The Dio Discipline Chronicle

MSRP $59.99

“The DioField Chronicle consists of numerous setup for potential sequels, but it surely does a strong job of laying down the correct basis to make that work long-term.”

execs

  • Fascinating private conflicts

  • Tactical battle system

  • Considerate facet quests

  • Compiling groundwork for a sequence

cons

  • 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 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 does not 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 could possibly be the start of Sq. Enix’s subsequent massive IP, as long as gamers are keen to be early adopters.

Regardless of some missteps alongside the best way, The DioField Chronicle creates a strong basis for a possible sequence with its partaking battle system and fascinating forged of characters. If that is the beginning of a brand new franchise, its future can solely get brighter from right here.

Political backdrop

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 all in favour of 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 intently with Alletain to deal with varied 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.

The DioField Chronicle cutscene

What makes the Blue Foxes fascinating 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 pressure.

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 is a narrator that explains main plot occasions with book-like illustrations. Whereas this method is extra telling somewhat than displaying, 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 may construct on them.

Afterward 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 hold it partaking 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 sure that the participant is aware of that this is not the final time you may see them—this positively screams sequel bait. That may be just a little annoying as a result of it ends in some unresolved plot threads. Nevertheless, 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 wish to see how future tales throughout the DioField universe may construct on them.

Hearth Emblem: Blue Foxes

DioField’s gameplay consists of real-time technique battles and conversations with occasion members outdoors of fight. Throughout missions, you’ll be able to deploy a complete of eight models, 4 of that are the principle models that you may management. The opposite 4 are subunits that do not take part straight, however you’ll be able to name on their help and particular expertise.

I do want that there was extra selection within the sorts of enemy models and mission aims.

It is an interesting battle system that required me to be tactical about the place I despatched my models. I may both focus all 4 on a single goal or break up them between totally different enemies. Extra rewards (talent factors, supplies, and so on). are earned by finishing totally different facet aims throughout missions, equivalent to stopping any allies from being knocked out, discovering the treasure chest positioned on the battlefield, and ending the battle inside a sure time restrict.

I do want that there was extra selection within the sorts of enemy models and mission aims. Whereas there are escort missions each every so often, they’re only a few in quantity and most missions boil down to only remove 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 harm different enemies throughout the assault’s radius.

The DioField Chronicle battles

Upgrading weapons and expertise is a comparatively easy 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 parts of the story, I typically felt like I wasn’t sturdy sufficient and needed to grind just a few facet missions to afford new gear. Nevertheless, by the point I reached the top recreation, I used to be swimming in additional gold than I knew easy methods to spend.

The facet missions themselves present good characterization and backstories between Rhondarson and the plethora of different occasion members. They’re paying homage to Hearth Emblem’s Help Conversations or Persona’s Social Hyperlinks. For instance, one facet mission had me take down assassins that the church had employed as a result of one in every of my occasion members was a defected member. One other occasion member, hungry for revenge, wished to bloodbath your complete inhabitants of a fishing village as a result of their previous political enemies lived there, regardless of a few of them turning over new leaves and even beginning households.

A bit boring, innit

The members of the Blue Foxes reside in a base known as Elm Camp, and that is the place nearly the entire facet missions and conversations happen. The world jogs my memory of the Garreg Mach Monastery hub in Hearth Emblem: Three Homes, besides that Elm Camp feels a lot much less alive as a consequence of it being a low-key mercenary base somewhat than a full-fledged college with lecturers. There’s solely the minimal variety of NPCs wanted for issues like outlets and upgradeable services.

The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by an interesting battle system and character dynamics.

It does not assist that the sport’s colour palette in Elm Camp is somewhat muted. I do not count on 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 really like the character portraits, drawn within the lovely and distinct Closing Fantasy fashion by Isamu Kamikokuryo, the 3D character fashions and animations outdoors of battle may have used a bit extra work. Their faces look oddly porcelain and doll-like, most notably throughout cutscenes. And Rhondarson’s strolling and operating animations round Elm Camp appear to be he all the time has a pebble caught in his shoe or he has to shortly discover the closest toilet.

The Dio Field Chronicle Camp Elm

Even with these creative shortcomings, The DioField Chronicle is a promising new IP that has many good concepts anchored by an interesting battle system and character dynamics. It’s extremely clear that Lancarse needs to broaden the sport’s world and lore, and there is positively potential right here. If a extra polished sequel addresses among the gameplay and development points, then the Blue Foxes’ subsequent journey will likely be one to look out for.

The DioField Chronicle was reviewed on PS4.

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