It used to be that tactical role-playing games were an esoteric and underrepresented genre that mainly existed in the 16-bit past. That’s no longer the case, thanks in large part to Square Enix, which these days likes nothing more than to place low- to medium-budget bets on every niche nook enjoyed by its fandom and representation in its back catalog. is done. Earlier this year, the publisher released triangle strategy With Nintendo. In November, it will publish a remaster of the classic Strategy Ogre, Sandwiched Between Them, Arrives September 22 deofield chronicleAn unabashed, humble and curious diversion from genre conservatism.
Unlike those other two games, and other genre giants like Fire Emblem, deofield chronicle Distribution with a movement grid, and with turning. It is a loose, free-flowing, mildly hectic game that plays in real time. You field a squad of four units and control them like hero units in a real-time strategy game or MOBA. You point and click to move them across the battlefield and restless from unit to unit, ordering them to use their abilities, heal, or get out of trouble, always remaining territory. Let’s keep a watchful eye on what’s happening.
The underlying mechanics and maths may be similar to those of a turn-based tactical RPG, but the experience is very different. This is not a chess game in which you carefully plot and optimize your every move. It’s a game of multitasking and quick, on-the-fly priority. However, one thing hasn’t changed: Placement is everything. Many of your units’ skills deal damage in an area, in a cone, or across a wide swath, so you’ll want to line these up carefully to take on as many enemy units as possible. Additionally, if one of your warriors attacks an enemy from behind, you get an ambush bonus that doubles your damage, so flanking and manipulating the enemy with an MMO-like drag and tanking strategy is essential.
Image: Lancars/Square Enix
All told, it’s a fun and absorbing, if slightly stress-inducing, tactical combat system. There are four character classes – archers, cavalrymen, warriors and magic users – and you’ll usually choose one of each for your squad. As well as individual leveling and equipment for each character, there’s a class-wide skill tree, and supporting characters in each of your four unit slots (if they belong to the same class) to enhance your skill repertoire. can be added. You can also equip Magilumic Orbs to unleash attacks with giant, Final Fantasy-style summons.
There’s a pleasing net of stuff to consider here. It’s a little hard to tell how deep the game will go from the currently available demos, but there are early signs that Square Enix and co-developer Lancars have wisely kept things small but impressive. Enemy units are few in number, but they hit hard enough, and can damage the health of your fighters. Battles are streamlined but fairly high-risk, which keeps them both tense and manageable (not sure if you’re using a controller, as I was on PlayStation 5; the PC version supports mouse and keyboard). , which will probably be faster and the natural way to play the game).
The sad part is how long deofield chronicle The system’s own pleasingly economical traps and its fun, fast-paced battlefield strategy, and how little life it has when you’re following the story and the hard-hitting dialogue of the characters. Despite some beautiful character art from Taki and Isamu Kamikokury, the game takes place in a drab, airless world of medieval politics and mercenary maneuvers that are hard to get invested in.
Image: Lancars/Square Enix
The plot has something to do with a once peaceful island blessed with powerful magic resources, a great evil, warring factions and proud aristocratic houses. Characters with names such as Frederick, Ischarian and Valtaquin use lifeless clichés and jargon on each other. It doesn’t help that the budget was apparently too limited for things like environmental art and vocal performances, or that the game’s color palette is so cool. Between missions, our hero Andreas can roam the extremely plain and claustrophobic barracks to talk to other characters, shop, craft and tinker, but this section of the game feels at least two hardware generations old. Maybe three.
It all comes back to life on the battlefield, but it may be only the most committed and curious fans of the tactical RPG genre who go on to achieve good things. Nonetheless, this is a game that, within its limited scope, is looking for something interesting deep down in its chosen space.
deofield chronicle Nintendo Switch is headed to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.