Review: Natural Doctrine (PlayStation 4)

 

NAtURAL DOCtRINE

Natural Doctrine a challenging strategy title which features cross-play and cross-save. The games set out to test your ability to conquer the evils that lurk in the sprawling networks of mines and ruins in the areas surrounding the fortress city of Feste.

 

Pros:

  • Graphics are not the best you will ever see but do still look nice. Graphics on the PlayStation 3 are good with no real difference with PlayStation 4 version. the Vita looks the best which is mostly due to the OLED display and smaller screen. Characters look really good and the background is good.
  • You can have Japanese/English voice over.
  • Opening tutorial is huge. It will take you through a few levels and show you how everything works, Practice against AI.
  • the game uses a linking mechanic, Having players linked grants additional damage/buffs and for a change to the mechanic, the players do not need to be right next to each other. in fact the link works better with longer distances between players.
  • Three difficulty settings: Easy, normal and hard.
  • The gameplay is a strategy action game where you have a party of players and must clear out dungeons/areas of enemies and face off against bosses. Find treasure chest, secret rooms and much more. Combat is turned base but has the playstyle where using the link system can influence and change the turn roster. Get the layout and execution right and you can stay in control for much longer.
  • Full Platinum list which is shared across all three versions of the game.
  • Has Facebook integration but I never activated cos Facebook.
  • Cross save across all versions.
  • Crossplay across all versions with players online displaying what version they are on.
  • Multiplayer is different from the main single-player game. it is still a turn-based game but instead of picking party members, you use cards and in other words, makes the game a card battler. Select cards for play, Earn and buy new card packs and take to the field.
  • Multiplayer has competitive and co-op play and you can play against randoms or setup private games and friends only games.
  • Daily sign-in bonus in multiplayer with a first time sign-in bonus which is more than enough to get decent card packs.
  • Multiplayer has a cool feature where if you cannot find an opponent, it will put AI players in and you can still earn cash and wins as if it was a real opponent.
  • The huge help section is available from the menus with separate sections for single player and multiplayer.
  • The voice work is really well done and all communication in-game is voiced.
  • The story is decent, I mean you won’t pay much attention to it but it does stand up.
  • The gameplay is really good and so very deep and rewarding. Its almost like a crazy game of chess, every move must be planned and outcomes thought of before hitting the ready button.
  • Levels/areas have multiple routes so you can have some freedom in movement.
  • Another mechanic wroth mentioning is the playfield is split into blocks of the area. You can enter green ones and enemies hang in the red ones. Killing enemies will then turn the area to green so you can move into it. It is just another clever little thing that keeps the gameplay interesting.
  • Earn exp and level up characters, If you mess up you can reassign points at any time.
  • Find/buy new items/weapons/armor and with the slick UI, changing out stuff is easy and quick.
  • PS3 and PS4 version come with a proper manual! By that, you actually get a manual with pictures, story, controls and helpful hints!

NAtURAL DOCtRINE

 

Cons:

  • Slow starter and this is due to the extensive range of the tutorials. you can turn them off but I wouldn’t!
  • The steep learning curve with so many mechanics and info you need to take in, Even moving can be difficult.
  • No practice area or tutorial for MP. it could have done with the same level of the tutorial as the single-player.
  • no proper touchscreen support on the Vita version.
  • The brutal difficulty, Even on easy you will still have a tough time.
  • No manual in the vita version.

NAtURAL DOCtRINE

 

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Accessibility - 6/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.2/10

Summary

In Summary, This is a difficult game! From the moment the tutorial ends, You will die and you will die many times. you just get flooded by all these screens, icons and mechanics to learn you feel overwhelmed a lot of the time. Once you get used to that, You then have to get your head around actually playing the game. it will take several hours of sweat, swearing and praying to get on par with the game. Once you do finally feel comfortable, The game is a really rewarding and deep experience. It has 100s of hours of play. I didn’t give online much play as the connection was always a bit flakey due to low player numbers etc. It does have potential to be good in its own right with co-op being a particularly nice addition. don’t expect to beat the game easily and prepare yourself to learn and die a lot and you will get a really good game. Not for the faint-hearted.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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