Of all the adventures there are to experience, the Hero’s Journey remains one of the most popular. The idea of an unknowing person who is thrust into a quest that can decide the fate of the world is classic and familiar. Because of that, creatives and designers need to work hard in order to put a new spin on it and create a different experience. This is what 40 Giants Entertainment has tried to do with their game, Reverie Knights Tactics. Including some traditional fantasy elements mixed in with their own take on the adventure epic, this stands to be a challenging journey.
Plotting A Course
The first obstacle every huge fantasy story needs to overcome is to be coherent. It can be difficult to hold someone’s attention when they’re distracted by trying to learn all the new words and concepts. The good news is that Reverie Knights Tactics doesn’t bog you down with too much information and the core story is pretty concise. In a world full of humanoids, the Goblinoids have risen up from mistreatment. They have quickly rallied across the realm to wage war and take control. You play Aurora, a seeker of Knowledge whose father goes missing during an expedition and decides to go looking for him with the help of her closest companions. It’s a personal journey set against the backdrop of a serious threat that will threaten you every step of the way.
When it comes to situations involving strategy, every move you make could be the deciding factor. Thankfully, Reverie Knights Tactics has made some good moves in terms of design. This includes their turn-based system. Each battle takes place on a grid system with each character and enemy will move one at a time. Like pieces on a chessboard, it’s not simply about getting your strongest pieces into the best positions to hit hard. Instead, the system challenges you to think ahead so that your units can last as possible to have the most impact on the field.
Then there’s the decision-making mechanic. The game very clearly indicates that there will be moments in the story where you’ll need to make choices. In standard fashion, the choices you make will determine how the story progresses as well as how characters think of you. What makes it effective is that it’s not based on good or bad but emotion versus logic. Every strategist struggles to make every choice based purely on what’s the most reasonable and responsible, which is what’s expected of you.
Then there’s the visual aesthetic and presentation. It proudly states to be based on the Tormenta RPG and it shows. The hand-drawn animations and still image graphics are detailed and sharp. It carries the definitive fantasy feel which has a colorful look that doesn’t take away from the darker tones of the story.
The worst move you can make is one that you don’t realize how bad it is until it’s already too. There were some choices made in Reverie Knights Tactics that could've used a second thought. One of them is the limitations of the party. You only get four party members throughout a huge campaign fraught with battle. This allows you to get familiar with them quickly, but also somewhat bored. Each character can only take less than a handful of skills and you’ll end up using the same ones frequently.
Another issue is the degree of difficulty in the battles. Even though you have four party members, you’ll frequently be facing forces of more than twice that. While this is somewhat manageable when the foes are small, it's a real problem when fighting Goblinoid units. The average unit has a surprising amount of health and is able to take hits from even your strongest unit. It’s also discouraging when multiple enemy units have attacks and abilities that are far more powerful than yours while covering a wider range. To add insult to injury, none of your units have non-magic ranged attacks.
What makes battles even trickier is how you recover after them. If you’re playing on any other difficulty other than ‘Story’, your units will not heal between battles. You won’t have access to anything like a healer or inn for most of the journey so you need to rely on items. The problem is that these items are uncommon and you’ll burn through them.
Making Plans To Play
Reverie Knights Tactics is a turn-based strategy RPG based on the Tormenta fantasy where every decision matters. It has an advanced battle system with a decision-making mechanic to complement it and quality visuals to make them look good. It has some elements which create frustration and make things harder than they need to be. Despite all this, it has a Souls-like appeal that drives you to beat it so the Reverie Knights will revere you.
TechRaptor reviewed Reverie Knights Tactics on Steam with a copy provided by those behind the game's release. It is also available on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
- Challenging and engaging strategic encounters
- A logical decision-making mechanic different from morality
- Detailed visuals that capture the story and gameplay well
- Frequently overwhelming enemy groups
- Imbalance between player and enemy attack options
- Lack of healing that can make you hit a wall in progression