If you’ve ever had a love for tabletop role-playing games, then you’ll find some enjoyment in playing Talisman: Digital Edition on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Fantasy tabletop games were a popular form of entertainment before the rise of digital media, but have since become more niche over time. Games Workshops, a popular designer of many tabletop games, created the original version of Talisman back in 1983 and has since released many different editions of the game. Talisman: Digital Edition is a faithful recreation from Nomad Games, which features many of the original rules set and a number of new expansions for the digital release.
Playing Talisman: Digital Edition is similar to playing any other board game in digital form. There isn’t a lot of action happening on screen, the effects of events in game are very mild, and the experience is always better with more people. You can have up to four players in a single game, with the added ability of cross-play between both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. You can also go online and play against others, but it’s a bit more difficult to get a full game going. When trying to play online, there is a sever lack of players to get matched up with, which is a shame when you don’t have anyone nearby to join in.
The game itself is fairly complex with lots of key elements factoring into the gameplay. The objective is to be the last player standing on the board as you travel around to various fantasy locations and engage in many role-playing scenarios. Battles play out via tabletop role-playing rules, with dice rolls ultimately determining the outcomes. You can choose your specific character arch-type and use skills unique to your class to progress in the game, much like any fantasy RPG.
Along the way you come across different beasts, characters, and items from classic fantasy storytelling, which influences the momentum of the game in many ways. Finding a magical sword can give your character an extra boost of strength in battle, but might not be enough to stand against an enemy, such as a wandering spirit, without spells or artifacts to assist you in combat.
Most games can last for a very long time, especially when more players are included from the start. Luckily, you don’t have to finish a full game in one session and can save progress at any point. Playing alone with at least two other A.I. characters doesn’t last as long, but can still take a while depending on the outcomes of events during the game.
A noticeable issue is the likelihood of the A.I. getting perfect dice rolls frequently in scenarios that seem a little too unlikely. This is an issue that happens a lot with digital board games with random components, where the outcome doesn’t always feel as random as it probably should be.
If you’ve played Talisman before in tabletop form or any board game that is similar, then you’ll find enjoyment with Talisman: Digital Edition. However, most players that have never dived into this style of game may be a little bit overwhelmed by the number of elements that factor into how the game is played. There are tutorials that detail every aspect of the game in great detail, but it can still be a lot to keep track of. The cross-play functionality is great for when you own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita, however it’s not needed to enjoy a full multiplayer game locally on your console. Talisman is an interesting take on the fantasy genre in board game form, but only becomes fun when you have players who are just as interested in it as you.
This review is based on a digital review code of Talisman: Digital Edition for the PlayStation 4, provided by Nomad Games.