Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch Preview - Strategy Strikes Again

Lost Eidolons was already a fantastic strategy game, and with this upcoming spin-off, could it be even better? Check out our thoughts from PAX West 2023.

Published: September 7, 2023 11:00 AM /

Previewed By:

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch title image with the main characters.

Last year's Lost Eidolons was an exceptional take on the turn-based tactics genre. It took what I loved most from games like Fire Emblem and XCOM and put forth a truly admirable spin on the genre. So to hear that another game in the series is already on the way? Sign me up.

Developed by South Korea-based Ocean Drive Studio, Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch is not a continuation of the first game, but rather its own self-contained spin-off. Having played roughly 30 minutes of this new title at PAX West 2023, it's certainly on its way to becoming -- possibly -- even better than its predecessor.

A screenshot of a new character, Elena, from Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch.
New characters are unlocked as you play.

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch's Evolution of its Predecessor's Combat

From what I could tell, most combat mechanics during battle are retained from the first game in Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch. That includes being able to swap between weapon types in combat, being able to cast spells and abilities, and attacking larger foes' weak points for maximum damage.

Though, I saw some changes to the overall flow of combat. Director Jin Sang Kim hopes this leads to faster fights; as with any tactical strategy game, sometimes battles can last for a while. The most apparent change is the absence of combat animations, which makes combat less of a drag.

Combat animations will still play when using certain special skills, just to add a bit of cinematic flair. But on the topic of skills, you'll be using these a bit differently this time around. Skills still do tons of damage to enemies or add buffs to your characters, but they operate on a cooldown now.

A screenshot showcasing combat in Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch.
There were a few different ways to approach this fight, leading to even more strategic depth.

In other words, you'll have to wait a certain amount of turns before you can use a skill again. They are no longer a finite resource, it seems, and if you're able to wait after a set number of turns, players can once more initiate a skill on foes.

I'm not sure if I'm sold on this just yet, since I do love being able to get myself out of sticky situations on the fly with a big ability. With this new system, I'm not so sure how it'll pan out in later and more challenging fights, but it likely means I'll have to be more conservative when facing enemies.

A screenshot for Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch showcasing how items are upgraded after battle.
Upgrade your items for even more benefits!

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch Adds Even More Depth

The way Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch approaches its campaign looks to be less intensive than the last game. Let's be honest, whether it's Fire Emblem, XCOM, or something else, handling dozens of units and training them up hits me hard with choice paralysis.

The restrained approach Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch takes is by granting players nine characters throughout the campaign. You can only take five with you to battle, so you're not handling a large army. The weapons and general build of your allies are fixed, which is fantastic for me who has a hard time deciding on building my army.

A screenshot showcasing upgrades for Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch.
I'll take the Mythic, thank you.

Other than that, the way you can customize your characters is pretty seamless. Leveling up a character gives me a choice between two upgrades. I'll need to take another look at Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch to learn about the exact names and how far this system goes, but I was often given a choice between increased defense, offensive, and more.

Other choices granted permanent changes to my abilities, altering them in such a way that I can see there's some depth to this system. Adding on to that, beating a level allowed me to further upgrade and enhance my party member's gear, making them even stronger than before.

A screenshot of Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch showcasing combat with spells.
Evie got me out of a few sticky situations.

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch PAX West 2023 Preview | Final Thoughts

There's still a lot more I want to see with Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch. Certainly, a game of this depth can't be fully experienced in just 30 minutes. There's split paths to choose from in the overworld and party interactions I haven't seen, but I'm certain it'll add on to what is already a promising strategy title.

Last year, Kim was upfront about Lost Eidolons and wished there was an early access period for the first game. This time around, Veil of the Witch is going to Early Access to take into account community feedback and, hopefully, become a big hit for Ocean Drive.

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch was previewed at PAX West 2023.

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| Staff Writer

Austin cut his teeth writing various  fan-fiction stories on the RuneScape forums when he was in elementary school. Later on, he developed a deep love for… More about Austin