We all remember the announcement of Project Octopath Traveler. This Square Enix-developed RPG raised many eyebrows for its odd code name and also for its amazing art style. The game was deemed to have a new graphical style called HD-2D, where the characters and textures were all sprite-based but layered with high-quality, modern lighting and effects. This Switch exclusive, though later ported to PC, was a great return to an old-school style of JRPG systems. What was maybe the most surprising was that the game’s official name ended up being Octopath Traveler. Now, Square has revealed the next game to utilize its HD-2D art style.
Again revealed under a working title of Project Triangle Strategy, we all assumed the final game couldn’t possibly use that name. Yet, here we are, and Triangle Strategy is confirmed to be the name of this next, even more gorgeous, tactical JRPG. Thanks to a demo released early in 2021, and a second in 2022, plus a trickle of information throughout the year, we know a good deal about this latest game from the legendary JRPG developer. We’ve strategized our attack and have pulled all the information there is on this exciting new IP, so here’s everything we know about Triangle Strategy.
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When the game was announced and still called Project Triangle Strategy, we were given the giant window of 2022 for a release date. Thankfully, during the Nintendo Direct in September, we got both the real title of the game as well as the firm release date of March 4, 2022. We’re pleasantly surprised to see it coming so early in the year considering how vague the original window was.
Just like Octopath Traveler before it, Triangle Strategy is going to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive. At the present time, that’s the only place this game is set to appear. However, if the similarities between these two games also extend to exclusivity, then there’s a chance we could see Triangle Strategy hit PCs around a year after launch, which would be spring of 2023. While everything does point to that being the case, until it’s official, just take that as speculation.
The latest trailer was at the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, which gave us the final title for Triangle Strategy as well as the March 4 release date. It is a simple trailer showing off several pieces of character art under narration describing the scope of the adventure. It goes over the art style, again highlighting the HD-2D graphics, the strategic, turn-based combat system, and the dynamic narrative that changes based on your choices.
Outside of this trailer, we already learned a decent bit about the setup for Triangle Strategy. You will play as the heir of House Wolffort, Serenoa, who becomes entangled in a conflict between three nations fighting over resources. As Serenoa, you will make choices that not only impact your story along with your allies but supposedly the future of entire nations, too. The three nations include the Kingdom of Glenbrook, Grand Duchy of Aesfrost, and the Holy State of Hyzante. The game is set after an uneasy peace is broken when Aesfrost invades Glenbrook and the Saltiron war begins.
House Wolffort is part of the Kingdom of Glenbrook, meaning Serenoa’s own home is invaded. He is forced to flee his home, setting off his adventure. We assume this adventure will take us across each of the three nations in some capacity, and that it will be up to the player how the conflict between these three powers is eventually resolved.
Other confirmed characters include Frederica Aesfrost, daughter of the king of the Aesfrost Kingdom, also betrothed to Serenoa. Ezana Qlinka is a shamaness from Glenbrook; Medina Alliam is a doctor also from House Wolffort; Roland Glenbrook is the second son of the king of Glenbrook and a childhood friend of Serenoa; and there are plenty more to create a diverse cast of characters in your party.
What excited so many people upon the reveal of Triangle Strategy was the gameplay. Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics have been begging for some kind of sequel to that game for years, and while this isn’t in the same series, it is clearly a spiritual successor to that game’s tactical combat style. If you’re not familiar with Final Fantasy Tactics, the Fire Emblem games are a close comparison. You and your party are placed on a grid-based arena with your enemies, each with their own weapons, HP, skills, stats, and all those JRPG staples. From there, you take turns positioning, attacking, using items, and casting spells, and you can even manipulate the environment with certain elemental effects.
Every action costs Turn Points, or TP, which you can build up, turn by turn. The more powerful moves cost more TP, so saving up is a tactical decision you’ll need to make on the fly. Units will also wield either close-range or long-range weapons, making positioning a major factor. Obviously, a unit with a sword will need to be right next to an enemy to attack them, but there’s also a backstab mechanic where you deal more damage hitting an enemy’s back. You can also deal more damage by flanking an enemy between two units. On the other hand, ranged units get advantages for being at a higher elevation.
Positioning also determines how units can move and attack. Friendly and enemy units can’t pass over each other, or attack through them, so formations will also be important for keeping low health or ranged enemies out of danger.
Like the Fire Emblem games, Triangle Strategy is not a forgiving game. You need to think carefully about every move you make, and even what direction you leave each unit facing if you want to survive. Be prepared for every battle to take a decent chunk of time, too. Not only if you’re a cautious, tactical player, but also because the game itself is a little slow. Thankfully there is an option to speed up battles once you get a better handle on the flow of combat.
All those characters have more utility than just being allies in combat, though. As the trailers point out, choice and consequence are just as important to the gameplay as combat in Triangle Strategy. It’s unclear if it will be at every decision point or just specific ones, but your party will chime in before you make key choices to voice their opinion and point of view, which may influence your decision. In other points, you will rely on your party for choices. Called council voting, some choices are so important that the entire party will vote on what should be done.
In these instances, you will have the chance to convince characters of your way of thinking via dialogue choices. The more you explore and learn about the world, the better options you get at turning other characters to your point of view. The three scales of morality you will be influencing for your character are Utility, Morality, and Liberty, depending on your alignment, story beats, character’s fates, and even what side quests you can take will change.
During the February Nintendo Direct, we also learned that a full gameplay demo for Triangle Strategy would be made available. This demo lets players play through the first three chapters of the game ahead of launch. Aside from getting a taste of how the game will start, the demo is also smart in that all the progress you make will carry over to the full game once it releases. That being said, you can only get to level 5, so you can’t grind too much and make the rest of the game a breeze before it even comes out.
This demo, or more accurately the first three chapters of the game, is more story and character-focused. There are only three real battles to speak of, instead, doing a lot of world-building and setup. Battles themselves work just like the first demo, but perhaps not as grueling. The game is very good at easing you into how it works, the importance of positioning, and how careful you need to be with your very fragile units.
All this leads to a game that looks like a nice, meaty tactical RPG with plenty of replay value.
There is no multiplayer component whatsoever in Triangle Strategy. The game’s official listing confirms this by stating it is a one-player game. Based on the type of game it is, there probably weren’t many people who thought there would be a multiplayer mode, but just in case you did, this is a purely single-player experience.
There’s no planned DLC for Triangle Strategy that we know of, and odds are there won’t be any substantial additions after launch. The main reason we believe this is because Octopath Traveler, again developed by the same team, didn’t make any DLC for that game because they believed it was a finished product. We suspect that they wouldn’t want to change that for Triangle Strategy and that they’ll give us the entire package right from the start, which is perfectly fine with us.
Pre-orders are live! You can reserve your copy of Triangle Strategy straight from Nintendo’s online store here. The game will cost you a full $60, but you can use up to 300 points on it as well. While there is a limited-edition version of the game, which comes with a steel book, playing cards, dice, poster, and display box, it’s only available in Europe at the moment. If this edition becomes available anywhere else in the world, we’ll keep you updated right here!
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