Developer: Matrix Corp
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 10/12/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Brigandine: the Legend of Runersia, is a Grand Strategy game. What is a Grand Strategy game? This is where the game allows the player to take over an entire country or world. Such as Nobunaga’s Ambition series.
The story Brigandine is told through six interlocking stories six of the warring factions and their political and personal reasons for going to war. Making going in to the story a bit of a no go(or we will be here for a long time). So let me just tell you, each story’s writing is outstanding, interesting, plenty of intrigue and I felt invested in all the stories regardless of the reason for war.
There is one underlying story that I feel gets ignored a lot; that being the story of Runersia itself. As I love to read lore, I had to read the history of Runersia. Just like the “main stories”, this one is amazing if not better. When playing, get a special codex that fills up as you play each faction’s story. Making up what really happened in Runersia. It takes parts of each warring faction’s own story to make a real one,
Grand strategy games follow the basic formula move units do over world activities and then battle (version as some can be VERY involved Victory 2 for instance). Brigandine decided to take things down the simple route and have split the game in to two main stages: Non-combat and Combat.
In this stage players can move units to fortify positions by moving units, equip new items and weapons, start quests and spend EXP e.t.c. This seems like a lot, but it is intuitive and easy to master. This stage is all done on a world map. Not to mention this stage is only really a prelude to the mean of the game.
Combat is Brigandine bread and butter and the primary focus of the game’s stages. In combat the game turns in to a fully fledged Turn-based RPG. where combatants take turns on a hexagon gridded map and try to slaughter each other. At any point there can be multiple units stationed in any potion on the map only three units can be in a battle. Three human Ruin Knights plus their monster retinue.
Ruin Knights are by far the most important choice, as depending on their strengths and weaknesses, as well at the land area the Ruin Knights prefer. This could make or break the battle. Each Ruin Knight is different, so making sure you have the best one is imperative.
After the ruin knight comes the monsters, they can control in battle. Monsters can be equipped to each ruin Knight as log as there is mana to do so. Like Ruin Knights they have strengths and weaknesses, However, they are expendable. As when a monster falls it is dead., good thing mana is readily available. While in battle, keeping monsters close to the Runi Knight will make them more effective in battle.
Battles are not that difficult after a while, however, I have a wee issue or two with the battles. First each battle has only 12 rounds to complete I do not mind that in fact it makes for more haste and more need to fight. The problem lies with the enemies; they take a reactive approach to battle, only moving after the player does. This makes me be more aggressive than I usually play.
The other wee grip I have is you can almost guarantee that all the battles will end up being a cluster of troops slogging it out. This for me takes a big chunk of the tactical element away from the battles. The most tactical it gets is what enemy troop do i aim for.
Brigandine the Legend of Runersia is up there with some of the best Grand Strategy games out there. So it takes a simple approach: this will no doubt turn some people away. Over all this game is excellent and I can’t help but recommend it.