Following yesterday’s surprise announcement of the tactical JRPG The DioField Chronicle, both the western and Japanese arms of Square Enix have released tons of details, artwork, and screenshots.
First of all, we start with a look at the story:
“The era of myths gives way to an era of great turmoil…
The world of men is mired in an age of war which rages for year on end.
A band of elite mercenaries calling themselves Blue Fox arise amidst the flames and the chaos, their fates and valiant deeds to be sung of in ages yet to come.
But when all is said and done, will the name “”Blue Fox”” come to signify hope or darkest tragedy?”
We get to see a map of the world and in particular, Diofield island, which serves as the setting, alongside the crests of the factions involved, the Kingdom of Alletain, the Trovelt-Schoevien Empire, and the Rowetale Alliance. The protagonists are members of a mercenary company defending Alletain called “Blue Fox.”
The continent has been devastated by the war between the Empire and the Alliance, but as the conflict stalls, they turn their sights toward Alletain, since the island of Diofield has rich resources of “Jade,” an element required for modern magic.
Does this sound familiar to you? Because it certainly does to me.
Here’s a description of the characters that will meet, mostly part of the Blue Foxes.
One of the four heads of the Blue Foxes. He is a calm, cool, and resourceful leader.
As a child he caught the eye of a nobleman who recognised something special in him, and after being trained as a soldier he became the chamberlain and bodyguard of the fourth in line to the throne, Prince Levantia Shaytham.
He has studied strategy and tactics, and is well-versed in the Ancient Sorcery that has been passed down on Diofield through the generations. He has numerous talented agents in his employ, and is skilled in the art of subterfuge.
One of the four heads of the Blue Foxes.
He and Andrias have known each other since childhood and share a strong bond of brotherhood borne from the life-threatening situations they’ve faced together. He is kind-hearted and naive, perhaps due to his upbringing in a beautiful natural environment. People admire him for his directness and honesty, but he has a tendency to become obsessed with whatever he is passionate about.
Possessing superb physical attributes, he could easily serve as an infantryman, but opts to leverage his fine riding skills and freely gallop across the battlefield on horseback.
One of the four heads of the Blue Foxes. The son of a minor noble, he followed the Colchester tradition of joining the local order of knights.
When a tragic incident arose, he left and became a knight-errant, travelling alone across the kingdom. While often aloof, he will never ignore those in need and because of this is respected by his subordinates.
He is a prodigiously talented archer, which served him well while working as a mercenary.
One of the four heads of the Blue Foxes and a noblewoman of the esteemed House Redditch.
Born the daughter of one of Suffield’s most prominent noblemen, she has been spoiled her entire life. Accordingly, she can be selfish and arrogant, but her grace, intelligence, and natural beauty are undeniable.
She became interested in magic at an early age, and after immersing herself in wide-ranging studies of Ancient Sorcery, she developed into a peerless magicker.
A Blue Fox and the only daughter of Zoruaq Wigan, a famous mercenary of legendary skill.
She inherited her father’s fighting prowess and is known for her swift and dextrous swordsmanship. Preferring to avoid bloodshed when possible, she nonetheless proactively seeks out opponents. Sensible and kind-hearted, she is often compelled to turn a blind eye to the horrors unfolding around her on the battlefield.
An administrator for the Blue Fox mercenary company, who also acts as their intermediary with the government.
A woman belonging to House Luckshaw, a mid-rank noble house. Hailed for her abilities ever since youth, her keen intellect made her all the more rankled by the unequal treatment those of her gender faced. She ran away from home at the age of 16 when her father tried to force her to marry, and aiming to make her way in society, entered an academy funded by Duke Hende.
After graduating she became a high-ranking official within the government, and eventually became so well-known that her father was forced into a reconciliation to save face. Soon after, Duke Hende asked for her help in forming a new mercenary group. She gladly accepted, feeling indebted to Duke Hende who had recognised her talent from the beginning.
The princess of Alletain, born to King Regalt and the third queen Stella, also the mother of Levantia Shaytham.
When the war for the throne became more bloody, King Regalt arranged for the royal family to escape Middenfield and live in seclusion. However, second prince Victor and his close ally Lord Kimble kidnapped the family and imprisoned them in Beasel Tower deep in the mountains. She gives up on the idea of ever being rescued, and resigns to her fate of being kept in her birdcage.
The head of House Hende, a noble house that has gained considerable power in a short amount of time.
William had gone to the continent to study in his youth, and used the knowledge he gained there to help his family gain fame and fortune upon his return. He made an enormous profit by trading Jade to other nations, and used the money to expand his territory. He also embarked upon his own business by incorporating technologies from the continent, which allowed him to become one of the wealthiest people in the kingdom.
When he was selected to be a councillor on the Lords Council, he set up his own order of knights, and has been building up his own military ever since.
Next, we learn more about the gameplay:
Distinctive features of the game
A deep and immersive story brought to life with the latest graphics. “Real Time Tactical Battle” (RTTB), a new, highly strategic, real-time battle system. The birth of a new SRPG, crafted by a skilled and experienced development team.
A new Strategy RPG, brought to you by Square Enix
An all-new Strategy RPG that chronicles an epic tale of war and honour. Featuring a unique and beautiful world that blends fantasy, medieval and modern-day influences, and a deep yet innovative real-time battle system.
Realistic “diorama” style battle scenes
Richly detailed depictions of the environments of the island of DioField combined with unique “diorama” style visuals as you command your forces like a general.
Deep, strategic, real-time tactical battles
The battles in this game are defined by real-time assessment of battlefield conditions and issuing decisive orders that take advantage of your troops strengths and weaknesses to gain advantage over your foe. Make clever use of a variety of skills, classes and equipment to complete your mission.
The game flow starts with missions being assigned to the Blue Fox by various characters, and accepting any results in a battle.
The players will be able to perform preparations and upgrades at the base, followed by a briefing, and then the battle itself.
By completing each mission players will receive various rewards that can be used to further equip the base, improve weapons and skills, and progress with the story.
Battles are in real-time, prompting players to move freely on the field and react quickly to the situation while taking advantage of the characteristics of each unit.
Positional attacks are included, like backstabs, which deal more damage. You can use EP to activate skills associated with weapons, and different classes can use different weapons. You can also use skills to block enemy skills.
By defeating enemies you fill the TP Gauge that can be used to summon Bahamut, dealing high damage in a wide area.
At the base you control Andrias and you can freely walk around, talk with other members of the Blue Fox, purchase and improve equipment, level up via a skill tree, and prepare for missions.
You can select missions at the planning table, where you will be briefed about details, winning, and losing conditions.
Below you can find all the images.
We also learn more about the staff. Character design is by Taiki of Rise of Mana & Vermillion series fame.
Concept art is by Isamu Kamikokuryo, whom fans of the genre will certainly know for his work on several titles of the Final Fantasy series.
The music is by Game of Thrones composers Ramin Djawadi and Brendan Cambell.
The DioField Chronicle will release in 2022 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.