Square Enix has long since been the master of the JRPG. Even if you only look at Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, it owns and creates the biggest RPG franchises in the industry — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sure, it could easily rely on those big names for all their future games, but it continues to surprise us with new franchises and IP.
The DioField Chronicle, for example, was a surprise announcement that could have easily fit right in as the next entry in the Final Fantasy Tactics series, but instead is carving its own path. While many people do want the big Final Fantasy Tactics name, this new tactics title looks like it checks all the right boxes for fans.
Announced first at the March 2022 State of Play, The DioField Chronicle stood out among the other Square Enix announcements for not only being a new IP, but for being a return to the tactical RPG genre that has been growing in popularity with the likes of the recent Fire Emblem games and Triangle Strategy. Unlike Triangle Strategy, which tries to harken back to old school, pixel art RPGs of the 90s, The DioField Chronicle is a fully 3D and modern-looking take on the genre. There’s still a lot to be revealed about this new tactics RPG from Square Enix, but here’s everything we know so far about The DioField Chronicle.
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With just the reveal trailer shown so far, all Square Enix has said about The DioField Chronicle‘s release date is that it is “coming 2022.” Because there’s no firm date, we feel like it’s safe to rule out this title coming anytime in the first half, and more likely even first three quarters, of the year. If this game manages to hit in 2022, we don’t see it arriving before the fall or winter months, which isn’t that too long of a wait considering how close to release it would end up being from it being announced.
The trailer also ends with the platforms we can expect the game to be on. Since it was revealed at a State of Play, obviously The DioField Chronicle will be coming to PlayStation consoles, both PS4 and PS5, plus PC. What was left intentionally vague, due to the trailer being shown at a Sony-hosted event, is that these are only a few of the platforms this game will be coming to. On the official site, the platforms listed include PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch. So, if the trailer had you concerned, there’s no need to worry. As long as you have a modern console or PC, you’re good to go when this game comes out.
The debut trailer wasn’t long, but has a lot packed into it to check out.
We open on a map that looks like it may also be used during the gameplay as we hear some voiceovers. We don’t know what they’re talking about, but see some cinematic action of soldiers assaulting a castle, a naval battle, and what looks like a mage about to cast a spell.
We cut to the map again, this time pointing out different factions. We start with the Trovelt-Schoevian Empire, which waged a war against the Rowetale Alliance, supposedly wreaking havoc on the land. A third faction, the Kingdom of Alletain, apparently stayed out of this conflict. However, it seems the Empire has finally brought the conflict to this island nation. From here we get a first look at some of the actual gameplay in action, which we will dissect more below.
According to the official site, The DioField Chronicle will blend modern, fantasy, and medieval worlds together. The main reason for the conflict coming to Alletain seems to be their abundance of Jade, which is a core ingredient in magic in this world. You will take control of a mercenary group called Blue Fox. As far as who these characters are, what their personalities will be, and anything else in that regard, nothing has been shared.
We saw just scraps of gameplay for The DioField Chronicle, but more than enough to get a good idea of what’s in store when the game hits. The game will take place in real time, but you will have the option to pause at any moment to issue orders, making it somewhat of a hybrid system. It isn’t grid-based, and units will all move at once, making timing your skills and abilities more important.
Using a skill does seem to trigger a pause, where you can manually target and unleash your attack. Some of these abilities seem to also trigger flashy cinematic before cutting back to the battlefield to show the damage numbers and result. The same is true for what looks to be a summon, where the camera dynamically whisks around the battlefield and up into the sky to track the massive beast hurtling down.
Between individual battles, there looks to be a planning stage where you utilize a war table to pick missions, and perhaps do more management. On the table shown we see the year, perhaps implying there will be time limits on some or all events and a recon mission. When highlighted, we see the name, an ideal rank to take it on, some flavor text, plus special conditions you can try to complete for additional rewards.
The only other tidbit to be gleaned from the official website is that you will “make smart use of a wide variety of skills, classes, and equipment to gain the upper hand.” These are all typical of the genre, so not exciting, but good to know they will be present.
Tactics RPGs rarely have multiplayer modes, so we’re not holding our breath that The DioField Chronicle will either. Everything shown so far about the game seems focused on the single-player, story-driven experience. That’s not to say its impossible, but with how the game functions as both real-time combat with the ability to pause, they would have to do a lot to make it work in any kind of multiplayer mode. Our take is not to plan on playing this one with friends.
If the world is as rich and deep as Square Enix implies, there’s a lot of potential for DLC in The DioField Chronicle, but so far, only the game itself is confirmed. If the game only takes place in the Kingdom of Alletain, or only from their perspective, then shifting to other parts of the world, and playing as either of the other two major factions, could easily be added as DLC campaigns. That’s all assuming it makes sense from a story perspective, though, so for now, it’s all just speculation.
While it expects us to play The DioField Chronicle sometime this year, Square Enix hasn’t nailed down a hard release date just yet. It’s common for release date announcements to come with pre-orders opening up, so as soon as that news drops we will keep you informed on where and how you can pre-order, as well as details on any different editions that might be coming.
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