March is right around the corner, and with it is a selection of highly anticipated games, one of which being Resonance of Fate. Developed by tri-Ace, Resonance of Fate takes place in a post-apocalyptic, poison-shrouded world in which humanity has been forced to the brink of extinction and now lives in and around Basel, a gigantic tower built to purify the Earth's air. Resonance of Fate follows the story of Zephyr, a Private Military Firm mercenary, as he sets out to uncover the secrets of Basel and Subject #20, a young girl engineered to die on her twentieth birthday.
"The player will be able to...jump into the air in an acrobatic display worthy of praise and let loose with their guns."
RPGamers will most likely find the battles in Resonance of Fate to take a little getting used to. Sitting somewhere between turn-based and real-time strategy, battles require the player to choose paths for characters to run along during their turns. When a character moves along this path, the player will be able to decide when they jump into the air in an acrobatic display worthy of praise and let loose with their guns. Careful timing of jumps and attacks will allow for increased damage and other special attacks. In a manner similar to Valkyria Chronicles, characters will be attacked if they get too close to enemies. Adding another layer of strategy to the battles, players will be able to coordinate the paths of the characters in such a way that they will be able to attack together and perform powerful Resonance attacks.
Resonance of Fate will have lots of customization options available to players. The weapons system allows for various firearm modifications. By visiting certain merchants, guns can be disassembled and put back together again in different combinations to produce different effects. In addition to the gun components, ammo choice will add an extra level of variety by giving players a selection of ammo with different attack properties, such as ice and fire bullets. As if weapon modification wasn't enough, players will be able to alter characters' appearances. RPGamers will not only be able to change a character's clothing; they will also be able to change such features as hair style and color and accessories. Clothing options will be available in boutique shops and will allow for a wide variety of wardrobe choices.
Visually, Resonance of Fate looks great. The environments are detailed with a strong steampunk feel. Battles look sharp and fast paced, which is good considering how much jumping into the air characters have to do over the course of an encounter. Those familiar with previous tri-Ace titles will recognize the work of Motoi Sakuraba, who composed the music for Resonance of Fate along with Kohei Tanaka. The game will also give players the choice of having their voiceovers be in English or Japanese. Unfortunately, in order to have a more timely release, the English voice acting will cover less dialogue than the Japanese does.
Along with filling out their wardrobe and completing the main game, players will also be able to tackle a selection of side quests, an optional dungeon, and multiple new game plus difficulty modes. The new game plus feature will allow for players to carry over their character levels and most of their items into higher difficulty playthroughs, each of which is unlocked by clearing the preceding mode. Overall, tri-Ace has said that Resonance of Fate will take players about 80 hours to play the game to completion for the first time.
Anyone looking for a game with a decidedly different feel from the traditional RPG will definitely want to take a long look at Resonance of Fate. The solid looking mix of turn based and real-time strategy gameplay might take some getting used to, but tri-Ace is usually pretty good at delivering a unique RPG experience. Look for Resonance of Fate on the PS3 and XBox 360 March 16.