solo) heading to planet Capistad, the financial powerhouse of the galaxy.

From here, the story really gets going as you learn about the setting's history, politics, and problems while exploring the planet-wide metropolis of Capistad. I was impressed by how well-written and detailed everything was, from the large-scale issues of economics and ethics down to your characters' personal backstories. It made for an immersive and interesting setting (and is perhaps better than some of the AAA franchises out there) that I enjoyed learning about with each piece of exposition.

While this title is absolutely dripping with lore, players expecting deep character progression in the form of statistics, abilities and loot might be disappointed. Sage Fusion's combat system has elements of turn-based RPGs (including a "click at the right time to improve attacks/blocks" mechanic), but it's primarily used to support the storyline. I'm not opposed to stats/abilities/items/combat taking a backseat to a well-crafted tale, and honestly it was nice to focus on roleplaying instead of rollplaying for once.

Sage Fusion's setting really has me hooked, and it will remain installed until I complete it. Few games I play for this series ever get to hold that distinction.

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