Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series and others have made tactical role-playing games popular. Triangle Strategy by Square Enix and Tactics Ogre: Reborn show that the genre can take even more gameplay and narrative leaps.
The genre’s appeal extends beyond triple-A developers. Independent firms like Labrador Studios have created tactical RPGs. That’s Live by the Sword: Tactics.
Live by the Sword: Tactics seems straightforward at first. World and warfare are briefly presented. Like many tactical RPGs before it, the main focus is on character dialogue.
It makes the game more intimate, yet it lacks the epic grandeur of competing games. This is consistent with the game’s focus on narrower, more limited locales and its departure from previous games’ open-world warfare. The smaller size suits most confrontations with five men per side.
The narrative campaign’s bouts are short because of the game’s five-character combat limit. Like many tactical RPGs, this would have succeeded if they hadn’t been going for an all-out combat storyline.
Unfortunately, it makes Live by the Sword: Tactics tougher to follow. The backstory may have been included to let users experience the game’s skirmishes and multiplayer. In small-scale battles, strategic considerations are more vital than relying on a better unit, but tale clashes are generally uncomplicated.
Does the game’s in-depth fundamental mechanics, which encourage strategy over power levelling and weapon acquisition, make it engaging? It never resonated with me like other genre masterpieces.
Live by the Sword: Tactics lacks character development. Players may change their troops’ abilities before a combat to change their playstyle. I’ve never felt that limiting mobility benefited or hurt my character builds or promoted exploration. They seldom needed moveset adjustments.
Finally, conflicts are usually dull. In smaller conflicts, losing one unit substantially hurts the team, hence most strategies focus on a single target to diminish opponent numbers. Even when you’re down to your last one or two adversaries, it may take an agonisingly long time to conclude the combat, even if the conclusion is clear.
In story levels with few soldiers, this is very obvious (often only one or two). In these situations, you just need to perform the minimal to succeed. Even though I knew I was outnumbered, it took a long time to see my soldiers dead so the scheme could continue.
Live by the Sword: Tactics is boring, but adding complexity would make it a dreadful experience where RNG may ruin any strategy. The notion essentially weights fairness against humans rather than computer bots.
Live by the Sword: Tactics offers enough of meat if you like the game’s core gameplay. Narrative mode is a tutorial, as said. Adventure, the “roguelite” mode, lets you explore the world and level up your men.
Finally, there’s a multiplayer mode that’s like skirmish mode but with people fighting one other. This is a terrific addition to a close-quarters combat game with soldiers balanced more like esports games than tactical RPGs. If it can attract and sustain a small, open-minded player base, Live by the Sword: Tactics might be fun for years.
Live by the Sword: Tactics fights are too balanced. It’s enjoyable with buddies online, but playing alone is boring. With a fresh colour scheme, everything seems the same. If the game tried to be more, it may limit tactical game originality and meta usage.
Most genre fans should avoid this game. Single-player material is scarce compared to multiplayer.
It seems ideal to do it with a friend. Live by the Sword: Tactics may be neglected otherwise.