For an unsuccessful player (what you will not be after reading this test), the discovery of Tunic is generally done in three stages. At first it seems obvious that the title pays tribute to the Zelda series. Some will even go so far as to speak, hurriedly and wrongly, plagiarism. After all, the hero dressed in a green tunic wakes up on a beach, must release a character retained prisoner, leaves first and foremost in search of a sword and a shield, breaks pots and slice the talls. Herbs. To top it off, some dungeons, mechanisms and other puzzles are indeed present. In addition, the graphic style clearly recalls that of Nintendo productions, and more specifically The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening released at the end of 2019 on Switch. Here too the hero looks like a real small figurine evolving in a miniature world worthy of a model. But if the bushes are square and the little polygonal trees, it is a style effect and not a technical limitation (it must be said that the game comes out on Xbox and PC, and not on Switch…). The proof of graphic and technical mastery is in the modeling of certain creatures, roundworms at the wish, and the effects of advanced light, which offer us at times of very beautiful scenes. The artistic, lively, colorful and slightly child direction, does not really miss any charm, while music, often light and ethereal, is also attractive, even relaxing. In reality, Tunic does everything he can to get happening for what is not, namely a classic and harmless Zelda cl1. But as the Admiral Ackbar would say: it’s a trap!
The second stage of discovery is therefore to become aware of the true nature of the game, which is in truth far from being childish and easy to access. The heart of the gameplay and the difficulty are inspired by Dark Souls. Yes, yes, tunic is indeed a small “soulsborne” (or should we say a “soulsbornering” from now on?). Thus, altars with the effigy of a goddess vanish keep the role of the campfires of productions from software. They allow both to safeguard the progression, fill the potions vials and restore the full health to the hero… but also reappear all the enemies on the map. During the exploration, it can also unlock different shortcuts that allow to avoid some of these opponents to the easy resurrection. The sword fights focus on the defense, move and use the roulade and the shield being more than necessary to hope to survive. Dark stupidly in the heap is synonymous with immediate defeat and humiliation, especially facing the main bosses that really leave little room for improvisation. Some spells of gel and other dynamite sticks are there to help us, but their limited numbers do not fully rest on them. Another tool at our disposal is the key to “target” enemies. She does not block the attack or view on them, but show their bar of life, which can be useful for gauging the effectiveness of our blows. Surprisingly, this feature also serves exploration as it slightly vary the basic isometric perspective. It thus becomes easier to evaluate certain differences in heights and, above all, to identify one of the many secret passages present in the world. A point to do not neglect, because you will need the contents of the chests that are hidden to make your life easier.
we raise a goupil
Already interesting in itself, the duality “Zeldarksouls” is sublimated by a third layer that makes the game really unique (pronounce the link and you will have a game of words as a gift…). In voluntarily concealing certain information, developers have chosen to trust the intelligence and curiosity of players. Thus, the different texts of the interface are mainly composed of incomprehensible runic characters. And when some abstract messages are displayed with an answer “Yes / No” to validate, it is to the player to call on his general videoludic knowledge and the context to choose the right option. What is done without harm, rest assured. But the real trick of gameplay is hidden in the game manual… which is integrated into the world of the game. It must first maximize exploration in order to bring together as many pages possible, the latter being disseminated on The entire card. Nicely illustrated in 2D, this “meta” instruction booklet includes many tips, tricks and even basic game principles. Except that things do not stop there! He is also written mainly in runes, only some essential terms appearing in French. We must once again work your brain to draw all the information, and push the reading to the scribbled notes in the margins. This interesting and inviting videoludic find still poses a problem, because if a player abandons the manual or does not find the right pages, he may miss out of essential information. This goes on the character’s progress system, “detailed” (the word is strong) on page 18. Study the question, because without the difficulty goes from high and stimulating to frustrating and unfair!