It’s been almost two years since we last mentioned the succulently moody indie RPG The Iron Oath, when it successfully doubled its relatively modest $45,000 Kickstarter goal and released its first reveal trailer. Now the game has been released in Steam Early Accessand I must say it’s looking (and sounding) quite excellent.
Iron Oath puts you in charge of a band of mercenaries roaming a dark fantasy world in search of loot and adventure. Something that stood out to me in the description is that “the fate of your mercenary company depends on your decisions. Lead your band as they age, retire and die”. No mention of saving the Kingdom, fulfilling your destiny, or becoming the Iron Lord – it’s kind of refreshing for a fantasy RPG to be so grounded in its premise.
There’s a campaign (which isn’t finished yet), but the focus seems to be very much on leading your team and building your reputation over the ages, with your decisions and tactical prowess in combat having major repercussions for who lives, who dies, and how. your story progresses. The developers at Curious Panda Games seem to have some talented writers on board too, because some of the dialogue and written narration I saw on the live stream (which you can watch on Steam Page) looks wonderful.
Iron Oath seems to have a deep leveling system, with over 200 skill upgrades and over 60 traits available for your characters, inviting all kinds of building experimentation. At this point, there are four regions to roam across the overworld map, with future updates promising features like sea travel, a Works Council, and a new region to explore.
Hexagon-based combat is clearly a huge part of the game, but aside from the healthy bursts of blood, it’s hard to gauge from the footage how exactly that works and feels. Early Steam reviews and decent player count suggest this elegant RPG might be one to keep an eye on. The game will cost £15/$20 on Steam.