I have currently been Beta testing Winter Wolves‘ in-production game, Seasons of the Wolf (which is available for Beta testing and pre-order at the link). The game takes part in the same world as Loren: Amazon Princess — and, as far as I can tell, somewhere before/during the events of the previous game. Understand that this is not a sequel to Loren, but the sequel is still in-planning. (On a similar note, I never actually finished playing Loren, and was thinking I would do so while waiting for the next Act to be completed for Beta).
Once again, we get to pick from a pre-created male or female character, this time taking control of one of the twins Althea and Shea — the difference being that the character you do NOT choose still remains in your party, and you get to pick the class of BOTH siblings. No matter which sibling you choose, you still end up a slave, as was in Loren.
The combat style has not changed in the slightest, for those whom enjoyed the play style as much as I did. The balance between visual novel and turn-based combat RPG appealed to me nearly as much as any Bioware game ever has.
One noticeable difference was the concept of free-roaming more detailed sections of maps, with various quests, shops and combat to locate. Another new aspect was the Plot Event timer, which gives you the number of days you have left to free-roam until the story naturally progresses. However, you no longer have a world map on which you can travel (or, if there is, it has not yet been implemented).
While the interface may have changed a fair bit, what’s contained within them hasn’t. You still manage your teammates in much the same way. However, there is no longer a ‘Camp’ screen where you can socialize and romance your teammates (or, if there is, it hasn’t yet been implemented, either).
Plots still read like a visual novel, combat is still turn-based and dynamic, choices you make change and shape your game, romance still occurs, and your story and struggle to earn your freedom is up to you.
For those who played Loren: Amazon Princess, the similar interface and HUD will be familiar, and simple enough for those new to the genre.
The art is beautifully rendered, as expected from Winter Wolves.
I believe the music is still being programmed, as it is missing in some places, but otherwise matches the situations and combat atmosphere.
The story is inviting and pulls the player in, wanting to develop relationships and find out what happens to the Snow Elf Twins.
I, personally, love games of this genre and am rarely displeased by any of Winter Wolves’ games. They put an exceptional amount of time and energy into their work, and it shows in the end products.