The Diofield Chronicle Review: Charting a New Course for SRPGs
The Diofield Chronicle
At the point when somebody specifies the strategy or tactical RPG class, it typically invokes dreams of turn-based combat taking place on a matrix. Indeed, there are special cases, however the battlefields of games like Tactics Monster, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, and Fire Symbol, with their planes squarely separated into lines and segments, have come to define the class. The Diofield Chronicle hopes to break liberated from that grided jail. Created by Square Enix and Lancarse (most popular for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Excursion) and distributed by the former, The Diofield Chronicle brings a new vibe to strategic combat, regardless of whether what comes in between battles is immature.
The Diofield Chronicle takes place on the island of Diofield, located off the coast of a landmass alluded to as “the continent.” Two warring factions, the Schoevian Domain and the Rowetale Alliance, have been fighting for years, becoming deadlocked. They both attention to Diofield, which is wealthy in jade, the fuel for current magic. The unexpected unwanted attention from the continent sends the balance of force on Diofield into disarray as games of intrigue unfurl between homegrown rivals and foreign interlopers.
Players take control of Andrias. When the chamberlain to a youthful prince of the ruling family on Diofield, Andrias has since turned into a mercenary. Through the game’s earliest occasions, he and three other principal characters – – Andrias’ dear companion Fredret, a knight errant named Iscarion, and a youthful noblewoman named Waltaquin – – meet up to form the Blue Foxes mercenary company. Players experience the upheaval on Diofield through their eyes, along with a lot of the internal drama among the gathering’s various characters as the troupe fills in size and reputation.
The narrative feels almost impenetrable right away. There are a ton of made-up words and unfamiliar formal people, places or things tossed around, and not many of the political machinations playing out appear to have any meaningful impact on the existences of these characters. All through the game, many of the story’s occasions are communicated through discourses from a concealed narrator between battles instead of seen or gotten through the characters’ eyes, making everything feel a piece impersonal.
Given time, notwithstanding, the story demonstrates engrossing. It keeps players guessing who is manipulating whom as loyalties clash with ideals. It’s all wrapped in a certain incongruity as it lays bare the defilement of an endless flow of societal institutions even as the integrity of the Blue Foxes themselves company itself battles beneath the heaviness of its increasing size and influence.
For fans of the SRPG class, the game’s narrative will be reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Monster, and Fire Image. For more mainstream-minded audiences, the touchstone will probably be the TV series Game of Lofty positions, which is by all accounts a comparison Square Enix is leaning into by hiring the show’s writers, Ramin Djawadi and Brandon Campbell, to score the game. Djawadi and Campbell turn in unobtrusive work that fits the narrative and is easily listenable to for hours at a time.
The Diofield Chronicle tosses turn-based network combat in favor of the “real time tactical battle” framework. That sounds brand new yet ought to feel familiar to anyone who has played a game in the MOBA class like League of Legends or Protection of the Ancients. Combat takes place in real-time, however time stops while giving commands. Players control a gathering of four characters, giving them request as they charge into battle with opposing forces, alternating between auto-attacking and activating abilities. The strategic components don’t rotate areas of strength for around (however attacking from behind yields increased “ambush” damage, and players will want to learn how to pull adversaries away from large gatherings and cannon turrets). Instead, the majority of the players’ strategic energy in combat goes toward synergizing as they attempt to utilize their units’ abilities to maximize DPS, area of impact attacks, timed buffs, and revive rates.
Speaking as somebody who has never been particularly great at MOBAs, The Diofield Chronicle presented minimal in the way of challenge. I could practically sleepwalk through battles on normal trouble while hard yielded a couple of setbacks, mainly experienced because of minor mental lapses rather than because I faced a troublesome rival. Players can up the game’s speed to 1.5x or 2x the standard, increasing the trouble proportionally as it expects players to make choices faster. In any case, I found this an unsatisfying challenge as it depends on frenzy rather than craftier tactics or fiercer adversaries. Also, playing on a PlayStation 5, the increased speed features the limitations of the control center based control conspire, which has players using shoulder buttons to look at characters each in turn or otherwise finding them amidst the chaos on the map with an analog stick-controlled cursor. In any case, it speaks to the strong fundamentals of The Diofield Chronicle’s combat that I never got exhausted and continued to find battles engaging even many hours into the game.
In between episodes of slaughter, players are allowed to roam the halls of the Blue Foxes’ headquarters, Elm Camp. Here, players can have Andrias speak to the other characters, take on sidequests, purchase things, and upgrade abilities and weapons. From the beginning, it appears to be comparable to Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Skyhold or Fire Symbol: Three House’s Garreg Mach Monastery, however players will rapidly learn that it lacks the profundity or personality of those other bases.
Conversations between characters are not interactive, and there is no framework for character bonds. Instead, each conversation is like a sidequest that yields assets to support unit upgrades or otherwise opens an optional battle that, upon fulfillment, will yield assets to finance unit upgrades. Conversations are altogether linear and just nominally optional (conversations and sidequests are the best way to gain the assets for upgrades). Elm Camp is, physically, minimal in excess of a couple of dark rooms and hallways, and the upgrade and store capabilities are accessible from a menu at the start of a battle. Hence, the base’s presence feels like a vestigial appendage, as in the event that the fashioners planned to accomplish more with it initially yet, ran out of luck or cash, however solely after they reached the point where it’d be too expensive to eliminate it.
In any case, while the headquarters aspect of the game is immature, the combat at the center of The Diofield Chronicle is a breath of natural air. Paired with a story saturated with intrigue and drama, The Diofield Chronicle will probably satisfy fans of the class while potentially charting a new path for it later on.