Posted: November 19
I ultimately can’t recommend this game.
I haven’t played any of the previous entries from this IP so I’m coming in fresh here. I don’t know how this is related to any of those games, nor how the style of gameplay differs. From what I’ve read only, this is a bit of a departure from the games that came before this one.
1. FPS lock to 60 (can be fixed with Universal Unreal Engine 4 Unlocker thankfully)
2. The story delivery, until the middle of the game and then near the end of the game falls terribly flat.
To expand on that some, I can tell there’s an interesting story to be told, but they don’t tell it effectively.
2a. Most of the interesting tidbits about your Einherjars are stuck behind audio-only logs that show up in your inventory. Couple this with the fact that they could have done more here: having some simple animations, maybe a comic style something, or actual character model animations. This, honestly, was the most frustrating part of the game to me. I can’t tell if they ran into budget problems or what happened, but when asking for $60, I expect a lot more here. Just from a story delivery standpoint, this game should have cost $15 to $20 less.
2b. The protagonist is very dry which can be excusable if there’s something else going on with that, but there’s not enough to really take away from how boring her story is until you get about halfway through the game. Her lack of meaningful facial animations and her dull interactions with her Einherjar also isn’t really helping. I understand how she came to be and of course she’s going to be strait-laced given her only real directive in life, but do something with that and have her be a sounding board for a more interesting character more often while she’s running around.
When listening to the protagonist throughout the course of the game, you see her become more human-like, but the problem is that it doesn’t feel natural. They basically must tell you, the player, that she’s becoming this way as she doesn’t have much for interactions with her Einherjars to have it feel natural.
2c. In the event you’re lucky enough and hear some chit-chat between characters, hopefully you don’t hit a loading trigger and miss it. I guess you could just play through the level and get to that spot again, but that’s kind of lame. Space this stuff out or design the level in such a way where that it can’t happen.
3. The combat feels bad, mostly early on. Everything is animation locked. It’s like it wants to be an action game, but also not too much so the flow will feel bad until you get more abilities (which, incidentally, is also about halfway through the game). Unlocking skills shouldn’t take the game from feeling bad to acceptable. It should take it from feeling at least decent to great if you master it. For too long of the playthrough, I felt crippled by the stiff feeling of swinging/thrusting my weapons.
4. Sometimes I found myself fighting either the camera or the particle effects. This happened more often with the former than the latter, mostly because if there were that many particle effects, chances are that I at least had i-frames. Instead of the camera moving out of the way, sometimes it would simply crunch up right next to the wall, making things hard to deal with especially if I happened to have an enemy or two next to me preventing me from repositioning.
5. The price you get for the aforementioned doesn’t make sense. There’s a lack of quality here that $60 doesn’t justify. In a world where publishers and developers are starting to ask for $70 for games, we must start saying “no, this isn’t acceptable.” Luckily, I bought it discounted so my buyer’s remorse isn’t too bad.
6. Minor: difficulty achievements that require multiple playthroughs even if you beat the game on the hardest difficulty. That’s just a minor gripe of mine, but one that will waste time for achievement hunters for no good reason. Cascade those, please.
1. After unlocking enough skills and combos the combat starts to feel a little better. You can shoot off more magic and more often as well as have longer combo chains which helps distract you from the lack of animation-cancelling abilities.
2. The ending was satisfying. There are multiple endings to find, and what I’ll consider the good ending is worth working towards.
3. Seemingly nothing is missable. There’s a chapter select so you can always revisit a level if you missed something and there’s counters on the map screen that tell you certain things you missed (except for chests).
For $60 this is a pass. I recommend one of the following action RPGs instead just off the top of my head:
– Tales of Arise (better feeling combat and story)
– Ys IX (better feeling combat and story)
– Asterigos: Curse of the Stars (better feeling combat and story)
– Trials of Mana (better feeling combat)