Review – Tower of Time (PS4)

I had no prior knowledge of Tower of Time prior to playing it, other than the PS4 announcement trailer.  The trailer had interesting visuals and music, and the gameplay looked cool.  The visuals kind of reminded me of the Diablo franchise.  I had never played it on PC so I was going into this completely blind.  The trailer boasted that this is a “new kind of RPG with a unique real-time combat system.”  A vast, dangerous tower to explore, fierce enemies to encounter, skills and spells galore–I’m in.  Was Tower of Time a fantastic or terrible way to pass the… time?

I was mostly bored, quite frankly.  Actually, the game started out strong.  The opening cinematic was effective, with an interesting art style.  The narration grabbed me; it spoke of a mysterious character who was both (and somehow, neither) a hero and a destroyer, begging to be judged.  The story was set up well enough that the player feels as if they are about to embark on an epic adventure.

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Some of the art is really good. Keyword: some

Unfortunately, the strong aspects of the game begin and end with the introduction, for the most part.  The gameplay is not nearly as interesting as it strives to be. Exploring the vast, dangerous, upside down tower is not as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be. A significant chunk of the campaign is spent slogging through the tower searching for (and usually passing by) items that are not clearly apparent.  The game is quite linear but I did not mind that aspect all that much.

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Hey look over there!  Oh, sorry, I was mistaken.  I thought I had found something interesting.

The battles quickly became a chore to drudge through. They were long and monotonous.  And there were battles aplenty. They occur on a separate battle screen, and often an overwhelming number of enemies eventually attack from all sides. Depending on the team of heroes you have assembled, you have a varying array of skills and spells at your disposal to combat the enemies. It all sounds way more interesting than it actually is.

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A wide variety of enemies indeed.

Some of the art is visually pleasing and engaging. The gameplay art, in particular, was well done.  But it was inconsistent. Some of the loading screens and cutscenes contained art that were subpar compared to the rest of the game. It was a little jarring. The sound design also felt lacking. Some sounds just did not fit and could use tweaking in the volume control department. I actually enjoyed the opening narration, but the voice acting is very minimal after that point, only in cutscenes. Perhaps this was a smart decision, as they would have had to dedicate nearly all of the budget to the voice actors, due to the absurd amount of text in the game.

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Pictured above:  an absurd amount of text.

The controls were kind of wonky and I encountered frame rate drops, as well as a pretty major glitch. I had initially set the Exploration speed to “Fast.” When I started the game up again, the speed was noticeably slow, but when I tried to change it back, I would get stuck in the settings menu, time and time again. This glitch was one of the most consistent aspects about this game, because every time I tried to adjust a setting, I would get stuck in that settings menu. Speaking of consistency, one of the only things I did enjoy about the game was the music. Although repetitive, I did enjoy the music quite a bit.

Tower of Time starts out strong but falls off pretty quickly.  The gameplay and battle system are repetitive and not very interesting, and the art and sound are not consistent.  A strong soundtrack is not enough to save the rest of the game.  There are better games to pass the time with.

 

Graphics: 6.0

Art design during gameplay was effective but some of the graphics during load screens and cutscenes were not on par with the rest of the game.

Gameplay: 6.0

Some controls felt wonky, the framerate dropped occasionally, and the gameplay and battles were too repetitive.

Sound: 7.0

The music was strong but gets repetitive after a while. Some of the sounds did not fit and needed more volume control.

Fun Factor: 5.0

I did not have a great experience overall. The monotonous gameplay is the reason why I am not in a rush to replay this game.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Tower of Time is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Tower of Time was provided by the publisher.

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