Arcadian Atlas (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 18.01.2024

Review for Arcadian Atlas on PC

Final Fantasy Tactics was a ground breaking game back in its release on the original PlayStation, essentially making a genre unto itself. Moving units around a grid in a turn-based battle, levelling up different classes and skills, and a fairly mature story for its time accumulated many fans over the years. In Arcadian Atlas units must be guided through an erupting civil war. Cubed3 sits down to play through this FFT inspired title to how it measures up.

Arcadian Atlas is made by a small team and sadly many of the typical problems of indies are ever-present. Namely the quality in some spots is outstanding, whereas other parts are severely lacking. Many elements seem directly taken out of the Final Fantasy Tactics playbook, from the 'flash forward' opening battle, the old grizzled knight character fighting alongside the player, the origins flashback, going to the bar for jobs, and of course the class and grid battle system. That is all well and good, anyone can play Tactics, but does this particular game stand on its own?

From the beginning, the sprite work of the game is very beautiful. Looking at screenshots it is the extra details like having the sprites show fear or giving side-long glances that really left a positive impression. The art team on this element was entirely on point. However, the graphics don't maintain a high level throughout the game. For example, the portraits of the characters look off, and do not match their sprites in the slightest.

The story is a mixed bag too. There are a lot of characters with different motivations, and even early on it was engaging to see who was backstabbing each other. Equally enjoyable were instances where the queen is portrayed as evil, but seeing certain events occur make it doubtful if that is actually the case. It would have been nice to have both a quick introduction to each character, and also a summary to refer to in the menu system to remember what is going on.

Screenshot for Arcadian Atlas on PC

The core of the game is the battle system, and this is where Arcadian Atlas fails to deliver any knockout blows. Combat is a very typical affair of every unit taking a turn, moving around, doing an action, then the next unit going until everyone is dead. There is a myriad of issues including the fixed camera, where many times there are objects in front of it blocking what is happening from view. Furthermore delayed or charge attacks are frequently unclear when they are going to fire.

There are many similar units with ranged attacks, and for all intents and purposes they are mostly interchangeable. The mage is functionally the same as the archer or the chemist. Certainly some use MP, but running out of MP is rarely an issue, and nothing is that different. Melee units largely get beaten, they aren't any tougher, or stronger, and get whittled down before they can do much. It was kind of fun just spamming archers and not having much of a problem with supplies.

The class system had potential, even if fairly minimal. Each class has a very small tree with six to ten items to level up. There were different sub-class skills, such as a bow versus a crossbow; or for mages, lightning versus flame. The issue is everything can be learned, so it doesn't actually change anything.

Screenshot for Arcadian Atlas on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Arcadian Atlas had some solid concepts, the sprites in particular deserving serious commendation for being a highlight of the game that sprite fans will love. Unfortunately, from there the quality really slips; unreadable text, a lacklustre class and skill system, and disjointed art to name a few of the multiple little issues that drag the game down. there are too many little issues that drag the game down and prevent it being fun. The developers seem responsive and some of these issues may be addressed in future updates, but given that the game is being sold for a mid-range price, players should expect a better package.

Developer

Twin Otter Studios

Publisher

Serenity Forge

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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