Tails of Iron Xbox Series X Review

Tails of Iron is a hidden gem within the dark fantasy genre and well-worth exploring if you don't mind all the death that will follow.

By Grayshadow, Posted 31 Dec 2021

Dark fantasy is often a difficult genre to explore, especially in gaming due to the sensitive topics that the genre usually focuses on. Games like Dragon Age, Dark Souls, and The Witcher are often credited as the best examples of these genres, an extremely violent world where brief happiness is only found by those willing to die for it. Tails of Iron is another prime example of dark fantasy done right, all while focusing on the lives of rats fighting frogs. This brutal action RPG rewards patience and opportunist and punishes hubris as you attempt to avenge your fallen kingdom.

Tails of Iron, Xbox Series X, Review, Cover, Gameplay, NoobFeed,

Tails of Iron stars Redgi, heir to the throne of his kingdom. As the smallest and youngest brother he's eager to prove himself with extensive training in combat and those skills will become paramount to the survival of himself and his domain. His father found peace for his people after a massive war with the frogs after uniting all the rats under 1 banner but the past repeats itself. With Redgi losing his kingdom after a surprise attack from the frogs and his father is killed. With his kingdom raided the young prince must face the frog horde and unite his people as his father did against the frogs.

The narrative is told through 2 primary elements, text boxes with graphics and the legendary voice of Geralt of Doug Cockle. Similar to Darkness Dungeon's Wayne June Cockle's voice adds to the intensity of the story and complements the dearly musical score. It's a match made in heaven to the point I believed this world could be a dimension within the Witcher universe. The other way is through text boxes appearing over characters with visuals showcasing what the character is saying.

Combat is brutal and focuses on dodging and parrying combined with ranged and melee attacks. Enemies are swift so it's up to the player to determine the best course of action. Redgi's default weapons include a 1-handed weapon along with a shield for quick attacks. 2-handed weapons offer better damage at the cost of speed and finally, you have range separated into bows, crossbows, and guns. Bows are the most balanced and crossbows are slower with high damage and guns kill things easily but at the cost of ammo is very expensive and rare. To give players some awareness indicators on the enemies telegraph whether an attack can be blocked, parried, or cannot be defended against. These color-coded options provide some ease to combat but you're still expected to remain vigilant. 

Tails of Iron, Xbox Series X, Review, Cover, Gameplay, NoobFeed,

Combat is fast and punishing, requiring players to memorize enemy attack patterns or suffer the consequences. You'll fight a lot of the same bugs and frogs but the unique fights against the deadly bosses offer distinct challenges that often test your mettle. Even after completing the game, there are plenty of optional boss fights against high-tier opponents that reward the player with even more powerful loot. With plenty of ways to mix and match your arsenal to suit your needs.

Redgi can go into battle with a variety of light, medium, and heavy armor options. Each one provides better protection for specific enemies and the heavier the gear the slower Redgi gets. You can decide whether you want to be light on your feet or a walking tank. If hit you can replenish yourself with bug juice from your canteen that can only be refilled at bug juice barrels in the world. This also goes for arrows and poison which adds bonus damage to your melee weapons.

Death is constant in Tails of Iron and there are no quicksaves. When you save at a bench that's where you'll get tossed to if killed. This can become annoying during optional boss encounters since they're placed in out-of-the-way areas occasionally. And you'll need to complete these side missions despite the game stating they're optional since Redgi will need every coin to rebuild his kingdom.

Tails of Iron, Xbox Series X, Review, Cover, Gameplay, NoobFeed,

Missions are provided through notice boards and NPCs around the environment. With the exception of the NPCs specific items, the side missions are marked on the mark so you don't get lost locating them. When completed I wish the game would allow you to automatically get transported outside instead of having to walk out. You're given the rewards right award but the option to be placed outside the notice board would save the player a lot of tedious backtracking. Other items used in trade are bug parts and silver which can be obtained from defeating enemies and used in trading more common supplies within the world. These are easier to obtain and you'll always have enough.

The most striking feature of Tails of Iron is the visual style. The presentation is stellar with a large variety of environments that constantly add new areas worthy of exploration. I did wish there were more common enemies to fight as you'll encounter mostly the same bugs from the game throughout and once you get a decent weapon set common enemies are more of an annoyance.

Tails of Iron, Xbox Series X, Review, Cover, Gameplay, NoobFeed,

Tails of Iron demands your best in this unforgiving world full of death. The combat is swift and brutal but rewarding with tons of items to deck out your heroic king in the upcoming battles. The backtracking for the mandatory side missions can become tedious but exploring this world is a joy regardless. Tails of Iron is a hidden gem within the dark fantasy genre and well-worth exploring if you don't mind all the death that will follow.

Review Copy Provided

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Tails of Iron

90/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, WII
Publisher(s): United Label, CI Games
Developer(s): Odd Bug Studio
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Souls-like, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2021-09-17

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