Set in a stylish world of black and white splattered in red, Othercide promises a tough but rewarding turn-based strategy experience… with a twist! Lightbulb Crew attempts to blend genres by adding in roguelike elements. So do they deliver on both fronts?
Othercide Review – Level the Playing Field
Much like other turn-based strategy titles, Othercide allows you to bring anywhere from one to three combatants onto the field with you per quest. The game starts with three classes: Shieldbreaker, Soulslinger, and Blademaster. Using any combination of these, your Daughters will head to the battlefield where dark forces threaten to destroy the world. While my preference so far have been the hunting missions, I have enjoyed the occasional escort mission or two. Survival missions are my least favorite of the bunch. I tend to only run those if they are my only option.
Turns are tracked on the Timeline along the bottom of the screen. Your Daughters will consume Ability Points to attack the enemies. However, if you end your turn with more than 50AP, instead of pushing her to the end of the Timeline, she will start at the 50 mark. If you decide to keep fighting when you are below 50AP, your Daughter will be in Burst Mode.
As your Daughters reach new level milestones you can unlock new abilities, generally selecting from two options. They also earn traits based on their performance over time. One trait a Daughter of mine learned deducted 10% of her XP earned and in exchange bolstered her attack. Cycling your characters and running as many missions with them as possible maximizes their growth.
Skills can be modified by attaching memories to them. Memories are unlocked during combat when you defeat enemies holding onto them. Modifying skills requires essence, the same stuff you spend on germinating new Daughters.
Othercide Review – Life After Death
But there is a downside. Othercide does not allow your characters to heal in the traditional sense. When you rest for the day, they will not regenerate health. To heal them, you must sacrifice another Daughter of the same or greater level. Not to fret. A piece of the Daughter you sacrificed will remain with the healed Daughter as a trait. This is why it is important to germinate more Daughters with the essence earned from completing your missions. You’ll be leveling and sacrificing often if you want to build a strong team to take on the big bads waiting for you at the end of each Recollection.
When all of your Daughters fall and the Recollection restarts, you’ll find a token in your inventory. You can redeem this token in the cemetery to bring back one of your fallen children. Perhaps you have a higher level Daughter you want as an anchor for leveling new ones, or maybe you just have a favorite.
Othercide Review – Recollections of Her Nonexistence
Othercide rewards the player for succumbing to the dark. Yes, you read that correctly. Along with essence and experience points, missions also reward you with shards. When you perish or complete a Recollection, the shards become available for allocation. Head to the Remembrances tab to see what perks can be toggled on. Much like memories, performing certain tasks like defeating a boss or taking down a number of enemies will unlock new options. Making sure to select the right ones when you’re on a tight shard budget is imperative; the correct combination might just be the nudge you need to advance to the next Recollection.
Typically, dying over and over in a game frustrates the hell out of me. Once I got the hang of the gameplay and built up a good rotation of Daughters, everything just clicked. It took me four attempts to get through the first seven day Recollection. Now that I’ve passed that hurdle I am on a roll.
Sadly, I can only manage to play for about two hours before I need to switch away to another game. I love the visuals; they are stunning and eye catching. But my eyes can only seem to handle it for so long before I need to do a lot of blinking. They crave color that isn’t there. Not only that, the font size is very hard to read. I’ve been playing this on a 60-inch TV about six feet away and the text is way too small. The accessibility options offer a larger font size for subtitles if you turn them on but nothing for the menu text.
Othercide provides a challenge without breaking the player’s spirit. It hits on all the right notes of an engaging turn-based game, accentuated by the integrated roguelike elements, and an artistic beauty. Add in the lore and you have a pretty solid title worth checking out.
Othercide review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4 console. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.