Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 06, 2024
Songs of Silence - Game-breaking bug

Songs of Silence released this week. It is a 4X fantasy strategy game, with an interesting Art Nouveau style, combining kingdom management with auto-battler combat. 5 hours into the game I got stuck. I was playing the third chapter of the campaign, and an enemy army had taken the only bridge between north and south of my kingdom. I moved my army onto the bridge, but there was a bug, and combat didn't start. Both my main army and the enemies army were shown holding the bridge. I couldn't move my army anywhere anymore. And my other armies couldn't cross the bridge anymore. There was nothing I could do, other than restart the chapter. Which I'm not doing before a patch.

I hadn't seen game-breaking bugs in games for a while. Games frequently have bugs, especially at release. But most of them are either just visual, or they are of the "annoying, but can work around" variety. Songs of Silence has a number of those minor bugs, but also at least this one game-breaking bug as well.

Even without the bug, I can't really recommend Songs of Silence. There is a lot to like about gameplay, but the flow of the campaign isn't great. At the end of chapter 1 some event happens, and then you need to fight your way out in a hurry; but whatever you did in this chapter to build up your kingdom and army, the event resets your army to a standard configuration, making all of your work feel in vain. Chapter 2 is absolutely horrible, as you are supposed to "sneak" with your army through enemy territory. There are a lot of combat encounters you need to avoid, and a few that you need to tackle, but other than trial and error it is very hard to see which are the fights that you need to take. The sneaking, unsurprisingly for an army, doesn't work very well. And until a promised patch, every time you get into a fight you didn't want, you need to sit through the whole battle and defeat screens for several minutes, because you can't just press escape and reload once a battle has started.

Overall I can see some potential in this game. But the €40 price tag (-10% at release) seems a bit steep for what the game is offering. There is only one campaign, and it is not very long. The game is early access, and besides the bugs, there are also several features still missing. I should have waited another year before buying this one.

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