Trulon: The Shadow Engine is not a brand new game, but it’s only now become available on Playstation 4. Here’s a quick look at the game.
Originally released for PC about 18 months ago and later ported to Xbox One, Trulon: The Shadow Engine has been around for quite a bit. Looking past big screen gaming, Trulon is also a mobile title that came out over two years ago. It was met with lukewarm reviews on other systems, so we were curious to see how the PS4 version would fare. On a technical level, a lot of issues that were reported on seem to have been fixed or at least don’t show up when running on Playstation hardware.
Looking at the actual game, I can’t help but think that this is a JRPG-lite kind of experience. Despite being based on a novel (which was “coming in 2016” but we haven’t seen it surface yet), it is rather light on story content and character development. The plot is rather formulaic, though the backdrop against which it takes place does make up for it somewhat – Trulon is set inside a world that’s a mix between fantasy and steampunk influences. Perhaps it’s the mobile origins of the game that make the story delivery somewhat limited – but it doesn’t appear like the game was adapted for a richer experience on consoles during the porting process. While the premise (a mysterious disease) is interesting enough, the story never proceeds to really grab you.
The combat portion of the game is interesting and generally fun to play though, and features a card-based upgrade system. Although some combat scenarios can be fled from, the game is relatively linear for an RPG title and it makes sure you have plenty of interesting combat encounters. At the start of an encounter, special cards are assigned to you that will help you shape your tactics for that particular battle. This can include stronger defenses or the ability to deal extra damage – it’s a nice mechanic that keeps the combat from becoming repetitive too quickly, despite a lack of tactical opportunities on the battle maps.
Now that it’s been over two years since the release of Trulon on mobile devices, we’re living in an era where we have the Playstation 4 Pro and (almost) the Xbox One X. Trulon’s graphics definitely show their age in that context. Although the art style is pleasant, the animation is lacking and can’t hide the fact that this was developer for Android and iOS first.
If you don’t mind playing a mobile title on your PS4 then you could do a lot worse than Trulon – just don’t expect it to be a match for some of the excellent RPG titles already available on the system. The fun card-based battles can’t hide an otherwise relatively shallow (though easy to digest) RPG experience. As I mentioned earlier – it’s a “lite” version of a JRPG.