We're probably not going to see another Final Fantasy Tactics. You'll NEVER see a Fire Emblem game on PlayStation. But now you have Liege, and that might be just fine.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter run, one-man studio John Rhee is bringing the tactical RPG with a focus on deeply personal stories to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita next summer. I am totally onboard.
I mean, just look at the art. LOOK AT IT.
It's deeply muted, highly detailed, and unquestionably vibrant. And it conjures images of exactly what it should: genre classics and legends, many of which inspire Liege's gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, Liege will borrow the heavy emphasis on unit placement and movement that grants a game like chess extended replayability beneath simple mechanics. Indeed, Rhee is making a conscious push for "elegant, accessible, and deterministic mechanics" that shun the "arbitrary complexity" common to the genre. You will learn Liege quickly, but you may never master it.
The narrative will be more Game of Thrones, less Final Fantasy XIII. Humans like us, with complicated feelings and motivations, are thrust into a civil war that erupts in the wake of the royal family's mysterious death. Different factions include noble houses, the royal-less Royal Army, and outlaws looking to stir up trouble in the chaos.
I'm 70 percent sure Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear Solid) drew the character art.
Mounted combat, sea travel, and large-scale battles have been unlocked as stretch goals. Better graphics and an "elaborate, multi-stage playable sequence" are still on the table (the campaign has three days left).
Liege will release in three parts. The first is scheduled for early 2014.
Unit classes have traits that counter each other (advanced Knights beat Pikemen phalanxes, for example). Banners grant stat bonuses to certain classes.
Unused actions during your turn will directly convert to defensive power during enemy turns. That means every turn requires a careful balance of enough (but not too much!) movement, and offensive strikes are best launched with aggressive execution.
John Rhee asked for $15,000. So far, Liege has accrued $53,000. You can secure an early copy and help push Liege to its last few stretch goals by pledging to its Kickstarter campaign, which ends on July 28 at 10:00 PM Eastern.