[PlayStation 5] Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringers Edition Review

by EdEN, Owner

Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringers Edition from Tactical Adventures is a challenging fantasy-themed turn-based tactical RPG on PS5. Check our Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringers Edition review!

Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringers Edition from Tactical Adventures is a challenging fantasy-themed turn-based tactical RPG on PS5. It’s a take on classic tabletop gaming brought to life in videogame form by way of the SRD 5.1 Ruleset, taking the Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) mythology for a spin on Sony’s console. You’ll be exploring ruins and dungeons as you search for legendary treasures as you try to find about what really happened during the age-old cataclysm… to keep history from repeating itself. You can play through the campaign either on your own by controlling all characters in your party or by going online with your PlayStation Plus subscription.

Tactical Adventures took Solasta: Crown of the Magister to Kickstarter back in 2019, seeking €180,000 in funding to work on the game’s development. Once the crowdfunding campaign was over, and thanks to the support of almost 6,000 backers, the project ended up with more than €240,000 in pledges. This allowed the team to release the game on Steam back in 2021 while also working on additional content to be made available as DLC. It’s now 2024, and the game has made its way to PlayStation 5 alongside all of its previously released DLC available for you to purchase.

The first step on this journey will be to choose four different adventurers to take on a campaign. You’ll have a pool of starting characters that you can choose from, which can speed things up if you just want to jump into a new adventure. But since this one is a deep turn-based tactical RPG, it’s advised that you take your time to create a character. There are many different character classes to choose from as a base for each character, and even more classes can be accessed if you purchase the different DLC packs on offer. You can also go all-in and get the Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringers Edition, which includes the main game and DLC in one go. You can also work on adding subclasses for each class in order to better specialize your characters!

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When creating a character, you’ll have to choose its Ancestry. This will determine that character’s appearance, as well as the available gameplay abilities. Some of them can be refined even more by choosing a Lineage sub-option. There’s a solid variety of Ancestry options, so you’ll certainly be able to find some that click with your playing style and the adventuring plans you have for your soon-to-be new party members. Customization is a big part of any proper DnD adventure, and it’s certainly a big part of what you’ll experience in Solasta: Crown of the Magister.

Since I got a chance to play the Lightbringers Edition for this Solasta: Crown of the Magister review, you’ll be able to learn about all of the different Ancestry options available in this game. You can choose between a Hill Dwarf or a Snow Dwarf, a Dragonborn, a Rock Gnome or a Shadow Gnome, a Half-Elf, a Half-Orc, a Human, a Tiefling, a High Elf or a Sylvan Elf, a Marsh Halfling or an Island Halfling. And now, it’s time for you to learn more about each of these Ancestry options so that you can start to work on making an informed decision on who will be joining your party!

The Hill Dwarf is a naturally skilled miner and craftsman who is remarkably resilient and always ready for action. If you go with a Hill Dwarf, you will need to make the most of its Constitution bonus, as well as its Dwarven Resilience, which gives it a saving throw advantage against poison. It will be proficient with a battleaxe, a handaxe, or a warhammer, and it will be unaffected by any heavy armor penalties. It will gain an extra hit point for every level up, and can see normally in dim light and in natural darkness as if in dim light.

The Snow Dwarf is a sturdy and adventurous individual who has managed to adapt to harsher terrain and weather conditions, managing to survive even in low temperatures. They share many of the characteristics of their Hill Dwarf counterparts as far as combat and armor training go and are also less susceptible to poison. They will receive a boost to their Dexterity thanks to their overall nature and will be proficient with the heavy crossbow, giving them an advantage for attacking opponents from a relatively safer distance.

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The Dragonborn is a peculiar Ancestry option hat came into being as the fruit of the dalliances of polymorphed dragons with humanoid lineages. The Dragonborn is agile, being able to move quickly through the battlefield It has boosted Strength and Charisma, and it also benefits from resistance associated with its draconic Ancestry – say, for example, a resistance to acid. You can also use its action to have the Dragonborn exhale destructive energy that can wreak havoc in combat, allowing you to gain the upper hand.

The Rock Gnome lives inside of mountains, which makes it very hardy and ready to take on the darkest of dungeons with ease. Being a Gnome means it will have an advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic. It also receives an Intelligence boost. The Rock Gnome has a proficiency with artisan tools, making it so that it will only spend a quarter of the normal time for crafting normal items. The Shadow Gnome made the most of its ability to hide in plain sight to make the darkness its home, no matter the location. As expected, it has stealth proficiency, and it receives a boost to its Dexterity.

