Genre RPG Publisher
Publisher in Russia No Developer
Minimum requirements Intel Core i5-2500 3.3 GHz / AMD Athlon 200GE 3.2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 2 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GT 740 / AMD Radeon HD 5770, 5 GB of storage , internet connection, operating system Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 / 11 Recommended requirements Intel Core i3-8350K 4.0 GHz / AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 4 GB memory , e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, Windows 10 / 11 operating system Release date September 6, 2022 Age limit 12+ Localization Text Platforms PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
Played on PS5
Very strange things are happening in London: chaos and confusion reigns in the streets, the minds of most citizens are clouded, and the people themselves seem to have broken the chain, uncontrollably attacking those who are not influenced by unknown forces. Behind all this, something big and sinister is felt – the resourceful journalist Amelia is taken to understand what is happening and unravel the tangle of mysterious incidents. Her investigation begins with the most suspicious place in the city – a colorful booth under the sign of Circus Electrique, where the heroine’s eccentric uncle runs the show. Convinced that the relative is not involved in terrible events, the journalist, having secured the support of the circus troupe by force, continues her research on the streets of London. There, serious tests of strength and spirit await her, a grandiose battle for the minds of Londoners and the disclosure of bitter secrets from her own past.
Despite the fact that Circus Electrique almost immediately evokes associations with the magnificent Darkest Dungeon, it still deftly interprets the mechanics and game features to fit its original surroundings. Four circus performers (here a group of suicides is called a reconnaissance squad) travel around the location, periodically choosing a direction at frequent forks. The chosen path is littered with all sorts of points of interest: street vendors offering various power-ups; first-aid posts where beaten circus performers are patched up; a mobile fair, where the squad can get a little experience or, say, raise the loyalty scale (more on that below).
And the map is full of various amusements. For example, there are places where you can play coin (reminiscent of curling, but on a much more modest scale) and get a certain cash bonus for winning. Or take part in a bizarre reaction game of distributing food to the suffering. And having met fans of our circus on the street, artists can arrange a spontaneous performance, which consists in a mini-game like “Wheel of Fortune”. The final prize (or lack thereof) directly depends on our luck and willingness to take risks.
These amusements are quite organically woven into the entourage of the game and competently alternate, almost without having time to get bored. Unless closer to the finals, the next game of coin makes you roll your eyes wearily due to the practical and emotional meaninglessness of this (and others) mini-game in the later stages. But, of course, these activities are only secondary entertainment between the main points on the map, where we will have fights with steampunk mimes, police officers on unicycles and other grotesque inhabitants of London’s streets.
As in the darkest source of inspiration, in combat, a lot depends on the location of the characters. There are also no classes that specialize in one thing – the characters, depending on the open skills, as well as their position in the squad, perform different functions. For example, a clown can not only heal his colleagues, but also take on the burden of a “tank”, forcing enemies to hit only his amusing person with special skills. The acrobat is able to deal solid damage to a single target and resort to control effects – for example, reducing enemy damage. And the fire tamer is good at dealing damage to multiple enemies, or increasing the loyalty of her colleagues.
This parameter is no less important in combat than the health indicator, and, in principle, is similar to the stress indicator from Darkest Dungeon, but there are several nuances. For example, enemies also have a loyalty scale, and some of the attacks of our troupe members are directed specifically against it. It is worth it to go down to zero, as the character and the trail caught a cold. True, this rule also applies to our heroes. And even with critically low levels of devotion, the characters fall into various negative states, which entail extremely unpleasant consequences. For example, the artist loses effectiveness and deals significantly less damage, or even attacks his comrades-in-arms. But if this indicator reaches a maximum, then the squad members will begin to retaliate to enemy attacks, inflict critical hits more often, or protect colleagues. By the way, in the vast arsenal of skills, the characters have especially strong ones, the use of which consumes precisely devotion.
