Impression: Miasma Chronicles – A Light in the Darkness

After only finishing the first chapter of Miasma Chronicles I’ve come to report on the quality of the game, and, much like its graphics, it is of high quality. Developed by The Bearded Ladies and published by 505 Games, Miasma Chronicles should be on your radar.

While on paper it appears as your run-of-the-mill tactical shooter, there are many twists and improvements the developers have made to this mechanic. Stealth has turned into a tactical component. Some weapons allow you to perform a silent kill, which means you can pick off enemies without triggering a full combat sequence. Because of this unique mechanic I found myself scoping out the entire area trying to see which enemies are by themselves. When a combat sequence is done, including the silent kills, your character’s ammo automatically replenishes, allowing you not to worry about reloading. The only things that unfortunately don’t replenish are special moves and kilowatts. Special moves are unlocked on your character’s skill tree (which you can thankfully toggle and experiment to your liking), and their availability during combat could win or lose you the skirmish. Kilowatts is the amount of power you have to perform super moves, but the meter can only be charged through energy cores or by finding miasma vortexes (which happens at the end of large battle sequences). It’s confusing why neither of these systems recharge. Perhaps you may be too overpowered if they did? But your health replenishes after every combat, so it feels a little unbalanced.

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Turns out blasting through the miasma wall was only the START of your adventure

Moving into a battle is fluid and not grid-based, until you finally engage in combat. Each character has their own personality and strategy on the battlefield. Moment to moment gameplay when battling is gritty, intense, and highly rewarding. Your crew cheers and jeers at one another, but nothing criticizes the player for poor choices (which I make many of). The story about these characters is mild and surface level, but then again I’ve only finished the first chapter thus far. Currently the story is predictable, but the game pads it out with side conversations and flavor text. Some flavor text on the items and logs are silly and lighten the game from its gloomy atmosphere. The farther your journey into Miasma Chronicles, the more the story starts to unravel.

The art and audio is artfully put together. I found myself humming along to the rhythmic battle music as I planned my next attack. Most actions you make in the game have great user feedback where you can almost tell what’s happening with your eyes closed. I was amazed on how much information could be displayed from the UI without actually taking up the screen. Helpful icons and sight points tell you of who you can hit as you move your cursor to your next rally location. Miasma Chronicles also features fully animated cutscenes and fantastic environmental design. The camera angle could be strange at first, but after moving around the world and seeing buildings vanish as you walk into them you understand how cool (and helpful) it can be. The only beef I have with the art is the UI can get stuck in battle states at times, like when it displayed the AMBUSH event in mid-combat.

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Being able to see sight lines and hit percentages is great to see in a tactical game

Besides its small pitfalls, Miasma Chronicles has been a blast to play so far and I highly recommend giving it a peek.

Jordan played Miasma Chronicles on PC with a code provided by the developer. The game is also available on PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series

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