My appointment to check out Lost Eidolons at PAX West 2022 was supposed to be a simple 30 minute affair, but before I knew it, an hour had passed. Even the game's creative director was shocked at how engrossed I was with the demo, commenting that I was completely engaged and had gotten further than anyone else. I think that's just a great testament to how much of a fan I am of the strategy RPG genre, but also how proficient Lost Eidolons is as a game.
Lost Eidolons Scratches that Fire Emblem Itch
My gameplay demo of Lost Eidolons put me in command of a group of soldiers. I expected Lost Eidolons to go down a more traditional route and have me face off against rival humans but was surprised to find mutated, demonic doberman as my enemy. This unconventional foe took up multiple spaces on the map's grid. Getting surrounded on both sides by such beasts was a sobering ordeal, although I soon found my extensive experience as a Fire Emblem player to come in handy.
I gained confidence in knowing these beasts had clear weaknesses. The doberman take up four tiles, each of which can be targeted and attacked by ally troops. Two of these tiles have weak spots, and once hit, alternate to different positions. These weak spots may be vulnerable to swords, but once hit, the vulnerability will also change. I find the whole idea clever, since it incentivizes deliberate positioning and mixes up the strategic scenario to have a bit more challenge.
Taking the demons one-by-one turned out to be the best strategy. One especially useful trick was the ability to switch weapon types. In Lost Eidolons, my troops were equipped with two weapons each. The sword and bow combo turned out to be useful, allowing me attack from different angles. Other weapons included axes and magic. Magic also comes in different types, so some might damage while others heal.
Developer Ocean Drive Studio made sure that whether you're using controller or mouse and keyboard, you'll get a good experience out of Lost Eidolons.
Nothing is too dissimilar from any other SRPG you've played before, but Lost Eidolons appears to be a very polished experience overall. Most strategy RPGs I've played either require or heavily suggest the use of a controller. For this demo, I used mouse and keyboard completely. I was blown away at how easy the user experience was, from guiding units on the battlefield and issuing commands all the way to navigating complex menus. Developer Ocean Drive Studio made sure that whether you're using controller or mouse and keyboard, you'll get a good experience out of Lost Eidolons.
Visually, Lost Eidolons looks to provide an eye-catching experience. Trading anime-like visuals for a more grounded style, the dark fantasy feel to Lost Eidolons is something I can totally dig. The doberman I mentioned are actually quite terrifying, and looking at other screenshots show that other beasts are equal parts fearsome. I enjoyed the cinematic quality of combat. The camera zooms in on the action when attacking foes, showing other enemies battling in the background as well.
After emerging victorious in battle, the remainder of my time with the game had me explore the campground and interact with my allies. I soon learned there's a great deal of story and lore in Lost Eidolons, and a codex of sorts helps me comb through various bits of lore and learn more about the game world. It's difficult to see how deep the story can go when on the floor of a convention center, but considering I was engrossed by the dialogue, I'd say there's more to Lost Eidolons than fulfilling combat.
I'll gladly take another SRPG to play. While 2022 has seen a larger number of games within this genre release than previous years, I find that far few reach the same level of quality as Fire Emblem. Lost Eidolons has a chance of reaching that Intelligent Systems level of gameplay, which means I'll be diving headfirst into the game when it launches on October 13, 2022.
TechRaptor's Lost Eidolons preview was conducted on a demo booth at PAX West 2022.