Miasma Chronicles Preview – The Smell of Success

Tactical turn-based RPGs have become commonplace in gaming’s current landscape. Crafting a unique plot line becomes doubly difficult in a genre that has provided us with an abundance of memorable titles. However, following the success of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, it appears the developers, The Bearded Ladies, have another hit on their hands with their upcoming title, Miasma Chronicles. In collaboration with publisher 505 Games, I was given a chance to try the demo for Miasma Chronicles during a preview event. Still, even in the limited amount of time that I played it, I became convinced of this upcoming title’s incredible potential.

Miasma Chronicles takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America where an otherworldly anomaly known only as the ‘Miasma’ has ravaged the land. Our main protagonist, a human named Elvis, grew up in an isolated mining town called Sedentary, where his mother brought him as a baby. But Elvis’s mother has disappeared, leaving only a sentient robotic ‘brother’ named Diggs to look after him and a mysterious glove that can be used to control the Miasma.

The demo starts with a cutscene that shows Elvis attempting to break through a ‘Miasma wall’ using the glove his missing mother left. Unfortunately, the glove ends up ‘overloading’ and catching fire, causing it to need repairs.

Once the introductory scene has concluded, the open-world aspect of the game kicks into gear, and the environmental design encapsulates just how much damage the ‘Miasma’ has done to the continent. Roads and highways littered with abandoned vehicles are completely decimated, and desolated buildings with caved-in walls and floors are barely left standing. The entire scenery paints a bleak picture of near insurmountable struggle for those unfortunate enough to get caught up in the calamity.

Miasma Chronicles 1

As I progressed through the devastated wasteland, I would eventually encounter a typical sight in the world of Miasma Chronicles: a couple of mutant bipedal frogs. More intelligent than our everyday amphibians, these mutated animals are also capable of wielding weapons and using them to kill other creatures. With no clear way to sneak past them inconspicuously, I would have to get through them the old-fashioned way – with a classic, turn-based battle.

Miasma Chronicles’ combat system primarily follows a similar structure to that of Mutant Year Zero. Open-world exploration can be used to place your units in a more advantageous position as you transition smoothly into encounters. Each unit is then given two action points to complete their turn, and surrounding objects and structures may also be used as either partial or full cover to reduce the accuracy of an attack. Although Miasma Chronicles’ combat system is largely similar to some of The Bearded Ladies’ recent releases, its unique storyline, interesting characters, and innovative worldbuilding are more than enough to keep people intrigued.

Miasma Chronicles 2

Miasma Chronicles captured my attention the minute I started playing it with its distinct plot and detailed environment. Although I could only experience its battle system once, I still enjoyed spending most of my playthrough exploring every nook and cranny of the game’s creatively crafted world. The game is primed to release in 2023, but with no specific date set, all I can do is wait patiently and hope that our world doesn’t suddenly become ravaged by the ‘Miasma.’

Miasma Chronicles is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC via Steam in 2023.

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