Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim is an action adventure, role-playing game where you are required to solve puzzles, and craft items in order to save the day. You play the game as Tyrim, a viking kid from the village of Borja. Tyrim is kind of like the anti-viking in the beginning. All of the adults are surprised to see that Tyrim is still in the village. They try to encourage him to leave the island like all the other men. His best friend tells him about all the quests he goes on with his dad and that Tyrim should do the same. Over and over Tyrim tells everyone that he is happy staying in the village to improve his crafting skills. Tyrim finds out that the other men have yet to return to the village including his own father. Finally he decides to leave the village in order to save his father and the other men.
You don’t get to set sail on your adventure just yet. There are a series of things you must do on the island first. One of those things is the tutorial. The tutorial teaches you how to fight, how to throw things, use the shield, pick up items, and so forth. The way the tutorial is set up is actually pretty cool. You are taken to a separate part of the island to basically train. Once you have completed each stage of the tutorial, you have to defeat one of the skeleton soldiers. After that you are done with the training. Then once back to the island you must do a series of quests for the villagers in order to get a blueprint to make a boat. Everything you will need in this game you must craft yourself.
That also means collecting materials to make the items also. The blueprints for any item aren’t complicated though. Once you have the blueprint for a boat, collected the materials, and build it then you can leave the island to begin your adventure. How quickly you do all this just depends on you. I am not big on crafting in any game whatsoever. I liked that the crafting system in this game wasn’t complicated or over the top. It was simple and straight-forward. I wish the same could be said for the controls. Using a mouse and keyboard to play this game was not as easy as it should have been. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by using a controller.
For starters it is a lot easier moving the camera around on a controller because there is a separate button for it. Whereas in this game you must use the mouse to move the camera around and use the mouse to fight as well. In most games nowadays moving the camera around is optional. In Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim it is mandatory. It doesn’t move around automatically. It can be very annoying very quickly trying to move the camera so you can see what you are doing while fighting a skeleton soldier. The controls weren’t as responsive as they should have been either.
There are 8 islands to explore and they are separated into sections. The first is Borja, then Dune, Himama, Rockwell, Himalu, Mokaga, Gou-Hai and The Veil. You have to explore the islands in order. You can’t skip around and explore whatever ones you want. In order to get to where Tyrim’s dad is you need a bigger boat then the one you left the island with. In order to get that you need the blueprint first. In order to get the blueprint you must complete the dungeons on the first three local islands.The quests on each island are similar to the ones on Borja. The first three islands aren’t really hard or challenging. The game doesn’t really get interesting until the last four islands. That is where you start to find the missing vikings. It feels like that when the game really begins.
The graphics fit the game pretty well and go with the overall tone of the game. The environments, and characters have a cartoony look to them that remind me of Banjo-Kazooie from the N64. I liked the art style they were trying to go with but at times the game looked like it belonged on the N64 or the original PlayStation. It is a game that people of all ages can play. It’s kind of rare nowadays to find an open-world game with no gore, or bloodshed of any kind. You can feel comfortable letting kids play this game. Since it is an adventure game once you beat the story that’s it for the game. There isn’t any sense to replaying it after that.
Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim has a lot of promise. The graphics are pretty decent, good but simple story line, open-world exploration, and people of all ages can play it. What really hinders me from enjoying the game more is the controls and lack of things to do besides crafting items. We shouldn’t have to wait til we get to the last four islands to see any villagers. Crafting is okay but the whole point in an adventure game is to see action. The lack of action makes the game kind of dull. I expect to do way more in an adventure game besides craft items. Not only were the controls unresponsive, but so was Tyrim at times. Having to move the camera manually was just annoying. I found the overall simplicity of the game to be relaxing at times which I enjoyed. Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim is a diamond in the rough. With a little more polish it can shine above the rest.
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