Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim from Overflow Games is an action RPG with aspects of crafting, exploration and puzzle solving. You explore a vibrant and colourful world that instantly reminded me of the Zelda franchise. The main character and the environments you explore feel very reminiscent of Wind Waker and has clearly drawn inspiration from games like this. You even have to sail between eight main islands and play from a third person perspective. The game is visually impressive with its own unique style and gorgeous environments.
The game starts with Tyrim, the main hero of the game, who is relaxing in his home town. He doesn’t want to become a Viking warrior and sees himself as an inventor seeking a peaceful life. The Viking warriors of the island have been out on another quest and are now returning home to the island. Their arrival is unexpected and Tyrim finds himself caught up in an adventure he didn’t expect. The story is decent enough but does feel a little thin. You are searching for clues and lost warriors but it never feels exciting and having longer cutscenes would have helped to create a bit more depth to the story.
The gameplay is certainly influenced by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with its world layout and heavy focus on exploration. The game when broken down mainly consists of crafting, puzzle-solving, combat and exploration. You not only explore your home island but you also get to sail across the sea and visit other mysterious islands, much like Wind Waker. It’s not a bad thing that the game has drawn inspiration from the classic title as it’s a fantastic premise and gives the game a sense of mystery and intrigue. Cornerstone still manages to have its own unique design and feel despite having obvious parallels to Wind Waker.
The exploration in the game requires you to use platforming aspects of gameplay to reach certain areas. The majority of the environments you explore are flat but some situations see you jumping and climbing to reach hidden areas. Controlling Tyrim can feel a little awkward and stiff but once you start playing enough it feels fine. I love third person exploration games and having the ability to freely discover hidden secrets.
Crafting is another huge part of the game and being the inspiring inventor Tyrim is he has the ability to come up with some unique items. The objects and equipment you can craft all play a part in helping you tackle enemies, reach different locations and progress in the game. You can make weapons like swords and spears, build crates to climb on or even make a hang-glider to reach far-away areas. To build these items you must collect materials and resources that you come across whilst exploring. You will also need specific blueprints in order to craft certain items and equipment. This is where taking on multiple side quests can be hugely beneficial and help you obtain various materials and blueprints that will help you later in the game.
The game progresses through a series of quests that see you exploring locations, talking to various characters and collecting items. Tyrim is a likeable character and the other people you meet along the way also have their own unique personalities which I enjoyed. The story felt a bit light but I enjoyed how the world and characters add depth to the experience. The writing in the game in well done and the characters you meet have real charm and reason to talk to.
The presentation is really strong and is visually charming with a colourful and vibrant style. Again taking inspiration from Wind Waker with its cartoon-like visuals and world design. Exploration always felt rewarding and every area you explore feels genuinely unique and interesting to visit, you also never know what you might discover. The soundtrack also helps add to the whimsical and lighthearted tone of the game. It doesn’t overpower or dictate the game and simply helps to elevate moments of interest and has an ethereal and magical vibe to it.
Overall Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim is a fun game that certainly takes inspiration from the Zelda franchise, but that’s not a bad thing. The game still manages to have its own unique aspects and it feels well designed. I loved the freedom to explore, uncover and collect items throughout the various environments. The combat feels a little clumsy but I enjoyed the platforming and crafting mechanics. I would strongly recommend this game if you like third person action games that see you exploring interesting open world environments in a beautifully designed world.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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