There’s been a raft of intriguing technique RPGs this yrhowever certainly one of my favorites to date Symphony of War. It’s been climbing the charts on Steam in latest months, and for good purpose. From a distance it seems like one other Fire Emblem knockoff. Up shut it is doing sufficient fascinating issues to face by itself, and I actually suggest you give it a shot.
Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga quietly got here out on Steam in June and has been racking up constructive critiques ever since. Developed by an indie group known as Dancing Dragon Games with a historical past of RPG Maker initiatives, it is a trope-filled army drama about civil conflict and demonic threats. But you’ll be able to just about ignore all that. Beneath the predictable plot and airbrushed character portraits is a deep technique recreation that is onerous to place down. Personally, I feel it is even higher within the technique division than Triangle Strategy.
Make no mistake: Symphony of War is old-school. While newer entries within the Fire Emblem sequence have delved deeper into visible novel parts and relationship mechanics, it is centered virtually completely on renovating the nuts and bolts of traditional grid-based battles. What works so effectively is that Symphony of War nails the fundamentals and in addition provides loads of new wrinkles for followers to dig into (particularly those that additionally dig final yr’s Dark Deity).
The largest one is that every particular person unit represents a complete squad made up of a number of sorts of fighters. Maybe there are some knights in entrance flanked by pikemen whereas wizards and archers rain down dying from the again. When two models transfer subsequent to one another and throw down, a mini-turn-based skirmish ensues. Mages within the again forged fireballs and therapeutic spells whereas knights within the entrance dish out melee injury. Combat unfolds throughout two rounds, with attackers getting the primary flip and the defending facet going second. Some fighters can solely assault on the primary or second flip, whereas others will often luck right into a bonus flip. The motion is straightforward to comply with and but additionally opens up loads of room for personalization.
Adding extra delicate layers of complexity are distinctive fighter bonuses and an intensive analysis tree. Horseback fighters get to assault first with out retribution. Infantry present defensive bonuses to close by models. And archers can naturally assault from a distance with out dealing with counter-attacks. These and different stats can then be augmented and magnified by researching new know-how. Rather than leveling up particular models, you are rising the general capabilities of your military.
In this fashion Symphony of War forces you to generally assume like a 4X strategist whereas enjoying like a conventional JRPG fanatic. Instead of customizing one single occasion and preventing by means of a dungeon, you are increase a small military of them and taking up a complete battlefield. Completing missions sooner and capturing enemy models and buildings alongside the way in which nets you extra cash and factors that may then be poured again into outfitting your numerous crews. Just a number of novel tweaks and the decades-old tactical JRPG formulation feels recent and trendy once more in 2022.
A few different video games have additionally taken hybrid approaches to tactical RPGs just lately. The Iron Oath and Songs of Conquest each come to thoughts. The former is a roguelike with battles that happen on a hexagonal grid. The latter additionally sports activities a hexagonal battlefield within the service of map exploration and city-building nearer to a 4X recreation. They’re actually promising video games in their very own proper (and nonetheless in Early Access), but neither is as centered on plumbing the depths of leveraging small benefits so one group of animated sprites can wipe the ground with one other.
Symphony of War is much from an ideal package deal, nevertheless it gives one of many extra meaty and modern takes on the ways RPG formulation I’ve come throughout in years.