Stories: The Path of Destinies - PC/PS4
Of all the games I saw at PAX South, Stories: The Path of Destinies by Spearhead Games sits in the top of my most anticipated list. Currently expected to release this spring on PC and PS4, Stories puts players in charge of Reynardo the Fox as he fights against a mad emperor. Players must guide Reynardo through colorful and detailed environments using a variety of skills and equipment to slash, hookshot, and dash past enemies. In addition to gaining points to level up skill trees, players will also be able to aquire and upgrade various weapons along the way. While the short demo had Reynardo adventuring alone, a very well voiced and Bastion-like narrator added a fun, and often cheeky, stream of dialogue.
Where Stories really gets interesting, though, is in the different story path options that are presented after each area. At each of these junctions, players are given the choice of what task they want Reynardo to go after next. In the demo, a few of these choices put saving an old friend against obtaining a cursed treasure and rescuing a princess against an ancient, powerful weapon. While some of the choices presented themselves multiple times, the path players choose to follow will have dramatic effects on the course of the game, ultimately resulting in different endings. As an added layer for this divergent path system, Reynardo is able to start over after completing a playthrough with all of his skills and memories intact. Unlike the vast majority of games with New Game Plus features, Reynardo is fully aware that he is repeating the same events and will even mention it in his dialogue. Anyone looking for a highly replayable adventure RPG should keep an eye out for Stories: The Path of Destinies when it releases this spring.