Training, more training. That is what we have to do, we have to train. We have to learn how to defend our country from attacking enemies. We must learn all of this in a military academy. There are a few of us who have come from different backgrounds, both poor and rich, low and high class. Our differences will make us stronger together. This is our review for Trails of Cold Steel on the PlayStation 4.
From Developer and Publisher Nihon Falcom comes a Japanese RPG that was originally launched in 2015. It has spanned more systems than people originally thought it would and has been released on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Windows, and now PlayStation 4. You are a young student who has been inducted into a military academy with others of your age, and you are quickly thrown into a story beginning where you are fighting right outside your doors. After a quick battle or two, you travel back two years to where the game really begins.
From the hours I have been able to play the game I will tell you that this series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. The gameplay is relatively unchanged from that of the Windows or PlayStation 3 versions, based on videos I have watched before playing this one on PS4. Playing it myself and it is a very smooth running game. You easily transition from area to area whether walking through doors or just moving from the street to another zone marker. You take on the character Rean, and he is a young man who is about to embark on the biggest journey of his life. As a member of Class VII, he and eight other characters will use their skills to become the best fighting unit in this time of political crisis. The Erebonian Empire’s social classes have tensions that will blow up like a powder keg. The best part of this game is that it isn’t a one and done. Trails of Cold Steel 2, 3 and 4 are also on their way to PS4. I have previously reviewed Trails of Cold Steel 2 on Steam and playing out of order definitely hurts you for the story. Now with the ability to play them all straight through I will be having as much fun as I did with the Mass Effect Trilogy.
The battle system from one to the other is about the same but very simple to use and learn. You have Arts, and Skills and normal attacks to use in a fight. The system feels a bit like a Final Fantasy game, with the battle menu on the screen instead of off to the side. Using items is easy once you know what each one does and how they affect the battle. The other cool thing about the combat is the ability to link attacks after a critical hit. When one person attacks one other person that is grouped with them gets the chance for an attack too. This deals extra damage when damage is needed. Some of the enemies can be pretty powerful. There are special attacks that you can power up as well called Zero-Arts, and these work just like a limit break from Final Fantasy. Once you gain enough power for the attack you can unleash it on the enemy or enemies that you are fighting against for a lot of damage. Use it at the right time though, as it takes a little while fighting to recoup the energy.
The game audio is pretty good and makes you want to experience more of it. It is so well composed and just makes you feel something while you are playing in those tense moments. Another thing that was improved in Trails was the voice acting. There are now more voiceovers than before and a lot of the game has some pretty awesome voice acting. These are things that make you want to play a game on top of the story. The acting that goes into it, coupled with great audio, and that is what makes a game’s atmosphere worthwhile.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PlayStation 4 with a code provided by PR.