#The DioField Chronicle – Destructoid

The DioField Chronicle – Destructoid

You thought it was flip primarily based, however it was me, DioField

The DioField Chronicle is an odd one among the many cavalcade of ways we’ve seen this 12 months. It’s real-time, quite than turn-based; it’s about tight, compact skirmishes quite than drawn-out battles. DioField mixes wyvern and rifles, swords and sorcery, and even some airships for good measure.

All through the 20-ish hours it took me to complete The DioField Chronicle, there are some fairly cool ideas and concepts on show, although they’re not all the time framed the very best. There’s a stable story, however some odd selections in route. DioField is an attention-grabbing technique sport to play, even when it’s not at its finest.

The DioField Chronicle (PC, PS4, PS5 [reviewed], Xbox Collection X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Change)
Developer: Sq. Enix, Lancarse
Writer: Sq. Enix
Launched: September 22, 2022
MSRP: $59.99

The DioField Chronicle follows the Blue Foxes, a mercenary group underneath the make use of of a duke on the island nation of DioField. The island is wealthy in Jade stones which have magical properties, making it a first-rate goal for commerce, subterfuge, and invasion from the close by continent.

Two up-and-coming warriors, Andrias and Fredret, are the core of the story and are quickly joined by errant knight Iscarion and the powerfully magic descendant of the Aristocracy, Waltaquin. These 4 comprise the guts and soul of the Blue Foxes, and far of the story revolves round their rise to energy amidst the political intrigue and combating that continually besets DioField.

Drama is on the coronary heart of the story, and there’s a number of attraction in seeing how these 4 come collectively and take care of mounting stress as their targets begin to differ. The interpersonal drama actually clicks in stable moments, like Waltaquin teasing Andrias or Iscarion doubting a plan. Every of the characters has nicknames for one another too, which is a pleasant little contact.

Rising stress

The broader geopolitical intrigue, nonetheless, falters. It was onerous to develop a way of place, because the world is commonly solely proven on the blue-lit briefing board earlier than every mission. Main plot occasions happen inside narration, alongside nonetheless photographs, even massive plot moments. A number of main characters are solely proven as undetailed portraits.

Whereas Andrias’ story (the participant largely performs as Andrias) involves a fairly good conclusion, the getting-there feels somewhat hurried. There’s a good chunk of world lore within the Blue Foxes’ library again at dwelling base, to assist fill in gaps. However I finally got here to simply benefit from the infighting, because the broader political story swept up and over me.

DioField’s focus drives way more in direction of the motion on the sphere. It’s a real-time technique RPG, the place the participant deploys 4 items to a subject (eight with their help companions) to tackle the enemy. The system seems like a mixture of real-time-with-pause RPGs and traditional ways, and on its floor, it really works.

The gears of The DioField Chronicle’s fight are actually stable. Having to regulate and maneuver in real-time usually stored me on my toes, and enemies may do a major chunk of harm if I wasn’t dodging space assaults and controlling the group. Parts like backstabbing, shock assaults, and holding chokepoints really feel tactically rewarding. Whereas I’d’ve favored to see terrain be only a hair extra rewarding, I general like the primary idea.

Off to conflict

Fight is concerning the execution although, and that’s the place DioField falters a bit. For one, each unit has particular skills, permitting them to do actions like beautiful an opponent, rain fireplace on a bunch, heal an ally, backstab an enemy, and many others. All of those abilities are tied to weapons, with some universally accessible relying in your class.

Whereas DioField is lenient with pause-time, permitting the participant to basically freeze the motion anytime they wish to difficulty a brand new waypoint or use a capability, this results in a really start-and-stop feeling in some missions. I don’t thoughts the stress of ready on cooldowns, however a number of battles felt like I used to be storming ahead and continually stopping to hit the ability button and use skills, like a automotive in rush-hour site visitors.

These abilities are additionally extraordinarily highly effective, at totally different phases of the sport. My expertise with The DioField Chronicle’s fight feels finest described by a bell curve. Early on, I discovered that it was fairly simple to clear most early enemies by aggravating them, getting them bunched up. Then I’d rain fireplace, arrows, and highly effective summons down upon them. Simple sufficient.

Within the mid-game, nonetheless, new items began to seem. These items had highly effective skills, massive AOE assaults that might wipe my crew, and a mixture of highly effective ranged hitters and hulking frontline troops. Particular monsters add in some actually neat twists. Salamanders and coeurls have skills that really feel like MMO-style assaults. I’d need to rapidly re-position and modify, balancing how I wished to make use of my sources to finest burn via their copious well being bars.

However close to the end-game, I used to be breezing via fights. Andrias may have in all probability solo-cleared entire maps by himself. Sure characters have an important mixture of skills and pure skills that flip them into absolute powerhouses by the mid-30s, and I used to be breezing via maps a number of ranges greater than my get together. These really feel rewarding, given how a lot funding has been put in. However the enemies can’t appear to maintain up together with your squad by endgame.

The trail of least resistance

The DioField Chronicle has a very cool range of choices, in its characters and builds. One ranged attacker is extra of a hunter, whereas one other is a sniper. One among my magic customers excelled at hitting as many enemies as they may, whereas one other may acquire well being whereas he healed. Fascinating selections may be made on who to deploy and the place. These compound as you attempt  to account for having totally different crowd management results, auras, and bonuses accessible for each additional edge you may get.

Plenty of that falls away, although, as the sport goes on. Cool synergies are good, however it regularly grew to become a query of easy methods to do probably the most harm. I don’t really feel incentivized sufficient to make the most of totally different troops. The trail of least resistance simply made probably the most sense. To be clear, I loved blitzing my approach via a map, ending a map with a par-six minute time in underneath 60 seconds. However it quickly felt extraordinarily repetitious. I may basically cease caring concerning the bulk of technique, planning, and maneuvering in favor of my well-equipped squad mowing over enemy after enemy.

Battles are quick although, which retains them attention-grabbing and concise. The loop can actually hook you in, too. Struggle a battle, reap some rewards. Return to dwelling base, spend it on new weapon improvement or constructing out the bottom. Discuss to a few of your recruited items, get some new perception into their character, and open up a brand new aspect mission. Depart, rinse, repeat. I caught myself falling into this loop fairly simply, burning hours within the course of.

DioField additionally appears fairly darn good. The character fashions are going to be a private like or dislike, however the dioramic arenas and large, lovely summon animations are good homages to the tactical lineage at Sq.. Lancarse did a superb job in making a world that appears distinct, too. The combo of science and magic feels actually unique, and I like that amongst many long-running collection and remasters, The DioField Chronicle seems like one thing new and intriguing.

Jade within the tough

The DioField Chronicle feels destined to be referred to as a hidden gem years from now. Regardless of some faltering and misgivings, I can’t assist however benefit from the loop. Sending your items into fight, raining magical energy down on enemies as your cavalry fees in and murderer tears up the backline, simply feels good in DioField.

It hasn’t hit the heights of different technique RPG contenders, however The DioField Chronicle exhibits a number of promise. It’s totally different, it’s partaking, and it’s obtained a quick tempo that strikes from battle to battle. I felt like I obtained a superb, attention-grabbing technique RPG expertise out of this primary sport, and I actually do hope there’s extra in retailer. DioField definitely has the house for it.


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