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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Square Enix is making a new strategy RPG, but it’s not Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Battle

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How many tactics RPGs is too many tactics RPGs? I’m not sure there actually is such a number, but after years of letting the Final Fantasy Tactics series lie fallow, Square Enix seems to have rediscovered that people really like these sorts of games. It just released one named Triangle Strategy for the Nintendo Switch and debuted another during a PlayStation State of Play event on Wednesday: The DioField Chronicle, out later this year. A trailer on Square Enix’s official YouTube channel confirms it’s coming to Steam.

Unlike the “HD-2D” style of Triangle Strategy, The DioField Chronicle is a fully 3D strategy game with a fantasy aesthetic that feels very Tactics Ogre at first, which is generally a more grounded series than Final Fantasy. But no, it’s its own thing, and the combat system looks quite different from the usual square grid of turn-based tactics games. The DioField Chronicle doesn’t have a grid and looks like it uses real-time-with-pause for giving orders to your troops.

From the trailer above we learn a bit about the basic setup, which is classic tactical RPG stuff: three kingdoms going to war, some hand-wringing over whether fighting is the right  path. It’s surprising to see 3D cutscenes and character models in a genre that’s largely been 2D for so long, but I guess The DioField Chronicle is Square Enix’s answer to the rising popularity of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series. 

There’s no date for The DioField Chronicle yet, but Square Enix says it’s coming in 2022. And I’d bet that Square Enix has even more tactics RPG announcements in store for this year. The Nvidia GeForce Now leak from last September listed multiple Square Enix games, including Chrono Cross Remaster (now confirmed), “New strategy game” (hello, DioField) as well as a Final Fantasy Tactics Remaster and Tactics Ogre Remaster. If there is indeed such a thing as too many tactics RPGs, Square Enix is apparently betting that four ain’t it. 

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