The DioField Chronicle Review – IGN

It’s easy to draw lines between The DioField Chronicle’s stirring tale of war, magic, and shady politics and those of Game of Thrones or Fire Emblem. I’d have to write off the entire fantasy genre if renting was a deal-breaker, but they still have to figure out how to put those pieces together into something that stands on its own. In this case, it feels like a generic version of its inspirations at best. And while its real-time combat system is an exciting twist, it’s often difficult to get to grips with the controls as you battle your way through its fast-paced, immersive combat. Even the characters, who end up playing unexpected or interesting roles in the unfolding story, end up being a bit boring, although that’s no fault of the experienced voice cast.

The world of DioField feels like anyone’s first attempt at inventing an entirely new setting for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, complete with an evil empire trying to conquer everything and characters seriously doing things like “Fredret name Lester. You’ve got corrupt nobles, the intrigues, a fanatical church, beastmen – it’s all good in the Big Book of Fantasy Tropes, but it’s not entirely without its charms. There’s something homey about the whole thing, even if it feels pretty predictable.

I was impressed with the entire cast of voices bringing this world to life, including an excellent, gritty narration from Geralt of Rivia himself, Doug Cockle. But the language direction leaves a lot to be desired as many important conversations are let down by stiff and lackluster deliveries. While each member of the main cast has a complex and interesting backstory and motivation, the way the English dialogue is written doesn’t always feel very authentic.

The variety of enemies and different encounter designs ensure that two missions don’t feel too similar.

The same applies to combat. The fundamentals are strong: it’s sort of a pauseable, real-time Fire Emblem, with waypoint-based movement, lots of environment interactions, and lots of different classes and abilities to weave together. When it’s running smoothly, and smashing my way through hordes of enemies with careful positioning and skill combos, it leaves me hungry for more. In six chapters and more than 40 hours, it can certainly deliver many new adventures. The variety of enemies and varied encounter design, which may require you to desperately defend a castle gate or face a multi-stage boss fight, ensure that two missions don’t feel too similar.

The pictorial bugbear that pops up over all of this is the control scheme, which is just a pain. It seems designed for a controller, but I find it just as annoying whether I’m playing it like this or with a mouse and keyboard. The choice of units is imprecise. You can pause combat by selecting units, but there is no dedicated pause button. Certain simple actions just require more steps than I think necessary. When I have my knight selected and press the button to bring up the special moves menu, why does it switch to a different character and let me select it again? I figured I’d eventually get used to such frustrations, but in the end, at best, I’ve learned to take it a little more.

I thought I would eventually get used to controlling frustrations.

And it really is a bummer, because the kind of clever things you can pull off would have made me look forward to every mission otherwise. Everyone is snappy, around five to 10 minutes long, even with plenty of breaks, which keeps the action lively and the campaign never falters – even if you’re doing all the optional stuff like me. Mission types that I would normally find tiresome, such as escorts, become almost a speedrunning puzzle, encouraging me to think about the optimal path of destruction before I even hit go.

Single target damage is intentionally quite difficult to achieve. So the flow of a fight usually revolves around luring or forcibly moving enemies to a place where you can throw all of your area attacks at them for maximum effect. Attacks from behind always deal extra ambush damage, so abilities that let you redirect aggression and reposition your own party go a long way. Attacking head first will almost always get you killed, but it’s incredibly satisfying when you manage to line up a cavalry charge, an exploding barrel, a summon ability, and a magical meteor shower to melt an entire army in the blink of an eye .

Failing isn’t usually a big deal as the missions are fairly short and designed to be repeated.

Bosses like the fearsome wolf Fenrir have multiple health bars that you need to deplete, which interestingly changes the pacing of some missions and gives healers more opportunity to shine. And of course, enemy casters and elite fighters have their own area of ​​effect attacks that you need to dodge – which annoyed me even more that I didn’t have an easy pause button to collect my thoughts. At least failing isn’t usually that big of a deal, as even the longest missions are fairly short and designed to be repeated for bonus objectives. However, some missions contain long sequences of dialogue that you have to push through each time you replay them.

It’s worth going back and ticking all of those boxes, as they give you more resources to use in the extensive progression systems. It can be a bit overwhelming at first to keep track of all the different currencies: individual characters accumulate skill points to improve their stats, while each character class can be upgraded with skill points, and your mercenary squad (and later knights) gain unit XP as well as ranks in individual establishments such as the shop and the forge. Oh, and I didn’t even mention how you can spend rare resources to unlock new summons and weapons.

But once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed the level of customization it gave me for my four-character party. There’s satisfaction in taking a ragtag group of mercenaries and training them into one of the continent’s most feared combat troops. And the economy is very balanced, so I never got to a point where I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to spend my shiny treasure on.

DioField looks pretty good too. The lighting and character models won’t blow anyone away, but it shows a strong artistic direction and creates a sense of identity for everyone from the main cast to supporting characters. I may not always agree with her fashion choices – purple boots with a blue uniform, really? But if you look at anyone in this world, it tells you a lot about who they are and what they do.

Other than that, the vibe is a bit too much “generic medieval fantasy”. Square Enix is ​​usually good at putting its own spin on these tropes in games like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, but I just don’t see it here. While characters often talk about what they’re feeling, in most conversations their faces aren’t very emotional, which adds to the bleak boarding school atmosphere. This whole world could have benefited if someone turned the settings up three or four notches. Of course, each time I summon Bahamut from the skies to rain destruction upon my foes, those concerns fade, if only for a moment. Great dragon shoots shiny fireball well. The DioField Chronicle Review – IGN

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