Action-strategy game Lornsword Winter Chronicle from indie studio Tower Five is ready to go on PS4. Learn more about it in our Lornsword Winter Chronicle review!
Your journey will begin right away once you’ve started a new campaign, with Lornsword Winter Chronicle throwing you into a battle right away. Opposing demonic forces are attacking your settlement, and it seems there is no way for you and your allies to walk out of this battle alive. After swinging your sword many times and trying to defeat as many demons as possible, the screen fades, and a cutscene starts to play. It seems it was all a nightmare, but perhaps it was a vision of things to come…
The game will let you know about the basics during a short tutorial section once you’ve started the campaign mode. Lornsword Winter Chronicle is a fast-paced game, so you’ll move your main character around with the left analog stick, running by pressing down and holding the Circle button. This button can also have you blinking around the area – as if you were Nightcrawler – once you’ve unlocked that option. You can attack enemies with the X button, and you will also need to call upon your troops with the R2 button so that they can follow you into action. Once you have a group following, you can release troops with the L2 button, or release all of them – if needed – with the R1 button.
The D-Pad can be used to summon troops from the elemental altars, as long as they’re powered up, and you have enough energy. If you’re running a bit low on energy, you can use the orbs that heal your wounds to also gain extra energy. Summoned troops are considerably more powerful than the regular melee and long-range troops you can obtain from your bases, but they’re only available for a short period of time. Once their time is up, they will vanish from the battlefield.
When you are presented with some dialogue between characters, you can read through it by pressing the Triangle button. This button is also used for building and upgrading structures, which you can sort with the gold you have in your stash. The right analog stick can be used to enter Far Sight mode, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll be able to see far into all corners of your current location to see what you’ll be up against. You won’t get to see everywhere, as there will be some fog of war in place, but it will certainly come in handy for checking on your headquarters and the assortment of buildings under your control in each area.
You’ll be promoted to Captain right away, and will be given your marching orders by General Tull, an old-school – and old! – man who can’t take on enemy forces on his own, minutes into the game. You will be tasked with assembling a troop with the Landis Mercenaries and Scouts at the camp, so off you’ll go to press and hold the R2 button to make friendly units follow you around, Pikmin style. You can order them to attack, and they will immediately follow that order and break forward.
If you’re hurt and need to recover, you will need to make good use of the orbs you can find at the altars. Doing so will somehow heal and close your wounds, allowing you to carry on fighting the good fight. You need to be careful with this because altars will have a set number of orbs for you to collect to heal your hit points, and once they run out, you won’t be able to heal right away. The good news is that more orbs will be generated as you go after it condenses the elemental energy of the area. You will also heal on your own at a slow and steady pace, but not fast enough if you’re seriously wounded and under attack.
An ongoing issue with PlayStation games this generation is that the text ends up being too tiny to read from a comfortable distance, forcing you to sit closer to your TV – even if you own a big one. This is sometimes offset by developers who allow you to change the size of the in-game font, or by making dialogue boxes, and therefore their text, bigger. That is not an option for Lornsword Winter Chronicle, so hopefully, it’s something that Tower Five can address by way of a patch.
Lornsword Winter Chronicle has a regular trophy list with no Platinum trophy in sight. You will find an assortment of Bronze trophies, a couple of Silver trophies, and the one Gold trophy for your count. The first one will unlock once you’ve completed the starting mission, with the rest popping up when you complete specific stages in the game, finishing chapters, win three maps in hard difficulty, and complete a handful of additional objectives that add some extra challenge to a few maps.
Lornsword Winter Chronicle is a fun action-strategy game that is great for those new to this type of game. You can go through each of the tutorial sections in the first set of maps, or you can skip the explanations and dive into the gameplay, learning as you go. It has an interesting art style, voice acting, solid gameplay mechanics, distilling the strategy experience into a streamlined experience. Other than the game not having a Platinum trophy, which might rub some people the wrong way, this is one you should check out on PlayStation 4.
This Lornsword Winter Chronicle review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Tower Five.