Tactics Ogre Reborn
Tactics Ogre is one of the great loves of JRPG fanatics. A remake was released in 2010 in the form of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Now comes another variant of that remake: Tactics Ogre Reborn. What all is new about it and how the game is doing in 2022, you can read in our review.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn Is not just a turnbased-RPG, but a so-called ‘Tactics RPG’. These are games where you play with multiple characters and move across a battlefield that is often divided into squares. Each turn, a character can walk a certain number of squares and then perform an action, such as attacking or using an item.
Tactics Ogre Set in a medieval setting that is quite Low Fantasy. This is to say that while there is magic, it is not otherwise overcrowded with orcs, elves, dragons et cetera. It is a story full of political intrigue and thus is closer to a Game of Thrones than a Lord of the Rings nearby. We find ourselves in a country full of conflict and start a rebellion as a group of youngsters. This starts with a small group of three, but on your adventure you’ll meet more and more people who join you, until you have a whole army.
This army is used tactically during battles. Thus, everyone has a specific profession and you do well not to line up all people with the same profession. Only archers and wizards will be attacked far too easily, but only warriors with swords and shields is not useful either. In addition, you have to equip everyone, you can choose what skills they take into battle, and so on. A great new feature here is that you can see in advance what the battlefield looks like and what kind of enemies you will be fighting. Allows you to make better choices and this Quality of Life feature adds another layer of strategy to an already pretty tactical game.
Quality of Life features can also be found in the battles themselves. Namely, you can assign characters to the computer, which then plays the turns for those units. This makes the game go a little faster, especially if you increase the speed. This gets even better when you consider that good work has been done on the AI. The computer makes much smarter decisions than before, because Artificial Intelligence in the 90s was not that intelligent. Not only does this make it a more realistic choice to leave a few less important units to the computer, but it also means that the opponents are a bit smarter, which provides additional challenge.
However, it is a shame that possible changes were not looked at further. For example, almost every battle begins with you spending two or three turns giving all your units één for één moving closer to the enemy. This becomes quite monotonous and may even cause some reluctance to start a new battle. It would have been so nice if this had been taken care of as well. In that respect, you really do notice that you are playing a game from the 90s, because the pace is extremely slow. This certainly doesn’t have to be a bad thing and if you have angelic patience, you can enjoy the game immensely.
That said: Tactics Ogre Reborn Is a wonderful outlet for the strategic minds among us. All kinds of different pieces of equipment, different professions, different skills, different types of enemies, different battles, you name it. It is a bit more rigid than a Fire Emblem, but therefore more suitable for fanatics.
Another point of improvement is the removal of the random battles, which now allows you to just choose which battles you engage in and when and not be attacked every so often. You also have the pixel-art style of Tactics Ogre. You can’t change too much about this, of course, but the equivalent of a new lick of paint does make it all look less dull and the whole thing more colorful.
We already mentioned it in the preview, but wanted to highlight it again: the voices attached to Reborn added are phenomenal. Voice actors do a sterling job and the rich, classy, old-fashioned script comes alive because of this. The story as a result is wonderful to experience, although this element is also very slow to start. Because the voices are so well recorded, you are much more drawn into the world. It has to be your thing: It’s a slow story and the most interesting moments come from bonds that are built (very) slowly or arise from political tensions.
It feels a little lame to say it multiple times in a review, but also for Tactics Ogre Reborn as a whole, it has to be your thing. It is so’n enormously niche game that it is not recommended to most people. Should you like slow-paced storytelling, can appreciate old-fashioned dialogue and like slow, thought-out strategy, this updated edition is a real delight. Not only that, but then you can put in many dozens of hours because it’s a wonderfully expansive game.
Starting today, Tactics Ogre Reborn is playable on PlayStation 4 or 5, Nintendo Switch and PC.