The DioField Chronicle
“The DioField Chronicle consists of numerous setup for potential sequels, nevertheless it does a strong job of laying down the correct basis to make that work long-term.”
- Fascinating private conflicts
- Tactical battle system
- Considerate sidequests
- Compelling groundwork for a collection
- Enemy and mission selection is missing
- Animations are janky
- Development and pacing points
Sq. Enix has just lately been eager to publish extra middle-tier Japanese video games, together with the likes of Valkryie Elysium, Ways Ogre: Reborn, and Harvestella, all of that are popping out inside mere weeks of one another. The writer appears to be all-in on new IPs, bolstering its dependable roster of surefire RPG hits. The DioField Chronicle is a crucial a part of that technique.
The DioField Chronicle is a brand new IP from developer Lancarse and writer Sq. Enix that blends a political battle story with real-time technique fight. It doesn’t appear to be a one-off deal for Sq. Enix; all the pieces from the sport’s story to its characters screams setup for a possible sequel. This might be the start of Sq. Enix’s subsequent huge IP, as long as gamers are keen to be early adopters.
Regardless of some missteps alongside the way in which, The DioField Chronicle creates a strong basis for a possible collection with its partaking battle system and fascinating solid of characters. If that is the beginning of a brand new franchise, its future can solely get brighter from right here.
The RPG’s story takes place on the Island of DioField, which is wealthy with deposits of the pure useful resource Jade. Totally different nations are taken with Jade, together with the Trovelt-Schoevian Empire, the Rowtale Alliance, and the Kingdom of Alletain. When the Alliance is defeated in battle by the Empire, the latter turns its sights to Alletain. A mercenary group, the Blue Foxes, works intently with Alletain to maintain numerous requests from the royal authorities, which incorporates pushing again in opposition to the Imperial forces. The 4 heads of the Blue Foxes are Andrias Rhondarson, Fredret Lester, Iscarion Colchester, and Waltaquin Redditch.
What makes the Blue Foxes fascinating are the beliefs that every of the heads holds, and the way they battle with each other. For instance, Lester believes that solely a king is ready to lead commoners to prosperity, whereas Colchester is an advocate of democracy. Throughout missions that require quelling class rebellions and riots, they butt heads over whether or not commoners looting an space justifies utilizing drive.
The best way the story is advised is just like Triangle Technique, one other Sq. Enix-published technique sport that launched this 12 months. Between story missions, there’s a narrator that explains main plot occasions with book-like illustrations. Whereas this method is extra telling quite than exhibiting, it contrasts with the precise cutscenes that concentrate on the dynamics between the heads of the Blue Foxes.
I’ve purchased in sufficient to see how future tales throughout the DioField universe might construct on them.
Afterward within the story, the political tensions between Alletain and the Empire take a again seat in favor of the interpersonal quarrels between the Blue Foxes’ heads. Sure plot twists and irreconcilable variations between them drive the plot ahead and hold it partaking at a extra private stage, versus a grander lore one.
At sure factors, some characters have a falling out with one another. Regardless of these conflicts, the characters make sure that the participant is aware of that this isn’t the final time you’ll see them—this undoubtedly screams sequel bait. That may be just a little annoying as a result of it ends in some unresolved plot threads. Nonetheless, the characters have cogent causes for being disillusioned by what the Blue Foxes group has turn out to be and I’ve purchased in sufficient to wish to see how future tales throughout the DioField universe might construct on them.
Hearth Emblem: Blue Foxes
DioField’s gameplay consists of real-time technique battles and conversations with celebration members outdoors of fight. Throughout missions, you possibly can deploy a complete of eight models, 4 of that are the principle models you can management. The opposite 4 are subunits that don’t take part instantly, however you possibly can name on their assist and particular abilities.
I do want that there was extra selection within the sorts of enemy models and mission aims.
It’s an attractive battle system that required me to be tactical about the place I despatched my models. I might both focus all 4 on a single goal or break up them between totally different enemies. Further rewards (talent factors, supplies, and so forth). are earned by finishing totally different aspect aims throughout missions, akin to stopping any allies from being knocked out, discovering the treasure chest situated on the battlefield, and ending the battle inside a sure time restrict.
I do want that there was extra selection within the sorts of enemy models and mission aims. Whereas there are escort missions each from time to time, they’re only a few in quantity and most missions boil down to only eliminating each single enemy unit. Even so, the cinematic that performs when activating particular abilities is a deal with. Every character class has an final talent that transitions right into a cutscene. A private favourite is the Cavalier’s Lance Strike that grabs the enemy, launches them into the air, and slams them into the bottom, inflicting spikes from the earth to protrude and injury different enemies throughout the assault’s radius.
Upgrading weapons and abilities is a comparatively easy course of. The usual reward for finishing missions is gold, which can be utilized to boost sure amenities to supply entry to extra weapons and abilities. The development is a bit lopsided, although. Within the early and center components of the story, I generally felt like I wasn’t robust sufficient and needed to grind a couple of aspect missions to afford new gear. Nonetheless, by the point I reached the top sport, I used to be swimming in additional gold than I knew find out how to spend.
The aspect missions themselves present good characterization and backstories between Rhondarson and the plethora of different celebration members. They’re harking back to Hearth Emblem’s Assist Conversations or Persona’s Social Hyperlinks. For instance, one aspect mission had me take down assassins that the church had employed as a result of one in all my celebration members was a defected member. One other celebration member, hungry for revenge, wished to bloodbath all the inhabitants of a fishing village as a result of their previous political enemies resided there, regardless of a few of them turning over new leaves and even beginning households.
A bit boring, innit
The members of the Blue Foxes reside in a base referred to as Elm Camp, and that’s the place virtually all the aspect missions and conversations happen. The realm jogs my memory of the Garreg Mach Monastery hub in Hearth Emblem: Three Homes, besides that Elm Camp feels a lot much less alive attributable to it being a low-key mercenary base quite than a full-fledged college with lecturers. There’s solely the minimal variety of NPCs wanted for issues like outlets and upgradeable amenities.
The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by an attractive battle system and character dynamics.
It doesn’t assist that the sport’s colour palette in Elm Camp is quite muted. I don’t anticipate the characters to have toothpaste-colored hair like Hearth Emblem Interact’s new protagonist. That may conflict with the general gritty tone of the sport, however I really feel like some brighter colours right here and there would have helped make it really feel extra visually distinct.
Whereas I like the character portraits, drawn within the lovely and distinct Last Fantasy fashion by Isamu Kamikokuryo, the 3D character fashions and animations outdoors of battle might have used a bit extra work. Their faces look oddly porcelain and doll-like, most notably throughout cutscenes. And Rhondarson’s strolling and operating animations round Elm Camp appear like he at all times has a pebble caught in his shoe or he has to rapidly discover the closest rest room.
Even with these inventive shortcomings, The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by an attractive battle system and character dynamics. It’s very clear that Lancarse desires to develop the sport’s world and lore, and there’s undoubtedly potential right here. If a extra polished sequel addresses among the gameplay and development points, then the Blue Foxes’ subsequent journey will probably be one to look out for.
The DioField Chronicle was reviewed on PS4.
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