Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Top Critic Average
While there's nothing particularly poor about Songs and Shadows' story or battle system, the way they come together leaves an unwelcome void in between. When playing, it's hard not to compare it to bigger, better games like Baldur's Gate or more recent RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity. Masquerada just doesn't have the same level of rewarding complexity or seamlessness, bogged down by constant stopping and starting.
A real labour of love, Masquerada is a highly enjoyable RPG effort that is absolutely drowning in audiovisual style and spectacle, even if the overly linear structure and sometimes convoluted world building detracts from the final result.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows sacrifices depth to tell an intriguing story. Its incredibly linear design keeps things moving, but between unremarkable combat and an over-reliance on exposition through a bloated codex, it's never able to fully capture your imagination. Masquerada is a stunted RPG that's entertaining enough while it lasts, but you probably won't be coming back to Ombre once it's over.
There's a dissonance between this fantastic art style and dull or tame backing soundtrack.
All in all, the game was enjoyable from start to finish and I am really hoping for a sequel. The characters were charming, the plot was exciting, and the combat system was refreshing.
Through a combination of a fleshed-out world and interesting characters, Masquerada is the rare role-playing game that really sticks with the player after the credits roll (and that's not just due to the game's cliffhanger ending). Rather than deal with trope-filled characters, every member of Songs and Shadows‘ cast feels like a real person, and this makes their actions seem much more believable when they're forced to deal with some truly terrible situations. The story is the star here, and Witching Hour Studios have crafted a narrative they should be proud of.
Like its characters, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows puts on the mask of a good game. The above par voice acting and art style will certainly lead you to believe that.
Masquerade: Songs and Shadows is worth the attention. Beautiful music with well-written text and nice combat system. Thanks to the neat combination of these elements, every RPG fan need to play it.
Review in Polish | Read full review
A whirlwind of a journey that knows how to leave a long-lasting impression.
For a freshman effort by an indie developer, there is just enough to really get your attention in Masquerada, and I look forward to seeing what Witching Hour Studios does next. Behind the mask of this game is a studio with a lot of heart, and while their first outing is ultimately flawed, their heart is sometimes all you need to make your mark in the gaming world.