Ogre Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics are both recognized series that paved the path for all tactical RPGS. Many have tried to bring their own spin to the genre, but very few have done much to be memorable. Enter the captivating world of Arcadian Atlas, a tactical RPG that will transport you to a realm of fantasy and intrigue. Developed by Twin Otter Studios and published by Serenity Forge, Arcadian Atlas has been highly anticipated by fans of the genre since its successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016. Now, after seven years of development, the game has finally arrived on PC, offering players a rich narrative, engaging gameplay, and a chance to embark on an epic adventure.
Arcadian Atlas presents a story that revolves around two star-crossed lovers, Vashti and Desmond, who find themselves caught in the midst of a war they never asked for. Set in a fantasy kingdom of Arcadia, the game introduces players to a world filled with kings, queens, magic users, and mythical creatures. The central conflict arises when Princess Lucretia and her sister Princess Annalise fight for their rightful place on the Dantalion Throne, while the newly widowed queen, Venezia, also lays claim to power.
As players progress through the game, they will experience the story from different perspectives, witnessing the consequences of the war and the intricate web of relationships that binds the characters together. The narrative is filled with twists and turns, keeping players on the edge of their seats as they uncover the truth behind the conflict and the supernatural power of the Atlas, a force that shapes the fate of those connected to it.
At the core of Arcadian Atlas lies its tactical grid-based combat system, reminiscent of beloved classics like Final Fantasy Tactics. Players will command a party of up to five characters, strategically positioning them on the battlefield and utilizing their unique abilities to overcome enemies. The game starts with four initial job classes: Warmancers, Cavaliers, Apothecaries, and Rangers. However, as players progress, they will unlock additional classes through the Skill Tree system, allowing for further customization and specialization of their party.
Combat in Arcadian Atlas requires careful planning and foresight, as the enemy is often within striking distance right from the start. The game adds an extra layer of challenge by not revealing enemy locations before the battle begins, forcing players to think strategically and adapt to the ever-changing battlefield. While the combat may lack some of the flashy animations found in other tactics games, it compensates with a sense of realism and a focus on the tactical aspects of warfare.
In addition to its engaging story and challenging battles, Arcadian Atlas offers players the opportunity to explore the world of Arcadia. The game features a world map that guides players to different locations, providing a sense of direction and purpose. Along the way, players will encounter recruitment stations, taverns, and item shops, each offering unique opportunities and resources. Recruitment stations allow players to recruit new companions, adding depth and variety to their party. Taverns not only provide side quests for players to undertake but also offer a chance to interact with the locals and learn more about the world and its lore. On the other hand, item shops offer a wide range of equipment to enhance and strengthen the characters. By carefully managing resources and making strategic choices, players can ensure that their party is well-equipped and prepared for the challenges ahead.
One of the standout features of Arcadian Atlas is its well-developed characters. From the stoic Vashti to the charismatic Desmond, each character is brought to life through detailed artwork and engaging dialogue. Players will witness the growth and transformation of these characters as they navigate through the complexities of the war and face their own personal demons. Eda, a healer, and friend to both Vashti and Desmond, quickly becomes a fan favorite with her endearing personality and captivating character design. Other characters, such as Wulff, the captain of the Queen’s guard, and Lucretia, the exiled princess, also undergo significant character development, adding depth and complexity to the overall narrative.
While Arcadian Atlas excels in many areas, there are a few challenges that players may encounter during gameplay. One of these challenges is the lack of information about enemy locations before entering battle, which can lead to tactical missteps and potential defeat. Additionally, the game’s combat animations and spell effects may lack the visual impact and excitement found in other tactical RPGs, which could leave some players wanting more. Furthermore, technical issues such as occasional crashes and long load times may disrupt the overall gaming experience. These issues, while not major, can be frustrating and detract from the immersion of the game. However, it is worth noting that the game runs smoothly overall, and these issues do not significantly impact the overall enjoyment of Arcadian Atlas.
The music in Arcadian Atlas is an exciting mix of jazz and emotional melodies. While the title screen sets a grand and epic tone, some of the background music during gameplay may feel out of place or repetitive. However, the standout element of the soundtrack is the saxophone, which adds a unique and soulful touch to the overall audio experience. The music effectively sets the mood for battles and tender moments, enhancing the emotional impact of the story.
In conclusion, Arcadian Atlas offers a captivating and immersive experience for fans of tactical RPGs. Its engaging narrative, well-developed characters, and strategic combat system will keep players hooked from start to finish. While the game may have some technical issues and lacks the flashiness of other tactics games, its strengths in storytelling and character development make it a worthwhile addition to the genre. For those seeking a challenging and thought-provoking adventure, Arcadian Atlas delivers. Its intricate plot, filled with twists and turns, will keep players guessing and emotionally invested until the very end. For those looking to fill in the void that Final Fantasy Tactics left, look no further, as Arcadian Atlas follows in its footsteps. So, gather your party, prepare your tactics, and embark on a journey through the fantasy world of Arcadia.