March 29, 2011 by dracs
Exalted is an RPG which draws upon the mythologies of various cultures, as opposed to the Tolkienesque roots common to other fantasy role playing.
Long ago the world was created by a race called the Primordials, who created the gods, mortals and all the world. The gods wanted to rebel against these oppressive masters, but were unable to, so they bestowed portions of their power upon chosen mortals who then fought their battles for them. These Exalted, as they became known, won the world from the primordials and ruled it in the name of their gods.
As an Exalted dies, their power reincarnates in another chosen mortal, thereby an Exalted gains a measure of immortality.In the game you take on the role of a Solar Exalted, the most powerful group of the chosen who were subsequently hunted to supposed extinction by the more numerous Dragon-Blooded Exalted.
In this background the comic itself reminds me somewhat of Neil Gaimen’s The Eternals. The plot follows a group of Solar Exalted as they try and avoid the attentions of the Dragon-Blooded rulers, while looking into the the recent appearences of the restless dead around the city.
The plot has some interesting dimensions to it, with the ordeals of the Solars playing out alongside the political intrigues of the Dragon-Blooded. The characters too have their merit, each being one of the different classes available to play as within the RPG itself. However, the plot tends to feel rather rushed and there is little time allowed for you to really get to grips with who the characters are before they are thrust into the events. For example, one character awakens to his exalted status near the beginning of the book. No sooner is he presented to you than he is awakened to his abilities and enters the main plot line, you are provided little time in which to get to know the character or build any kind of sympathy for him.
The art style itself is very bright and cartoonish, yet it does not take this to ridiculous lengths. Rather the style appears eye catching and dynamic, bordering on anime. I personally believe that this adds to the style and tone of the plot, yet I could easily see how it may not appeal to all readers, who may feel that it detracts from the serious nature of some of the situations, which is true as the restless dead are made to look more like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.
All in all the comic is an entertaining read, but you should not approach it in the hopes of anything ground breaking. It definitely wets your appetite for the background of the game and I believe it may serve as a good way for existing players to flesh out the world in their minds. While it may provide a good opportunity for those new to the game to get to grips with its setting, I would advise them to come to this with some minor level of background knowledge first.
So what would your views be? IF you have played the game itself please tell us your views, we’d love to know what you think of it.