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Introducing Masquerada: Songs & Shadows, a 2.5D Tactics-based RPG

Developed by Singapore-based Witching Hour Studios, Masquerada: Songs & Shadows is an RPG that, like many others, hopes to bring back the tactical aspect to RPGs. Viewed from a 2.5D perspective and employing a “real-time-with-pause” system, it’s hard not to compare the game with Baldur’s Gate. In fact, even the developers use Interplay’s classic RPG to describe it…and they don’t seem to just be name dropping either.

Like the Infinity Engine games, Masquerada allows for a lot of hands-on strategic planning, even showing you AOE spell ranges and highlighting the paths that your party members will walk after commanded. The larger character models and cartoonish world may seem off-putting to genre diehards, but it does help separate it from the games it has otherwise decided to emulate.

Also working to give Masquerada its own identity is the world lore and story:

    Unravel the facades enshrouding the city of Ombre in Masquerada, a 2.5D isometric action RPG set in a dark Venetian fantasy world where people with masks are the only ones who can cast magic. This empowers the masked aristocrats, the Masquerada, to lord it over the impoverished Contadani.
    Against this narrative backdrop of class warfare and conspiracies of fey creature manifestations, players experience the journey of five flawed members of the Masquerada who struggle to rediscover faith in their diverse pasts and backgrounds.
    The Masquerada, aristocrats of the Citte, have hoarded the destructive magic granted by ancient Mascherines to oppress the Contadani, the ones who have nothing. Those who long for more have pushed back, stealing Mascherines for themselves to aid a rebel movement; these men and women have become known by the Citte as Maskrunners. Thus has a grave and prolonged civil war dragged deep scars across Ombre, even as dark mysteries concerning the Mascherines slowly unveil themselves

Witching Hour Studios has an official website up for Masquerada, as well as a Facebook page in which they keep fans up to date with their progress.

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About

Carl is both a JRPG fan and a CRPG'er who especially loves European PC games. Even with more than three decades of gaming under his belt, he feels the best of the hobby is yet to come.



9 comments
  1. Sebastian Mikulec
    Sebastian Mikulec
    March 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Interesting. I’m always happy to see games coming out of places we haven’t traditionally gotten games from before. The cartoony art style doesn’t bother me. I am curious how much non-combat stuff there is to do in the game. Can you avoid combat? Talk your way out of it? Use stealth? Take a different route and avoid the encounter entirely?

    Anyway, I’ll keep my eye on this.

  2. BurgerUnit
    BurgerUnit
    March 14, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    It not being turn based combat and also apparently having pre created characters are kind of turn offs for me. Still, I’m such a big nerd I will probably check it out anyway.

  3. Tubsiwub
    Tubsiwub
    March 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Looks pretty awesome. I’ll bite.

  4. Nagato
    Nagato
    March 14, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Carl, let me just take this opportunity to thank you for reporting on these kinds of games, which if not for you most of us would never even hear about.

  5. TRUndercover
    TRUndercover
    March 14, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Now this looks very interesting indeed….

  6. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Final Fantasy Tactics’ main characters were pregen, but that game was still amazing. ;)

  7. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 15, 2016 at 9:39 am

    So because of this I went and looked up other games they made? ….They have a Roman-based Dust Mite tactics game. Wat? XD

  8. eltonBorges
    eltonBorges
    March 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    It looks interesting. In fact, it got me interested.

  9. InfectedAI
    InfectedAI
    March 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    It looks pretty fun, really digging the art style, and I love seeing games come from countries that don’t normally produce them. They’ve definitely got my attention.