The Half-Elf is an offspring of the human refugees from Timar and the Solastan elves. It’s a versatile and charismatic character who always finds himself between both cultures. It can see normally in dim light and in natural darkness as if in dim light, has a saving throw advantage against charm thanks to its Fey Ancestry, and can speak multiple languages. The Half-Orc is a more brutish option, who, as you can probably guess by now, is the offspring of humans and orcs. Rejected by both sides, it lives a life of violence and solitude. The Half-Orc receives a bonus to Constitucion and Strength, has a bonus for the Intimidation skill, and can resist a killing blow after its hit points are lowered to 0. Also, when it lands a critical hit with a melee weapon, it can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice an additional time and add that damage on top.

The Human Ancestry offers you a safer option when choosing a character for your party. Humans can be anywhere and take on any job, making them a “Jack of all trades, master of none” option. It’s an all-around option with balanced stats, making it an easy choice if you’re not that familiar with other Ancestry choices. The Thiefling came to be after one of its ancestors sold his soul to a fiend, thus forever cursing all offspring. Their appearance does not help their case since it makes people distrust them right away. They do have a natural resistance to fire damage, have a boost to their Intelligence, and can use fire magic.

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The High Elf is a direct descendant of those who ruled Solastra for centuries. They have a natural affinity for magic and can speak multiple languages. They’ve also been trained with swords and bows, making them a good option for close-range or long-range combat. It’s proficient with longsword, short sword, shortbow and longbow, and has higher Intelligence. The Sylvan Elf was born and raised in the forests of Solastra and was thus trained in survival tactics. It has a higher move range, higher Wisdow, has an advantage in Survival when hunting, and is proficient in Athletics.

The Marsh Halfling has grown accustomed to moving through, fighting, and even sleeping in swamp terrain. This has made them slower when moving over other terrain types while making them sturdier than their counterpart. Halflings are inherently lucky, so if they get a 1 during an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, they can reroll. And then we have the Island Halfing, a bit more adventurous type who come from seafaring ancestors who decided to travel to the sunny islands. They have a Charisma bonus, and get an advantage on Dexterity checks thanks to their complexion and Acrobatics boost.

And now, it’s time to talk about the classes! Your options will be Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. The Barbarian is a savage warrior out for blood, always ready to take on even the most deadly of opponents, diving head-first into action. The Bard focuses on using its enchanting voice and the sound of strings to charm its opponent as soon as possible. The Bard is also a proficient spellcaster who favors solving a situation as soon as possible before the fight gets too dangerous for comfort. The Cleric harnesses divine power in order to shield allies while preparing to smite enemies. While, yes, they can certainly heal companions, they don’t shy away from combat and are more than capable of withstanding attacks while dishing out considerable damage.

The Druid is the embodiment of nature’s resilience, not seeking to control nature but to become one with its flow. Thanks to this, the Druid is an excellent spellcaster and can even transform into animals in combat! The Fighter is a good option for your party since it’s a heavily armed and armored character that packs a punch. It can use multiple weapons and can take a beating before falling down for the count. The Monk is a fast and agile martial artist who follows a strict code of conduct. The Monk is not only a strong melee fighter, but it can also channel the internal energy known as Ki to perform feats that would otherwise seem impossible. The Paladin is an elite warrior sworn to fight against evil using the divine power of their patron deity along with their martial skills. Paladins live to spread justice, even if it means knocking some sense into others the hard way.

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The Ranger is accustomed to living out in the wilderness, feeling more comfortable sleeping in a forest than at the town inn. As a trained hunter and attacker, it’s a fierce opponent on the battlefield who can also use spells that channel the energy of nature. The Rogue likes to use stealth and the shadows to attack unsuspecting enemies. Thanks to its trained senses, it can locate secret doors as well as avoid traps and ambushes. The Sorcerer has access to magical powers beyond your wildest dreams… or nightmares. A Sorcerer can make a spell more powerful by sacrificing some of its own energy so that it can deal more damage or for its effects to last longer.

