When you play the triangular strategy, you win or you die.
In the first Nintendo Direct of 2021, one of the big news was Project Triangle Strategy, Square Enix’s new tactical RPG. Best known for the Final Fantasy series, the company decided to combine in its new game the strategic combat of Fire Emblem with the political machinations adored by Game of Thrones fans. But does this mixture really work?
We took advantage of the fact that the free demo is now available on the Brazilian Nintendo eShop to test this awesome Nintendo Switch exclusive firsthand. All about the Triangle strategy.
Between iron and salt
Still without a definitive title, the Triangle Strategy project takes place on the distant continent of Norzelia. The map is very reminiscent of the Game of Thrones openings, which is no coincidence. Everything has been thought of to improve the immersion of the players in the political conflicts over resources and power, as well as in the HBO classic.
Three neighboring nations have fought for centuries for control of the essentials for ensuring military might: salt for the magical troops and iron for the armed army. Many lives were lost until a peace treaty was signed, but everything is about to change.
There is a grand plot to dethrone the Regent of Glenbrook, the kingdom best positioned strategically to concentrate trade routes. As the lord of House Wolffort, you will have to guide your clan through the twisting paths of impending war.
Power comes from the people
To fully test the ability of players to prepare elaborate strategies, Triangle Strategy decided to go beyond battles. If you intend to get along, you will need to learn to navigate the world of politics.
The biggest decisions of Casa Wolffort are decided by vote. All members of your team have the right to express their beliefs in a democratic process that is more interesting than it looks. This is because you can influence your votes and this is where things get interesting.
To win the majority, you must find ways to convince your allies to vote for you. The best way is to find evidence that supports your point and hide the evidence that may show you are wrong. The key is to be strategic. After all, everything happens in war!
Your choices define you!
Their positions will experience changes far beyond expectations. Deciding to help or abandon an ally, like all of your in-game decisions, will shape your reputation in the game world. Certain characters will only be available to certain types of players.
If you are a cooler person who always thinks about the practical consequences, your people may call you a public service. If you always try to do the right thing, even if it hurts your clan, they will see you as moralizers. But if you don’t bow down, even when the situation calls for it, you will be considered a libertarian.
And from the demo, it became clear that there isn’t one way that is safer than the other. There are a lot of characters plotting under the hood, a lot that you can uncover with side missions, so the way is to go with your gut and know who to trust.
Nostalgia and strategy
Veterans will love the artistic direction of Triangle Strategy. In the footsteps of Octopath Traveler, we have the triumphant return of a three-dimensional world covered in pixelated graphics (HD-2D), very reminiscent of the old guard of video games. Only this time everything seems smaller, but more focused.
Unlike regular RPGs, it is not possible to explore the map freely. Before you blame the developers, be aware that this is normal among tactical games. Players are limited to knowing only a small fraction of the world – usually only the cities where big battles are going to take place.
It may frustrate those who expected a plentiful open world, but those looking for deep combat with a good narrative will find Triangle Strategy a full plate. The game has an energy system which, by recharging with each turn, encourages you to always attack with your best weapons. In addition to thinking about each character’s unique attacks and the order of fights, it’s essential to be aware of their position as well.
Battlefields harness the full potential of a 3D environment. Not only paying attention to distance makes all the difference, but height difference is also part of the game. An archer can aim much further if he is high, for example. It also has more effective hits if you jump from a very high place.
And to improve, each card promises to bring unique strategies with major consequences for the plot. Do you want to burn down your village to destroy your enemies or is the welfare of your clan above all else? These decisions come in the heat of the moment, but they can change the course of the story.
The demo has a high difficulty to allow players to experiment with different strategies, so you can’t know exactly how the final experience will be.
At the moment, Triangle Strategy is not a game for beginners. For lovers of political executives worthy of the pages of George RR Martin, it may be worth giving it a try. But anyone who’s already a fan of tactical games like Fire Emblem, X-COM, Into the Breach, and Final Fantasy Tatics will find Square Enix’s new game a complete plate to challenge themselves.
Triangle Strategy will arrive exclusively on Nintendo Switch in 2022.