Dungeon Encounters is directed by Hiroyuki Ito, concerned within the creation of titles together with Final Fantasy IV, V, XII, and Tactics. I began sweating a little bit as I started taking part in as a result of not solely is he well-known for his work designing battle programs, however I used to be instructed that it was at first about its programs, so naturally, I ready myself to need to take a lot on board. Some of you may additionally have an interest to know that Cattle Call, recognized for the Metal Max sequence and The Legend of Legacy, dealt with its improvement.
Not a recreation with lush visuals and results or a deep, engrossing story, however a turn-based, numbers-focused, bare-bones RPG of kinds. IGN Japan had the chance to attempt it out earlier than launch, so listed below are our preliminary impressions.
Dungeon Encounters Screenshots
This dungeon crawler RPG entails forming a social gathering of as much as 4 characters and delving into the depths of a board-game-style sq. grid map. Though the dungeon is divided into squares, you are capable of give attention to exploring and preventing your means throughout maps with out having to fret about programs like stamina or starvation. As you progress down flooring, the maps get greater and the enemies get more durable.
Stepping on one of the numbered squares discovered alongside a map triggers both a battle or an occasion. Think of these numbers as replacements for enemy symbols or treasure chests, with black numbers representing battles and white numbers resulting in occasions. Almost like a sinister model of snakes and ladders.
The recreation’s easy battle system options bars that fill in line with every allied and enemy character’s pace. Once a bar is full, that character turns into capable of act. Some of chances are you’ll know this as an lively battle system, a half of Final Fantasy starting with FFIV. Though attribute-based weaknesses and useful resource administration for highly effective offensive or therapeutic strategies and spells are generally present in RPG battle programs, this recreation makes use of neither attributes nor MP and never even objects! What you will see that, although, are easy but deep slugfests.
What makes the battles on this recreation stand out are the three values that each enemies and allies have: bodily protection (a protect that absorbs bodily injury), magical protection (a protect that absorbs magical injury), and HP (which of course means defeat for allies or enemies if it reaches zero).
Physical and magical protection stats are comparatively well-liked in RPGs, however in Dungeon Encounters they act as shields that take injury in place of HP. In different phrases, taking bodily injury from swords and bows will first cut back your bodily protection, and your HP solely begins taking injury as soon as that protection reaches 0. The identical applies for magical injury, so you may need to first whittle away an enemy’s magical protection if you wish to defeat them with magical injury. What’s extra, extra injury typically would not carry over. Even if an enemy is all the way down to 1 bodily protection and 1 HP, you may must assault twice to defeat them even with a 200-damage bodily assault.
Each character solely has two sorts of assaults at most, additional complicating your choices in battle. Physical and magical assaults have totally different ranges of effectiveness in opposition to totally different enemies, requiring you to offer some consideration to how your social gathering’s assaults are balanced. Also, whereas MP might not exist on this recreation, multi-target assaults and tricky-to-use random injury assaults power you to make every easy alternative with nice care.
During my time taking part in, I appeared to get moderately good outcomes with a social gathering of characters who every had one bodily assault and one magical assault, nevertheless it felt like a fairly fundamental technique that anybody would provide you with, and one I doubt would preserve being as efficient as you progress by way of the sport. Making you suppose and switching issues up is the truth that not all enemies may be approached in the identical means: flying enemies can solely be broken with ranged bodily assaults like bows and weapons or with magical assaults, enemies with petrifying assaults can utterly disable your social gathering members. As a consequence I started to get the sensation that the variability of nasty and fierce enemy assaults would solely develop. One assault specifically absolutely drained the motion gauge of all its targets, trapping me in a loop when its person appeared alongside different enemies. You’ll positively must pay shut consideration to the order during which you are taking down your foes to keep away from sticky conditions.
Another necessary level to notice is that whereas your bodily and magical defensive shields are reset after every battle, your HP stays the identical. Not solely that, however only a few methods exist to revive your HP, making it necessary to effectively navigate every battle whereas taking as little injury as potential.
Just as essential to Dungeon Encounters as its battles is its exploration. As famous earlier, gamers progress down maps of squares, some of which include numbers. Though black numbers symbolize enemy encounters, white numbers set off occasions that profit the participant. These may be a huge quantity of issues: outlets the place you should buy and promote gear; possibilities to get well HP, standing illnesses, defeated allies and extra; info on particular enemies; treasure that gives new objects; new learnable skills; and puzzles to resolve.
Abilities are a very important half of this recreation, starting from HP restoration and protection in opposition to particular standing illnesses to those who assist in exploration like an expanded map show. Using these requires Ability Points, however these are gained as you journey throughout the map, organically encouraging exploration.
Puzzles might present the coordinates of an merchandise after a string of questions are answered, whereas others ask you to infer the situation of a hidden merchandise primarily based on the form of a map, including some further pleasure to what may in any other case danger turning into uninteresting exploration.
I solely had a chance to play the start of this recreation, the primary 19 of 99 flooring to be precise. Even so, I discovered myself in conditions the place one incorrect alternative in battle or one crippling standing ailment put my complete social gathering at hazard of falling. Because this recreation makes use of an auto-save function, you may even begin to sweat while you fail to flee a number of instances in a row. It was exhausting to inform from my expertise simply how far the sport’s battles may go in phrases of difficult the participant with out feeling unfair, however I did go away with the sensation of eager to beat the sport and see all of what Dungeon Encounters has to supply.
With its heavy design give attention to programs and numbers specifically slightly than wealthy worldbuilding and visuals, Dungeon Encounters is maybe not the kind of recreation that may discover a vast viewers. But if you’re the kind of participant drawn to battling it out in easy but deep methods, you must positively give this one a attempt.
Dungeon Encounters is scheduled to launch on PS4 and Switch on October 14, 2021, and on PC (Steam) on October 15.
Yoshiki Chiba is an editor at IGN Japan.