Advance A mixture of Game of Thrones and Fire Emblem signed by Square Enix? First impressions of The DioField Chronicle
While the end of the year promises to be busy for Square Enix, one title stands out among the publisher’s releases. Neither a sequel nor a remaster, The DioField Chronicle is a new license of a quite surprising genre since it is a strategy game. We were able to play the demo in advance and we give you our impressions.
- A conflict with strong political stakes
- A mix between strategy and role-playing game
- A conciliatory technique for all supports
Announced during a State of Play in March, The DioField Chronicle is the most incredible game in Square Enix’s catalog this year-end, with Harvestella featured during a Nintendo Direct. In addition to being a completely new license, something rare in an age where sequels, spin-offs, remasters and remakes are legion, it is also a real-time strategy game, a genre that had disappeared a bit since MOBAs took over with a certain League of Legends. Developed by Lancarse, a studio that notably worked on Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the title remains similar to other Square Enix franchises like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, or even TRIANGLE STRATEGY and here’s why.
A conflict with strong political stakes
For this first version of The DioField Chronicle, we were able to play a demo in advance that will be available to everyone from August 10th on all current media. A demo also quite generous since it includes six missions with a duration of two and a half hours, above average. Thus, we were able to discover during our game session the universe of the title that stages a conflict on the continent of Rowetale in which the Empire tries to invade its neighbors. To counter his offensives, the different nations come together in an alliance to face the invader. The war takes a major turn when the Republic of Vherman decides to join the Alliance to take on the Empire.
Off the mainland is the island of Diofield, where the Kingdom of Alletain thrives. Although the latter is spared for the moment of the conflict, the island is coveted by both the Empire and the Alliance because it has large reserves of jade, an essential resource for using modern magic. Therefore, the peace seems short-lived. In this context, you play a group of three mercenaries, Andrias, Fredret and Izelair, who join the private army of a Lord, who sits on the council of the Kingdom, after saving his assistant. Quickly, our three heroes build a solid reputation and become indispensable within this small group called the Blue Foxes to the point of taking the lead, and that’s where the demo ends.
If the forces that make up the world of The DioField Chronicle are quite classic, with a Kingdom, an Empire and an Alliance reminiscent of Fire Emblem: Three Houses for example, it is because of its aesthetics that the title stands out. Indeed, On the one hand we find knights in armor, sword fights and magic that give the ensemble a fantastic side, but on the other, the buildings, clothing and even industry are reminiscent of the 19th century.. From this surprising encounter we obtain a quite unique universe that makes it even better thanks to the portraits of the characters of great beauty signed by Taiki, an artist accustomed to video game illustrations. Unfortunately, it’s more for its in-game graphics that everything sins a bit, but we’ll come back to that a bit later.
A mix between strategy and role-playing game
Beyond this visual originality, it is especially for its gameplay that The DioField Chronicle is amazing. As stated above, is a real-time strategy (STR) game in which you move your units on the battlefield to defeat enemy troops. Since STR is first and foremost a PC-bound type of game, the controls here have been designed for the controller, with the ability to select all of your units at the same time using one button or just a group in one area, everything. with an active pause so as not to be in a hurry. Surprisingly, positioning plays a bigger role than ever because if you attack behind the enemy your character will be considered to be in an ambush and will therefore deal more damage. Without too many surprises, each unit has its own class (warrior, horseman, thief, archer, mage…) but we don’t find a Fire Emblem-style weapon triangle, certain roles simply lend themselves more to certain situations. like drawing the attention of enemies so that those who do more damage attack from behind.
Where the title comes close to an RPG is also because each of your units has abilities that you can activate using the points provided for it and once its cooldown has expired. It is mainly thanks to the latter that we deal great damage since most of them have area effects. However, they not only have an offensive purpose, but also allow healing depending on the character. Finally, the last major feature of The DioField Chronicle is the Magilumic orbs. Every time you chase an enemy, the gauge dedicated to this function fills up, and once full, you can summon a powerful creature, just like in Final Fantasy. These summons are usually impressive, like the one we saw in the demo, which is none other than Bahamut, the famous dragon, who launches a huge ball of energy onto the battlefield.
Through its combination of strategy and role-playing games, Thus, DioField Chronicle offers an interesting balance between large-scale troop management and responsiveness. to inflict as much damage as possible and dodge enemy attacks. Also, thanks to the adapted controls, the title is still perfectly playable on the controller, which is always nice for a STR on console. Finally, we do a lot more micro than macro management as there are no buildings or resources to manage, just units. The result is therefore quite satisfactory controller in hand and we must always be vigilant to maximize our effectiveness in combat. It remains to be seen if the formula is renewed over time so as not to be too repetitive in the long run to use the same loop capabilities all the time.
A conciliatory technique for all supports
As a game that is released on all currently available platforms, The DioField Chronicle is a title that must necessarily make technical concessions to work on both PC, PS5 and Xbox Series as well as on Switch. Thus, that is why we have to do with somewhat outdated graphics. If during missions we don’t necessarily pay attention to it because of the view from above, it’s between battles that we notice because our heroes return to the Elm camp that serves as their base of operations. This is where you can buy gear, unlock new abilities in the skill tree or summons, but also chat with your allies.
Once at the headquarters we notice that Andrias’ execution animation is quite stiff and this doesn’t work during dialogues where facial animations are very basic. With this particular aesthetic, sometimes we even get the impression that the characters resemble wax dolls due to their lack of expression. Finally, we are faced with a fairly simple technique to work correctly on all media, which necessarily leads to concessions to more powerful platforms.
The DioField Chronicle promises to be an interesting project with its original proposal. With an aesthetic between medieval and industrial times, the title is based on a system halfway between a strategy game and a role-playing game for an experience that requires reactivity on the part of the player. This is all the more the case because of the importance given to placement, skills, and summons. Finally, with its serious tone, we can also expect a lot of political intrigue as Square Enix’s tactical games know how to do. Finally, it is more for the graphic aspect that the title sins a bit, with a visual section that is simple enough to fit in all media. In any case, pending the launch on September 22, you can still try the demo available on all platforms from August 10.
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