I have made a mistake. After playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV, I should have known not to dip my toe in the tactical role-playing game genre again. Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a tactical RPG about several warring nations.
Each nation (except for one) holds a special kind of gem that allows their most powerful figures to summon armies. These armies allow them the opportunity to conquer the opposing nations. The game opens from one of six vantage points, you choose which nation you want to represent, and from there you have a certain amount of resources and time to accomplish your goal, conquering the world.
Mana is the name of the game. You utilise it to summon monsters to your army, you have to manage it much like food in other titles like Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV. You also have to be aware of each of the opposing nations.
Not only must you have a great force in number, but you also have to high-level monsters in each army to guarantee success. There are ways to achieve greater success. You can send your units off to train and level up or you can send them on quests to recruit new characters or items to further enhance your monsters and heroes.
It’s a decent premise if somewhat unoriginal.
The fleeting but shining moments of Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a beautiful looking game. The artwork of the world and the characters within it are outstanding. I adored every image because it looked like a mosaic, and the voice work is so emotive and Shakespearean.
The character and unit portraits are spellbinding and the worldbuilding at the opening of the game is also impressive.
The fractured gem
If only the rest of the aesthetics were as well done. Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a current-gen title and when you begin to play the actual gameplay of the game you are hit hard by its less than stellar graphics.
When you enter a battlefield, whether you are defending yourself from oncoming forces or you are invading the graphics go to what I can only describe as PlayStation 2 era. I’ve actually wondered this for a long time. Are there any tactical titles that have truly impressive graphics, because with every title I’ve tried in this genre I find this a recurring theme?
Much like other titles of the genre Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is all about that resource management. During each season you have a mana upkeep which you have to take into account whenever you try to summon bigger, badder monsters to your forces. I found this so boring, now this could have been due to my choice in character. I chose Rudo Marco, the leader of the Mana Saleesia Theocracy.
Honestly, I chose him due to his phenomenal design, but to be fair every lead character has great designs and backstories. I felt that I had no control as the beginning forces had already been jam-packed with numbers that I couldn’t enhance. So when the next season came around and every other nations forces jumped in numbers I felt immediately dejected.
In defeat, there is still victory
If there are any other positives I would include the fact that the replayability is impressive. Six different forces to try out, with different strengths and weaknesses. Then you add to that bonus content that extends your playthrough and if you enjoy this type of game you’re onto a winner.
I think this is my last foray into the tactical RPG genre. Not even a fascinating world like the one in Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia could entice me in.