Released last year for Xbox One and PC, turn-based RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic is coming to PlayStation 4 on January 27 in North America and Europe. A PS4 price wasn’t given, but it’s $29.99 USD on PC and Xbox One.
Inspired by the classic 3D RPGs of the late 90s, Earthlock: Festival of Magic includes a “fresh take on turn based combat and character progression,” according to developer Snowcastle Games. Following the story of desert scavenger Amon and other heroes, Earthlock sees you saving the world of Umbra by unlocking its secrets, exposing the shadows, and defeating a growing evil.
Lead Artist Fredrik Dahl talked about how strategy is more important than grinding:
In the traditional turn-based RPG, I don’t think it’s a big secret that there’s a lot of grinding going on – to level up in order to beat a boss, for example. We’ve tried to limit that by focusing more on a tactical experience. Usually you can get through the bosses in Earthlock by choosing the right strategy, getting your talent board set up, and having the right character pairings. Getting wiped out is more often than not a case of having the wrong party setup.
Dahl continued by discussing the customizable combat system in Earthlock:
In older games, the player often deals with menus nested in menus nested in menus. We wanted to have a more minimal UI during combat. So the player sets up the abilities they want to bring into combat mapped to the controller buttons. They have two pages of these button-mapped abilities making anything in combat less cumbersome to utilize. There’s no delay between an enemy finishing its action and the player being able to use his next ability either, so the combat flow feels pretty streamlined.
By pairing up two characters in Earthlock, their bonds grows stronger as they battle side-by-side, unlocking perks and passive abilities unique to that pair. Along with being able to switch your character abilities on the fly throughout the game, you can also change your party setup at any time. “We don’t use a progression tree, but rather a board where you can place talents that affect abilities and stats,” Dahl adds. “This board can be rearranged at any point, so the player is free to balance their team in any way they want.”
Successfully Kickstarted back in 2014, Earthlock should also be getting a physical PS4 version this month. The Wii U version could be out in February.