Welcome to a Manablast.com Firsts! This is the first of many Firsts (*heh*) where I give you my first impressions on a new title I’m currently playing before I’m ready to unleash a complete review onto the world. We’ll see how it works for future titles but behold, my Operencia The Stolen Sun, Firsts!

Operencia The Stolen Sun by Zen Studios has launched on both the Epic Games Store and Xbox, to include Game Pass or full priced for $29.99. I’ve been waiting for this one since I added it to the Manablast catalog on January 8th. Disclaimer: I’ve only completed about 3 hours of it so far but those 3 hours have flown by! This is a “Firsts” for a reason. I’m quite amazed by… most of the game. I woke up this morning thinking about Operencia and what other magical lands or devastating spells I could obtain later. Alas, adult tasks and this firsts article have kept me from it. Let’s hit on some of the best, and maybe one possible issue quickly so I can get back to playing Operencia.

Operencia’s Environment

operencia living tree

Yes, that tree is very much alive. This is one of the coolest living environments I’ve seen in a while.

Orencia’s environments are living breathing things and they look absolutely beautiful. Not beautiful as in “Oh that’s a cool art style you have there” but truly beautiful. They also feel like places that actually exist in this world, each with their own sound effects and unique little tidbits that make them feel alive. I later found out this is actually the case. Operencia is “home to an intriguing mix of unexplored mythology and fantastical versions of actual historical locations”… No shit. I’ve only made it to the second forest area but within this forest are numerous caves, unique feeling areas within the forest itself, and a royal tomb which I have yet to fully explore. The badass skeleton guard stories scared me away late last night. You can’t blame a guy, can you?!  I’ll just have to keep playing and see how many main levels there actually are and report back in my full review.

Fighting and Skills

The combat system in Operencia is great for all of us turn-based RPG fans. I even think that people who don’t normally play a turn-based game might give this one a shot. Each area of the game seems to have its own unique monsters to fight, some easier than others. The variety of skills you can use is pretty nice after a few level-ups. I started off as a mage and I already have 2-3 spells that I can use to destroy my foes. They feel impactful and the blows from the bows and swords really feel and sound like they are breaking the hopes and dreams of my enemies.

I must admit this here. The Operencia combat system pisses me off at times. It has the rare ability to turn a really good feeling system into a slugfest that quickly becomes a button mashing bore. There are some instances where I get stuck hammering the same attack for 10+ rounds as I’m either out of energy to cast my really damaging spells, the enemies are dodging my attacks, or they pulled some BS move where the consumed their brethren and went super sayian. I’m looking directly at you spiders. Take this for what it’s worth, 99% of the time the combat is an enjoyable experience. I have a feeling that this will be remedied the farther I progress. I just learned how to brew potions which might help solve some of these energy management issues but this is the way it is for now.

Storyline and Characters

operencia storyline

I read all of these every time. Sometimes they even allude to hidden objects.

I read them all. Every time. There’s this kind of light-hearted and quirky undertone to all the conversational scenes. I kind of like it this way as I feel it shows that Operencia is not taking itself too seriously and is just out to have a good old fashion dungeon crawling time. During my short time with Operencia, I have been reading all the journal entries the game is throwing at me. I haven’t done this since I played Dragon Age in a warehouse in Iraq back in 2009. This isn’t even the best part. As you play Operencia a narrator will occasionally jump in and detail the scene that has unfolded before me. This really helps make Operencia feel like a grand scale epic adventure that I’m all too eager to continue.

operencia water level

The gorgeous level design is all around. Yes were underwater here. Or are we?!

Honestly, this Operencia Firsts is already too long for most people. There’s way too much to talk about to do it justice in this format. I haven’t even talked about the actual combat system, the cauldron, or some of the puzzles I’ve head-desked myself for. You’ll just have to take my word for it and give it a shot. I don’t think you will be disappointed if a highly polished, beautiful, turn-based RPG with a fantastic story is your kind of game.

I’ll leave you with one more clip, sort of the icing on the already eaten cake. Leave me a message on Twitter and let me know your guess at how I dealt with the following Troll situation.