Lost Eidolons is a beautiful new entry and a breath of fresh air in the tactical turn-based RPG genre. Developed by Ocean Drive Studio, we will follow Eden’s journey, who, alongside his friends and troops, struggles through numerous battles in Artemesia.
There are many things that Lost Eidolons are trying to do, and I feared that they might chew more than they can bite. However, the developers manage to successfully deliver most ingredients in one piece.
The story itself is surprisingly good, as I expected it to be one of the game’s weaker elements. The combat has a uniqueness that differentiates it from other turn-based games, as it involves numerous mechanics inside. However, there are some things that I found sour in Lost Eidolons, such as the stiff facial animations, but those are still covered by the greatness of other aspects.
All in all, Lost Eidolons is a brand-new dish on the table, and fortunately, the game provides us with a sufficient number of utensils and side dishes to help us digest it.
Lost Eidolons is available on Steam for $34.99.
Story: Heroic Deeds
Lost Eidolons‘ story places us as Eden, a young captain who leads a small team consisting of his friends, as they try to make a living in the small city of Loretta. After a certain event, Eden finds himself roaming about until he finds work under a lord, where he must prove that he, alongside his crew, is a dependable group of soldiers.
I find Lost Eidolons‘ story to be quite captivating and it manages to stay believable and cohesive throughout the game. The tone is consistent, it doesn’t jump around from serious to comical and rinse repeat. The game knows what kind of identity it wants to use, and it’s an identity that perfectly fits the whole idea of Lost Eidolons.
One gripe that I find during my time with Lost Eidolons is the lack of dialogue options. Most of the time, you won’t be able to decide what to say and steer the outcome yourself; Eden will automatically handle them. While this isn’t inherently bad, it takes away some of the RPG aspects of the game. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of ways where you can utilize dialogue options, such as when you talk with one of your crews.
The main character of this game is Eden, a young captain from the city of Loretta. He’s kind and someone who cares tremendously about his friends. He’s also a carefree and relaxed person, someone whose ideals are simple, yet meaningful.
When I first hear and see Eden’s tone and his behaviors, it rubbed me in the wrong way. Eden is just too carefree and relaxed even when his surroundings are thrown into a chaotic rupture. However, he improved throughout the game, as he faced numerous obstacles such as heinous schemes, moral dilemmas, and more. Eden’s character growth managed to surpass my initial impressions of him.
Gameplay: A Thunderous Strike
The main attraction of Lost Eidolons is its combat system. The game beautifully incorporates many different elements, like the terrains and Guard mechanics, into a single unique experience.
During my playthrough, I often find myself fully immersed in commanding the troops, since every one of them has such unique characteristics and roles that require careful preparations on my end.
Several aspects make up the overall gameplay of Lost Eidolons: Eden and his troops’ battles, Camp interactions, and the Class system.
Throughout his journey, Eden must lead his troops to participate in numerous battles, from light skirmishes to a full-fledged castle siege.
Skirmishes are the bread and butter of the battles within Lost Eidolons since Eden will have to fight numerous enemies due to following orders, or under certain circumstances. Even though they are skirmishes, every battle in Lost Eidolons‘ chapters is not dull. Throughout my playthrough, I never find myself getting bored during a battle. The mechanics alone are enough to keep me satisfied.
Another battle type that you will encounter is the one where you must assault fortified enemy positions. Now, these battles play out similarly to skirmishes, however, there will be gates blocking your path to the enemy’s Leader.
When playing this type of battle, we must carefully plan out who’s in charge of the Battering Ram, and who’s dealing damage to the enemies, because the gates usually have 500 Durability, and each character deals 100 Damage to it, meaning that we must use 5 characters to topple it down.
I love castle sieges because they give us a more layered problem and force us to think about what to do, who to pick, and where to position them, instead of the usual no-holds-barred skirmishes.
Now, these battles have something in common: Turn Limits. It’s a system where you must finish the battles before the possible maximum turn comes around. I didn’t have any issues with this mechanic, I can still do many things within the battle without worrying about the movement’s freedom.
For those who are hesitant to purchase this game because of the Turn Limits mechanic, Ocean Drive Studio acknowledges this issue on their Steam page, giving us the option of whether to keep the mechanic active or not.
Of course, Lost Eidolons doesn’t just rely on battles alone. Since it’s also an RPG, the game provides us with an adequate Camp system, where you can control Eden’s movements and choices as he interacts with his friends and subordinates.
When Eden is not out there battling multiple enemies, he can freely wander around the Camp and interacts with Persons of Interest, including his current subordinates, allies, and civilians inside his encampment. There’s also the Attendant who can answer questions on the main topics of the game, akin to a guide.
Eden has 50 Leadership points that he can spend on improving his Rapport with his allies, by utilizing the Gift system as well as having a chat over a meal. I did not have any issues with the allocated points during the initial chapters, however as the number of allies is increasing throughout the game, it’s quite difficult for me to juggle the points to level up each allies’ Rapport to a desirable level.
Last but not least, we have the Class system. In the early stage of the game, you must start with either the Commoner Class or the Noble Class, depending on the character’s background. As you progress through the game, you can recruit characters that are at least in the next Classes within the Class Tree.
I felt that this Class Tree is quite fleshed out, making sure that each is different than the others, making it easier for us to distinguish the characters. The developers also emphasize their roles within the team through their backgrounds.
For example, Robin (one of Eden’s retinue and his close friend) is depicted as a skilled bowman. This in turn makes him already have a recommended Class path as a Sharpshooter. I found this helpful since sometimes handing out a Class manually can be quite hectic.
But what if you want to change their Class outside their recommended path? Don’t worry! The developers gave us free rein on how we wanted our characters to play out. You can make Robere, a traditional Templar, into… let’s say a Battle Mage or an Assassin; the choices are yours to make.
Graphics and Sound: Sharp Enough
Now let’s move on to the technical side of Lost Eidolons. This game is polished and almost bug-free, only having minor issues during Camp navigations, like stuck in between two objects.
For me, the graphics are adequate and clean. The game models look believable, with correct proportions. During a battle, duels’ animations are well-done, the way the characters move is great, with the background supporting the theme of war. However, I find the death animation dull, with no variety in them. Even if you kill an enemy using a magic attack, their death doesn’t reflect what killed them, something that I feel can break off the immersion for some players.
One main drawback that I find quite jarring is the facial animations during dialogue sequences. Whether it’s during a relatively peaceful point in the game, or during a war strategy discussion, I can’t see their emotions through their face and have to rely on their way of speech to keep my interest, which shifts my focus solely on the dialogue box.
The voice acting, however, is on point. It’s such a delight to listen to the way the characters talk. You can truly feel their emotions running through, even though their facial animations say otherwise. With a stacked line-up, like Stephen Fu (Dubber for numerous anime titles), Keith Silverstein (Zhongli’s English VA), and Jennifer Losi (Ganyu’s English VA), the voiced dialogues are one of the strongest points of Lost Eidolons.
Overall, I think Ocean Drive Studio manages to deliver the game without severe complications, though there are some minor bugs, my experience with the game is super smooth, and I have to tip my hat off to the developers for that.