Urtuk: The Desolation -- tactical RPG

A tactical RPG in a procedurally generated world, with heavy emphasis on interesting tactical combat that has very little RNG. Style, art, and atmosphere all look promising, if grim.

Looks like your characters are unique. One reviewer on Steam writes: “in Urtuk, each character has a set of invisible traits that they unlock as they perform certain actions in battle. My Berzerker probably isn’t anything like your Berzerker, because my Berzerker developed traits that let him stay alive at 2 HP against an onslaught of melee attacks. He is also incredibly good attacking enemies beneath him, so I always try to pair him with my javelin mercenary who can change elevation.”

Still EA, but Das Tactic says it already plays well.

Going on my wishlist, while I am still obsessing over Deity Empires.

Definitely looks like something to follow up on. But you forgot the so common two-word warning: Early Access.

I bought it last week after following its development on itch.io. For those wondering how active the devs are with the community, check this out:

My Berserker will at least know how to spell his class correctly.

I watched that DasTactic vid and oh my god, it’s like they created my dream game. I must have this! Also, the art in the game is fantastic.

Bought it. The allure was too great to resist for long.

That was like 5.5 hours, my man ;)

We demand an immediate comprehensive review.

Looks interesting but my major concern is the automatic scaling of enemies.

I found that I never enjoyed games where games automatically makes enemies more powerful than me. For me it seem to punish level ups and puts me off in a major way. My team would never feel powerful and things becomes a slog, which is the reason I avoid games like Skyrim, because I absolutely hated Morrowind.

So far, 5 battles in, that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Playing on normal and none of the enemies seem overly strong. It seems like it will be about like the scaling in Battle Brothers and that wasn’t an issue for me. We’ll see when I get deeper into the game but so far I like it a lot. The combat is quite fun. My berserker is just insane with his damage so far. He’s killed twice as many enemies as any of my other characters.

Speaking of characters, you start with 3 but I’m already up to 6 in my party. Two knights, a berserker, a priest (Urtuk himself), a crossbowman and my latest addition, a bloodknight. Fun stuff.

Sounds cool!

Battle Bro’s does not scale in the sense that it takes your reputation and spawn enemies off your progress. It unlocks the next higher group of available enemies into a pool and draw encounters from there. Works very well. After you unlock the most powerful enemies in the game, they stay that way and never level up after that.

Please do give more impressions! Really hope I can also get to enjoy this!

I purchased the game; three battles in. I like it quite a bit so far. You travel over the map from town to town with a goal it mind and have to make decisions (reminds me a little bit of Banner Saga minus the beautiful cut scenes). There seems to be a ton of depth to the combat with ways ta maximize the tactics between your party. You get extra abilities from some type of mutations but do not know enough about the mechanics yet. I suspect that grabbing of different abilities or paths is where the game will shine.

The artwork is fabulous and very pleasing to the eye. Just feels cool for a lack of better words.

It is described as a ‘survival RPG’ but I don’t see the survival elements that factor in? Can @geewhiz or @Coldsteel explain?

So far I’m not seeing any ‘survival’ aspects. It’s more a tactical turn based rpg. Urtuk was mutated in a medical prison camp before he was rescued so the campaign story is for him to find a cure for his mutation before it’s too late. Maybe that’s what they mean. I’m not seeing a counter or timer or anything for that though so who knows.

I am assuming at this point that one has to gather enough mutagen type materials to keep your power curve or you fail to save him.

I just learned that Urtuk can die once (means he took an injury). If he takes another injury you lose the game. I know there is some type of healing process. I am playing on easy mode at the moment to get a feel for the game. In easy mode after Urtuk took the injury - he came into the next battle at full health. I am thinking that if he dies again you lose (but it doesn’t seem to punish you with a depleted health at least on easy mode).

I am guessing that if the other characters take two injuries they die. Will have to wait and see what happens when I run into that scenario.

One or two frustrating things due more to my lack of experience with the interface. I can level up Urtuk (it has an arrow indicating I can do so but can not figure out how to level him up (hitting the arrow doesn’t work - unless it is not in the game yet). Anyone figures that out please let me know.

The other frustrating thing is that you can play the game with just your mouse. You can select the normal actions when you pick the hex (shoot arrow, hit them with a sword, etc ). However, when you move using the mouse you have to hit the Steps button to complete the move. I am so used to just clicking on hexes/tiles in other games that i keep getting missing the steps button. This part does not seem as smooth to me (but probably just have to get used to it).

The game really does remind me a lot of Banner Saga. A lot of special moves to learn and than figure out the synergy.

For example, the Priest can place Aegis on the Berserker. If the Berserker has the mutant power of Critical Counterstrike; you get a good combo going. If you block all the damage than you get a critical counter-strike on the enemy. The Priest can use Aegis on the Berserker or the guardian can tank and protect the Berserker with his shield (triggering the critical counterstrike)

Another fun thing to do is to ram enemies. The Spear guy hits with a lot of force and you can use the environment to great effect too. Like push them into bear traps you can lay down, or spikes, or a wall and so on.

There is a battle guide built into the game - but I had to take pics of it and put it into OneNote so I can reference it to try and figure things out.

You do fill out your band of Warriors fairly quickly. I did not see any other Priests, Guardians, or Berserkers. These are the three types I started the game with. Not sure what would happen if I started with a different three types - would I run into Guardian, Priest, etc?

You don’t do it there. On the main world map click on the ‘manage party’ icon on the right. Once on that screen you can assign your level-up skill points after you click the circular icon for each character (it will have a lit ring around it when selected). You get 3 skill points for each level-up. That’s also where you equip your party with mutators.

Huh? I’ve been using the mouse and I don’t use the keyboard at all to move. Just left click the hex where you want to move and they move there. Then you can cancel move, make an attack or use an ability.

You have to click on the Steps button that appears in a hex. If you are a little bit off you get the dreaded buzzer. : )

I also have run into the problem that the game will not allow me to move to my other monitor to click on things.

Thanks for the pointer to the skills. I missed that on the Manage screen!

I’m beginning to think we have rather similar tastes in both games & art style!

Is there a way to change portraits or unit models? Ugly and horrible looking avatars and soldiers on my side just don’t do it for me…