The DioField Chronicle
“The DioField Chronicle contains a variety of setup for potential sequels, but it surely does a stable job of laying down the right basis to make that work long-term.”
- Attention-grabbing 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, Techniques 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 vital a part of that technique.
The DioField Chronicle is a brand new IP from developer Lancarse and writer Sq. Enix that blends a political conflict story with real-time technique fight. It doesn’t seem 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 massive IP, as long as gamers are prepared to be early adopters.
Regardless of some missteps alongside the best way, The DioField Chronicle creates a stable basis for a possible collection with its participating battle system and attention-grabbing forged 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. Completely different nations are concerned with Jade, together with the Trovelt-Schoevian Empire, the Rowtale Alliance, and the Kingdom of Alletain. When the Alliance is defeated in conflict by the Empire, the latter turns its sights to Alletain. A mercenary group, the Blue Foxes, works carefully with Alletain to maintain numerous requests from the royal authorities, which incorporates pushing again towards 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 attention-grabbing 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 way in which the story is instructed is much like Triangle Technique, one other Sq. Enix-published technique recreation that launched this yr. 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 target 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.
In a while 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 maintain it participating at a extra private degree, versus a grander lore one.
At sure factors, some characters have a falling out with one another. Regardless of these conflicts, the characters be certain the participant is aware of that this isn’t the final time you’ll see them—this positively screams sequel bait. That may be a bit 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 grow to be and I’ve purchased in sufficient to need 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 social gathering members exterior of fight. Throughout missions, you’ll be able to deploy a complete of eight items, 4 of that are the principle items that you may management. The opposite 4 are subunits that don’t take part instantly, however you’ll be able to name on their help and particular expertise.
I do want that there was extra selection within the kinds of enemy items and mission goals.
It’s a fascinating battle system that required me to be tactical about the place I despatched my items. I might both focus all 4 on a single goal or cut up them between totally different enemies. Extra rewards (talent factors, supplies, and so forth). are earned by finishing totally different aspect goals throughout missions, resembling stopping any allies from being knocked out, discovering the treasure chest positioned on the battlefield, and ending the struggle inside a sure time restrict.
I do want that there was extra selection within the kinds of enemy items and mission goals. Whereas there are escort missions each every now and then, they’re only a few in quantity and most missions boil down to simply eliminating each single enemy unit. Even so, the cinematic that performs when activating particular expertise 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 expertise is a comparatively simple course of. The usual reward for finishing missions is gold, which can be utilized to boost sure services to supply entry to extra weapons and expertise. The development is a bit lopsided, although. Within the early and center elements of the story, I typically felt like I wasn’t sturdy sufficient and needed to grind just a few aspect missions to afford new gear. Nonetheless, by the point I reached the top recreation, I used to be swimming in additional gold than I knew easy methods to spend.
The aspect missions themselves present good characterization and backstories between Rhondarson and the plethora of different social gathering members. They’re harking back to Hearth Emblem’s Help 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 among my social gathering members was a defected member. One other social gathering member, hungry for revenge, wished to bloodbath the whole 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 uninteresting, innit
The members of the Blue Foxes reside in a base known 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 on account of it being a low-key mercenary base quite than a full-fledged faculty with lecturers. There’s solely the minimal variety of NPCs wanted for issues like retailers and upgradeable services.
The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by a fascinating battle system and character dynamics.
It doesn’t assist that the sport’s shade 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 stunning and distinct Closing Fantasy model by Isamu Kamikokuryo, the 3D character fashions and animations exterior 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 working animations round Elm Camp appear to be he at all times has a pebble caught in his shoe or he has to rapidly discover the closest lavatory.
Even with these creative shortcomings, The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by a fascinating battle system and character dynamics. It’s very clear that Lancarse needs to broaden the sport’s world and lore, and there’s positively potential right here. If a extra polished sequel addresses among the gameplay and development points, then the Blue Foxes’ subsequent journey shall be one to look out for.
The DioField Chronicle was reviewed on PS4.