‘Turn-Based RPG’ is akin to a dirty word these days, what with genre pioneers like Final Fantasy, the Tales series, and even the next Valkyria installment, all choosing to experiment with more action-oriented combat styles. Going against the grain, Earthlock: Festival Of Magic looks to provide much needed succor to anyone longing to recapture the feeling of the strategic 90’s RPG with a fresh take on the turn-based style of old. Having already released on Xbox One and PC (to mostly favourable reviews), developer Snowcastle Games has now announced a firm release date for PS4 of January 27th. Read on with us to find out more about the colour-saturated world of Umbra.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic puts players in the shoes of Amon, whose uncle has been nabbed by some robe-wearing, chanting, nefarious cultist types. Setting out to rescue his uncle, Amon and the rag-tag cast of characters soon find themselves on a much more RPG-friendly adventure – to stop the past from repeating itself and, you guessed it, save the world. Trope-laden story aside, Earthlock looks to put a fresh spin on the classic RPG style. In a recent interview for the PlayStation Blog, lead artist Fredrik Dahl gave some insight into exactly what that means. Rather than a traditional levelling system, Earthlock features a customisable ‘talent board’ which will let players place perks to affect certain abilities and stats and can be re-arranged on the fly. This serves the dual purpose of allowing players to set their loadout based on the enemies they are facing as well as eliminating some of the grind common to the turn-based RPG by placing an emphasis on strategy.
In an additional layer of customisation, characters can also be paired up in battle and will gain unique abilities as their bonds grow. To avoid the menu diving that is common to the turn based genre, abilities are set before battle and mapped to face buttons on the controller, allowing players to select various commands with ease. The game also features an ammo crafting system using ingredients harvested from the world around you to add another layer of complexity. This all sounds like a great prospect for fans of the fading genre of the turn-based RPG. We’ll be here to bring you our verdict after the game releases on January 27th.
Earthlock: Festival Of Magic releases in both physical and digital format for the PS4 on the 27th of January. The game is available to pre-order through various retailers, Amazon UK is currently pricing it at £24.99. Are you excited for a rare chance to return to the turn-based RPG, have you already played the Steam or (deep breath) the Xbox One version? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.