Project Triangle Strategy - Preview, Square Enix strikes again

In the last Nintendo DirectBetween probable and unexpected announcements, a new RPG has been revealed boiling in the cauldron of Square Enix and which will be released next year: we are obviously talking about Project triangle strategy. Along the aesthetic lines of the lucky one Octopath Traveler, Square Enix proposes a game in HD-2D with a combat system significantly different from those of the previous strategic titles of the same production company. Surprisingly, the Project Triangle Strategy demo, the subject of this preview, has been rendered available immediately after the announcement. What should we expect from this RPG? Does the combat system manage to be both innovative and effective?

First moments of the game: aesthetics meets diplomacy

Starting the demo, the game immediately warns us: we are about to play two intermediate chapters of Project Triangle Strategy, so the history will be (inevitably) of difficult to understand. Furthermore, the difficulty of the fighting è top to that of the definitive game, with the intention of giving players a demanding challenge to encourage them to test the combat system in the best possible way; it is not the first time that Square Enix has taken a similar decision, which can also be seen in the first demo of Bravely Default II. Leaving aside the story, which for the moment seems to follow the topoi of the chivalric epic tale (kingdoms in conflict, disputes over the throne, valiant champions to the rescue), i characters appear well characterized, both graphically and in the way they act.


Each ally has a very specific personality, and we will soon experience this on our skin in the voting rounds. A first innovation of Project Triangle Strategy lies in these short quests with a jurisprudential aftertaste where the goal is to convince your army to follow a certain plan. If, for example, you have to decide whether to compromise with the enemy or whether to attack, each character will have his own idea about it. It is up to us players to strengthen it or take it apart before the moment of the vote, in which all the characters will express themselves on what to do; the game, of course, will follow the direction of these collective choices.

Another interesting element is theintroduction of beliefs. In the exploration phases, which unfortunately are definitely residual in the demo, we will be called to speak with some characters by choosing one of the three dialogue options. Our choice will increase the score by one parameter between pragmatism, morality e freedom which, however, will not be visible to the player. Depending on the prevailing belief, the game will take a different turn, making us meet different characters and giving a different twist to the main story.

On a technical level, Project Triangle Strategy is already such a one wonder for the eyes and ears. The HD-2D graphics that we loved so much in Octopath Traveler is presented in an improved and significantly more functional way to the game system. In fact, in Project Triangle Strategy we can say goodbye to the fixed view in favor of one camera adjustable with the left Joy-con. This, especially in battle, is fundamental to locate traps, treasures or enemies hidden within the map, or to better plan the movements of the characters.

Ready for battle: the Project Triangle Strategy battle system

We now come to the main course served in the demo, namely the battle system. Already from the trailer, we could see one appear chessboard on the pitch, almost identical to the titles of the saga of Fire Emblem. However, in Project Triangle Strategy it is there is no division between the player's turn and the enemy's turn. In fact, the first to attack will be the characters (friends or enemies) with the speed higher, similar to what happens in Octopath Traveler. But let's go in order: once the next chapter has been selected, after a cutscene and possibly a short exploration phase, the preparations screen opens, where you can choose the units to deploy, refuel and take a look at the map. Again you feel the similarities with Fire Emblem, but without the clarity and simplicity of the interface that distinguishes the titles of Intelligent Systems.

Once the fight has started, the units must be deployed on the board to annihilate the enemies. Similarly to the titles of the saga of Bravely Default, if you don't want to (or can't) attack, you can end your turn right away to get a PT which, as in the case of the Brave Points, gives access to certain attacks, usually more powerful than regular ones. If, on the other hand, you want to attack, the defending unit will not be able to attack, which is only allowed during your turn. Watch out for tactics: if you hit an enemy at shoulders, critical is insured; if you surround it, you can throw a combined attack. At the end of the turn, it is imperative to indicate in which direction our character will have to turn around: the goal is do not turn your back on the enemy, because what was said before it also applies to our allies!

An interesting innovation compared to the titles we mentioned previously is the importance entrusted to Plot of game, full of gradients: taking advantage of the morphology of the level, the characters (friends and enemies) can attack while remaining at the shelter or strive for ambushes, or even hurl some special attacks whose strength increases according to the height difference from which you descend. If in Fire Emblem the terrain had the property of slowing down or damaging the characters as the only variable, in Project Triangle Strategy this covers a highly respected strategic element.

In conclusion, one clarification is required: Project Triangle Strategy is a title with enormous potential and strong premises, on which it is possible to build a commendable game. However, the battle system is still very slow and cumbersome, a far cry from the intuitiveness of Bravely Default, Octopath Traveler and Fire Emblem. Surely, being only a debut demo (by the way very long-lived), the result is very good. For this reason, we invite you to play Project Triangle Strategy and answer the questionnaire that Square Enix will send you later (as it did for Bravely Default II), in order to provide it with some feedback useful for improving the game.

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