The Warlock gained its power by making a deadly pact with a mysterious entity of great power, which comes at a great, great cost. The Warlock excels in combat, making every single spell they cast worth it. The last class available to you is The Wizard. This is also a character of a spellcasting nature who, unlike others, it has learned how to shape the forces of magic through harsh study. It’s a character that can be used to weaken opponents from a distance while its companions move in to deal the killing blow… all while making sure to keep the Wizard safe from damage.

Something else to consider is the Background of each of your characters. The Background you choose can determine equipment and proficiencies as well as personality flags. These will establish the social behavior of this or that character during narrative segments. You will also get to choose two personality flags on the ethical axes of Law/Chaos and Good/Evil. And yes, you can reinforce a personality trait by choosing the same flag twice. Choose between Academic, Acolyte, Ascetic, Aristrocat, Artist, Lawkeeper, Lowlife, Occultist, Philosopher, Sellsword, Spy, or Wanderer.

You can play through Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringer Edition by selecting from one of the available difficulty settings: Story Mode, Explorer Mode, Authentic Mode, Scavenger Mode, and Cataclysm Mode. Story Mode is for gamers who want to focus on the story and don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the combat. Explorer Mode bumps up the challenge a bit, making it a good option for those of you who are not that familiar with turn-based tactical combat. Authentic Mode offers the standard experience, balanced to mimic the tabletop ruleset. Scavenged Mode is for those of you who are not afraid of a challenge and want to test your abilities in full. As for Cataclysm Mode, it’s one where you won’t be able to make a single mistake, or else your enemies will punish you without showing mercy.

You’ll get to learn the basics of combat during the starting tutorial. While exploring an area, you’ll be able to move a cursor around the screen to select where you want your character to move. You can cycle between characters by using the D-Pad. You can rotate your view by using the right analog stick as needed. To review the party journal, press the R2 button and select it with the X button. This will allow you to learn more about the current objectives you need to complete to carry on. You can also check out the quest log but do know that there’s always going to be more information in the journal. You can hold down the L1 and R1 buttons to highlight objects that you can interact with – chests, doors, and so on.

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When in combat, you won’t be able to move around an area so freely. Moving to a spot around you will need to be done as an action. If you move to a spot in yellow, then your character will dash, and it won’t be able to attack or use a spell. If you move or not, as long as you don’t exhaust your action, you’ll be able to attack with your weapon, dodge to try and avoid incoming attacks, disengage so that your movement doesn’t provoke an opportunity for an attack, select and cast a spell, delay an attack until later in the turn so that you can plan your party’s actions just right, shove a creature one cell away from you and maybe knock them down, use a regular or magical item, or activate a power or special ability.

Knowing what you’re going up against during a fight is a must so that you can always try to be one step ahead of your opponents. You can’t just run around the battlefield as you please, or else you’ll pay for it! Your enemies can attack you while you try to move past them. You can be pushed down from a height too high for your own good. You could be walking into an ambush from which your party will not be able to recover. Take your time to survey your surroundings and always search for the best path to take and the best possible course of action. Fighting is not always needed!

It’s trophy time! This one has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you… and it’s a very, very long list! There are 70 Bronze trophies here, so there’s plenty for you to work on. Some of the objectives to complete are finishing the game without having any character ever dying, resurrecting a fallen character, defeating an enemy with a critical hit, dagame a friendly character with a spell, starting the campaign with a Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, and Rogue in your party, have 20,000 gold in your inventory, defeat 20 enemies while using fire damage in a single campaign, as well as making specific choices along the way. On top of those trophies, each DLC pack will add additional trophies, and there’s even an additional list called Solasta: Crown of the Magister – Add-on list, which has 11 Bronze trophies. In the end, you’re looking at a whopping 131 trophies in total if you get all DLC.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a challenging fantasy-themed turn-based tactical RPG on Sony’s console. It follows the SRD 5.1 Ruleset, bringing the Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) formula to a video game setting. With the option of playing at home on your own or taking the battle online, you’ll always have a new quest to take on at all times. Solasta: Crown of the Magister is out on PlayStation 5 with a $29.99 price tag. You can also get the Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringer Edition for $59.99. This includes the base game, along with the following DLC: Lost Valley, Palace of Ice, Primal Calling, Inner Strength, and Supporter Pack.

This Solasta: Crown of the Magister Lightbringer Edition review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Tactical Adventures.

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