In total, Circus Electric has fifteen different classes, which gives a fairly extensive field for experimentation. Almost the entire passage I want to try new heroes, change their positions in the squad, again and again checking the effectiveness of the compositions in search of the “gold”. But the game will not allow you to pick up a team that will tear everyone and always in its path, and regularly throws up special battle conditions. For example, in the rain, the powerful fiery whirlwinds of the fire tamer will hardly burn the opponent, but the deadly electrified shower of blades of the knife thrower will cope with even the most tenacious fighter.
In general, the local combat features, although they resemble the shape of the Darkest Dungeon, are strikingly different from it in details. There is also a significant difference in overall complexity. Ruthless, unforgiving or even complex Circus Electrique can hardly be called. A rare battle will make you sweat or force you to rethink your entire tactics. Even boss battles do not promise severe trials. This will probably scare away connoisseurs of furious hardcore. But the game can be a good entry point into the genre for beginners. The main thing is not to get confused in a huge number of managerial nuances …
In the periods between fights, we have to manage the busy life of the circus. For example, take care of the troupe: send the wounded on a sortie to a sleeping van, hire new artists on the train, immediately assign newcomers to the training tent to gain experience. And someone else needs to help the oracle. After all, the fortune-teller allows you to get more detailed information about upcoming battles and enemy compositions, and also improves the accuracy of our fighters and allows you to restore loyalty after the battle.
It’s also worth checking into the workshop more often and collecting vital consumables like first-aid kits or items that deal damage. Here you can also make various things from the “boosters” section – spotlights, smoke, decorations. All this will come in handy in order to arrange an unforgettable circus show, which will scream all the headlines of tomorrow’s newspapers.
However, representations also have a very practical purpose. Various shows bring cash, resources to create things in the workshop, and also give experience points to the circus and each artist participating in the show. By the way, participation in the performance will not allow a member of the troupe to join the reconnaissance squad – either art or scuffle.
The success of the show depends on the participants, or rather, on their special parameters that are responsible for different aspects of the program. Different performances will require different compositions, and preferably with characters that are compatible with each other. After all, the coherence of the participants will also affect the final rating of the show. The further you go, the more difficult and demanding the programs become for the artists, but the reward turns out to be much nicer. The very process of “assembling” a dream show sometimes captivates more than the outings themselves, and much more time can be spent on the distribution of talents. But then how pleasant it is then to read laudatory praises! It is a pity that the performances themselves take place behind the scenes.
A separate merit of the developers of Circus Electric is a sense of proportion. The game ends almost where the interest begins to dissipate, leaving, albeit not delighted, but in a pleasant saturation. And although it can be a little tedious to follow the local plot (although you can’t call it bad), and local fights are unlikely to live up to the expectations of Darkest Dungeon fans, the show can be considered quite successful. Loud seated applause!
original surroundings and unusual visual embodiment; many colorful characters, interesting combat combinations and unusual game nuances; exciting secondary activities.
in the final act, it is clearly felt that the game has nothing to offer; if you’re expecting the same demanding gameplay as Darkest Dungeon, you’re in vain.
In Circus Electrique, the motley circus aesthetic is perfectly maintained. The original character design, backgrounds of locations that embodied the green streets of the city and picturesque views of London – the game looks remarkable and fresh. However, the whimsical visual style will take some getting used to and is likely not to everyone’s liking.
The musical arrangement in the game is also designed in the style of old-fashioned circus performances. It is unlikely that even one composition will sink into the soul, but the appropriate background for tactical battles and dramatic ups and downs turned out to be worthy.
The sound design is also of high quality: each location has its own unique and elaborate sound, and the combat sounds (blows, crackling electrical discharges, the ringing of sharpened steel) came out just right.
Single player game
An exciting tactical adventure with lots of fun secondary activities.
Estimated travel time
The campaign will take about fifteen to twenty hours. Also, after the credits, you can continue to study the map of London and find all the secrets of the city. Special skirmishes also open up, where you have to confront several waves of enemies.
Circus Electric turned out to be a very interesting project with its own unique style and appropriate reading of the Darkest Dungeon mechanics. Although this is not a deafening sensation, the performance definitely succeeded.
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