Home Gaming Square Enix’s DioField Chronicle takes tactical RPG play off the grid

Square Enix’s DioField Chronicle takes tactical RPG play off the grid

Square Enix’s DioField Chronicle takes tactical RPG play off the grid


It was once that tactical role-playing video games have been an esoteric and underrepresented style that existed primarily within the 16-bit previous. Not so now, thanks largely to Square Enix, which as of late loves nothing greater than to position low- to medium-budget bets on each area of interest nook and cranny loved by its fandom and represented in its again catalog. Earlier this 12 months, the writer launched Triangle Strategy with Nintendo. In November, it can publish a remaster of the traditional Tactics Ogre. Sandwiched between them, on Sept. 22, comes The DioField Chronicle, an unheralded, humble, and curious diversion from the style orthodoxy.

In distinction to these different two video games, and different style stalwarts like Fire Emblem, The DioField Chronicle dispenses with a motion grid, and with turns. This is a free, free-flowing, mildly hectic recreation that performs out in actual time. You area a squad of 4 models and management them reasonably just like the hero models in a real-time technique recreation or a MOBA. You level and click on to maneuver them across the battlefield and flick restlessly from one unit to the subsequent, commanding to make use of their talents, heal, or get out of bother, all the time with one cautious eye on what’s occurring on the remainder of the sphere.

The underlying mechanics and arithmetic may be much like these of a turn-based tactical RPG, however the really feel could be very totally different. This shouldn’t be a recreation of chess during which you fastidiously plot and optimize your each transfer. It is a recreation of multitasking and fast, on-the-fly prioritization. One factor hasn’t modified, although: Placement is the whole lot. Many of your models’ abilities do injury over an space, in a cone, or in a broad swath, so that you’ll need to line these up fastidiously to choose off as many enemy models as doable. Additionally, if considered one of your warriors assaults an enemy from behind, you get an ambush bonus that doubles your injury, so flanking and manipulating the enemy with MMO-like pulling and tanking ways are important.

Medieval warriors, one on horseback, battle a pair of giant armored Gigas on snowy castle grounds in a screenshot from The DioField Chronicle

Image: Lancarse/Square Enix

All instructed, it’s a enjoyable and absorbing, if barely stress-inducing, tactical battle system. There are 4 character lessons — archer, cavalry, warrior, and magic person — and also you’ll usually decide considered one of every on your squad. As properly as particular person leveling and tools for every character, there are class-wide ability bushes, and auxiliary characters may be added to every of your 4 unit slots (in the event that they belong to the identical class) to extend your ability repertoire. You can even equip Magilumic Orbs to unleash assaults from big, Final Fantasy-style summons.

There’s a satisfying mesh of stuff to contemplate right here. It’s just a little exhausting to inform how deep the sport will run from the demo that’s presently obtainable, however the early indications are that Square Enix and co-developer Lancarse have correctly stored issues small-scale however impactful. The numbers of enemy models are low, however they hit fairly exhausting, and might take chunks out of your combatants’ well being. The battles are streamlined however pretty high-risk, which retains them each tense and manageable (actually if you happen to’re utilizing a controller, as I used to be on PlayStation 5; the PC model helps mouse and keyboard, which is able to seemingly be a extra swift and pure option to play the sport).

The irritating factor is how a lot time The DioField Chronicle spends away from its pleasingly economical mesh of methods and its enjoyable, fast-paced battlefield ways, and the way little life it has while you’re following the story and the characters’ stiff interactions. Notwithstanding some elegant character artwork from Taiki and Isamu Kamikokuryo, the sport takes place in a colorless, airless world of medieval politicking and mercenary maneuvers that’s exhausting to put money into.

A flying dragon scorches a battlefield with flames in a screenshot from The DioField Chronicle

Image: Lancarse/Square Enix

The plot has one thing to do with a once-peaceful island blessed with highly effective magic assets, an incredible evil, warring factions, and proud aristocratic homes. Characters bearing names like Fredret, Iscarion, and Waltaquin communicate lifeless cliches and jargony exposition at each other. It doesn’t assist that the price range for issues like atmosphere artwork and vocal efficiency was clearly very restricted, or that the sport’s shade palette is so coolly muted. In between missions, our hero Andrias can roam round extraordinarily plain and claustrophobic barracks to speak to different characters, store, craft, and tinker, however this part of the sport feels at the very least two {hardware} generations old-fashioned. Maybe three.

It all comes again to life on the battlefield, however it could be solely probably the most dedicated and curious followers of the tactical RPG style that push via to get to the great things. Nonetheless, this can be a recreation that, inside its restricted scope, is digging one thing fascinating out from deep in its chosen area of interest.

The DioField Chronicle is headed to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.



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