Stories: The Bitcoin Dice Path of Destinies looks like this generation’s Bastion
Way back in 2011, Supergiant Games made waves with Bastion, the isometric brawler with a gorgeous aesthetic, deeply satisfying combat, and a fantastical story brought to life by a gifted narrator. Now, in 2016, all those same righteous descriptors apply to Stories: The Path of Destinies, a PS4 and PC action RPG set to debut on April 12th (as part of PlayStation’s Launch Party 2016 event this summer). I got the chance to play through a brief demo at GDC, and all the brilliant games it brought to mind – Bastion, the Batman: Arkham series, Armello, the criminally underplayed PS3 platformer Puppeteer – have rocketed Stories to the upper echelons of my most anticipated games in 2016. It’s that good.
Looks can be deceiving: though the colorful world and cast of anthropomorphic animals could make you mistake Stories as strictly for kids, the plot is actually a complex, mature scenario (hence the Armello comparison). You play as Reynardo, a roguish fox (and ex-pirate) who’s a key player in a rebellion against an oppressive emperor. Though Reynardo doesn’t yet know it, he’ll actually be the deciding factor that determines which side wins the impending final battle – but this isn’t an all-or-nothing scenario set in stone. Much like Tom Cruise’s character in the time-looping action flick Edge of Tomorrow, Reynardo is able to relive the events leading up to the climactic conflict thanks to the magical Book of Destiny, and in turn rethink all the choices he’s made along the way.
Those choices are crucial to the overall tone of Stories. You’ll frequently be forced to pick between two options that take the plot in wildly different directions: perhaps you’ll opt for the goody-two-shoes, friendship-is-power path like I did, or maybe you’ll go for the nuclear option …