Stories: The Path of Destinies is a game title that really does the game justice. In this brand new action adventure by Spearhead Games, it’s the storytelling that steals the show.
In Stories, you play the role of Reynardo, a fox caught up in a fable in which he is part of a rebellion against the oppressive rulers of the land he lives in. The struggle is drawing to a close and how it all ends is up to the choices you make. There is a time travel element involved as well though, because a magic book that Reynardo has enables you to travel back in time and relive the story again through a different set of eyes.
This isn’t just your typical “I made a mistake, let’s load up an older savegame” routine though – it’s far more intricate than that. In Stories, when one story branch ends (there’s 24 in total), you find out something that’s key to the overall plot. A friend may turn out to be a traitor, and when you start a new story that knowledge will help you shape the path you’ll take – allowing you to change your destiny. It’s a great storytelling dynamic – one that I generally love in movies but that I haven’t really seen in videogames before.
Underneath all that storytelling goodness there’s a fairly generic but enjoyable brawler. Combat is easy enough to manage so it never distracts you from the story aspects of the game, yet intricate enough to allow for some fancy combo moves. Transitioning from counters to moves where you take out multiple enemies in a manner of seconds of smooth and satisfying, though the novelty does wear off once you’re in your second or third story branch.
This is perhaps Stories’ weakest point. You’ll play through different versions of the same story a couple of times before you reach the “real” ending – and it starts feeling like a bit of a grind near the end. The combat gets potentially deeper with skill upgrades and more weapons, but it’s not challenging enough for you to have to change your tactics much. And, of course, seeing the same levels multiple times doesn’t help either – even with a few alternate paths you can take.
Still, that should not stop you from playing Stories: The Path of Destinies. It’s a refreshing new take on the action/brawler adventure genre and well worth playing through. You might not want to delve right back in after you complete the campaign, but the intricate storyline and enjoyable brawling make it worth the price of admission.