Masquerada: Songs and Shadows Trailer, Screens and Release Date

By Lucy Wood, 1 year ago
Witching Hour Studios has announced a console launch date for tactical RPG Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, a dark magical fantasy game with a setting inspired by Renaissance-era Venice. The game was first released on Steam in 2016 following a successful Kickstarter campaign and the console version will include new features, which will be added simultaneously on PC as a free update.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows tells the story of Cicero Gavar, who returns to the city-state of Citte della Ombre after five years in exile to investigate a kidnapping amidst the chaos of civil war. The people of Ombre don't believe in an afterlife and the dead are only remembered by the songs sung of their accomplishments. The privilege of being remembered after death is granted to rich and powerful members of the aristocratic Masquerada class, while the impoverished Contadani are forgotten and neglected. This deep societal divide is reinforced by possession of ancient masks called Mascherines, which allow their wielders to channel elemental forces into destructive magic.

The magic system of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is built on a set of seven natural skills called Media, which are used to channel the power of the Mascherines. The seven Media are singing, instrumental music, war dance, theatrical dance, drawing, carving and intellectual exploration. These skills give rise to three distinct combat forms or stances:
  • Sicario - a roguish master of theatrical movement
  • Pavisierre - a monolithic war dancer who soaks up damage
  • Dirge - a bardic composer who subjugates with symphony
Cicero and his companions each specialise in one of the three stances in combination with a specific element. An Elemental Tag system allows players to use synergies between characters' spells by casting different elements in sequence, such as combining earth and water magic to trap an enemy in mud or combining fire and water to create a cloud of steam. Spells can also be changed with skill modifiers, increasing the number of strategies available to the player. For example, Cicero has a teleport spell that can be offensively modified to blast hot air when he reappears or defensively modified to freeze enemies at his original location.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows features real-time combat with a tactical pause facility. Success in battle is built on strategic positioning as well as use of character abilities. Player characters, NPCs and enemies all have armour that reduces damage to health but damage mitigation from armour is reduced to 50% for flank attacks and zero for attacks from the rear, giving both offensive and defensive advantages to players who position their squad well.

The console version of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows will have a New Game+ mode that adds new scenes, extended dialogue in existing scenes, and the ability for Cicero to use skills from all four elements.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows will be released on Xbox One on August 8th.

We've got the full list of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
Lucy Wood
Written by Lucy Wood
Lucy wasted her youth in the pursuit of music, art and stories. Eventually she discovered that video games combine all three with shooting and exploding stuff and a gamer was born.