Strategy RPGs are increasingly rare these days and one of the reason for their shortage is because a good strategy RPG requires a robust combat system to keep the player interested. Kadokawa Games aren’t really known for their work on strategy RPGs and the last one I remember playing from them ended up being rather mediocre, which made me skeptical when I heard about God Wars Future Past. It was only after playing the game that I can safely say that the developers have succeeded in creating a memorable strategy RPG, one that not only offers a fun combat system, but also provides with a cast of characters that makes the experience memorable.
God Wars Future Past takes an interesting approach for its narrative by embodying the Japanese folk stories in its narrative, giving a deeper understanding of them. The game might prove to be tough for those who have no interest in the culture and history of Japan but those who do, it is the perfect game for them in term of the story. The game employs a lot of the myths and creatures that have been told across the Japanese folk stories while proving a dense but simple to grasp combat system that offers plenty of choices for gameplay. The use of Japanese folk is not just neglected to the story but also reflected in the gameplay.
The game manages a job and class based system that offers 3 initial classes in the start: Warrior, Priest, and Magician. These 3 basic classes have their own sub classes that are unlocked as you level up and upgrade their skills. You can change into subsequently more sub-classes and the addition of multiple characters mean you will soon be able to tailor each character to your liking. Each of the job comes with its own skill tree where you can unlock skills once you level up a character.
You can try to keep a character with defensive skills or let them learn offensive skills, depending on their stats and how you want to play them in the combat. You will have the choice to select characters before the start of the battle and while some of the battles will lock out a character as required, you can still select from your whole character roster to use in battle. You can gain experience points after battle to level up them and they can be then used to unlock skills and more sub-classes. There are plenty of combinations to unlock here and each has its own specific advantage in battle.
The story is told through a mix of manga style panels and beautiful animated cutscenes. The character interaction is seen in the form of a visual novel with character portraits laid on screen. There is not a lot to say here regarding the story except how it takes inspiration from the Japanese myths but the main characters are likable and it is easy to grow attached with them. The game has a rather slow start but the beginning deals with the tutorial which will lay out the basics of the combat. There is also an overhead map but it is simply limited to important points of interest.
The battles themselves will take a while to complete and this applies to every battle, no matter what your level. Part of the reason is because of the turn-based approach to combat where your characters can only act if it is their turn and not the enemy. This is not a traditional strategy RPG in that sense that you can’t control all of your characters at each turn, instead you will be performing your actions in each turn depending on the character and there is a good chance an enemy might act in the middle of it. This changes the formula a bit although it is not really that cumbersome.
While I enjoyed the gameplay for the most part, the story is something that could have benefited from a much stronger plot point. As it stands, the game doesn’t really offer much stakes in the journey and at times, it feels like the characters are just wasting their time. Some of the battles later in the game can also end up feeling repetitive because of the turn-based battle system, which means enemies can take turns before you. Thankfully you can speed up the battle from the options so this might help in getting through them.
The visuals featured in God Wars Future Past evoke nostalgic feelings of Final Fantasy Tactics. They don’t offer much eye candy and the characters are not highly detailed, but they get the job done. If you don’t want a high budget RPG with production values through the roof, and just need a nice relaxing game with a fun combat system, you can look forward to playing God Wars Future Past.
God Wars Future Past Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: God Wars Future Past is a tactical role-playing game, with the player navigating a team of characters across a grid in order to defeat an opposing party of characters in turn-based combat.
God Wars Future Past attempts to bring some interesting exposition to the Japanese folk stories while proving a fairly robust combat system with some great customization options.