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Triangle Strategy

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: March 4, 2022

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Switch Preview - 'Triangle Strategy'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Feb. 25, 2022 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

Triangle Strategy is a tactical RPG where you command a group of warriors as Serenoa, heir to the Kingdom of Glenbrook in a tangled plot where your decisions make all the difference.

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Triangle Strategy is set in a medieval fantasy world that's ruled by three kingdoms: Aesfrost, Glenbrook and Hyzante. The three kingdoms exist in an unusual state of equilibrium, where each contains some of the resources necessary to thrive. Aesfrost has rare metals, Glenbrook has fertile farmlands, and Hyzante has a monopoly on salt. For many years, each kingdom has attempted to overcome its rivals and rule the entire land, but a peace accord looks to change that. Players take on the role of Seranoa Woffort, the heir to one of Glenbrook's noble houses. Seranoa is meant to be wed to Federica, a princess of Aesfrost, as part of the peace accord. Shortly after the two meet, they are thrust into the political machinations of the three lands and forced to make choices that change the fate of the world.

On the surface, Triangle Strategy is a strategy-RPG very much in the vein of games like Final Fantasy Tactics. You and your opponents take turns battling one another until one side falls. Tactical information is displayed clearly, with a glowing purple area showing exactly which segment of the map falls within an enemy's area of attack. A red glowing line shows exactly which enemy would attack if you went there. It's probably one of the crispest and clearest UIs for a strategy RPG I've ever seen, making it very easy to make decisions. It also forgoes the standard MP system in favor of a TP system, where a character regenerates one TP for every turn, and spells and abilities cost one or more to use, making it a tight but constantly replenishing resource.


This is good because combat in Triangle Strategy can be lethal. In the preview build, both friend and foe are relatively squishy, and it only takes one turn for a misplaced character to get pounded down. Positioning also matters a lot. Hitting enemies from behind or above does extra damage. Likewise, if you attack an enemy who is flanked by another ally, that ally gets a free bonus attack, regardless of where you attacked from. With clever positioning, a single character can attack multiple times in a turn. However, the same applies to enemies, and getting surrounded means your foes can get in a bunch of free attacks.

The neat thing about the preview build is that each character seems to have distinct gimmicks. Federica is a fire mage whose attacks hit a wide range but are costly in TP. Benedict, the loyal butler, can buff and support others. Hughette is a bowwoman who rides a bird that allows her to attack from great heights, but she is vulnerable at close range. It seems like every character has a distinct role in the party, which strongly encourages you to find favorites. The tutorials also say that characters may join or leave the party based on your decisions, so choices might have long-term consequences.

Choices come in two forms. The first involves dialog choices. From time to time, you'll get the option to respond to a conversation with one of three choices. Each choice is tied to a philosophy: utility, morality and liberty. Utility are dialog choices that emphasize logic above all else. Morality are choices built around the idea of being a moral person who views people as people. Liberty is about being forthright and free. It sounds a little confusing, and it is, especially since dialog choices are not strictly marked. Each choice impacts Serenoa's invisible philosophy meter, which impacts how other characters view you.


Perhaps the coolest part of the preview build is what happens after the second stage. Due to plot events, your character is given the choice between going to two separate kingdoms. Rather than making the decision alone, the decision is posed to all of the characters you've recruited. Each character has their own thoughts about where you want to go, and the majority gets to choose. You can't directly pick, but you have to attempt to convince party members to agree with your path. Once you've attempted, you don't know if you've succeeded until the final votes are tallied. Furthermore, each character needs certain conversation choices to be convinced, and some choices won't be available unless you talked and explored before the vote came up.

The vote is easy to rig in your favor, but it'll be interesting to see what kind of choices crop up down the line. I can only imagine there are some difficult path splits that demand you have all of the necessary clues to convince everyone to go with you. It's hard to say how the idea will work in the final game, but it's a cool concept and seems to hint at a number of branching plot paths. Your morality is also going to come into play, as it will be much easier to convince characters who share your ideals; trying to convince someone who doesn't share your values comes across as hollow and insincere.

Triangle Strategy looks to be exactly what it's aiming for: a neat strategy-RPG where your choices and actions have consequences, bringing to mind games like Tactics Ogre as much as they do Final Fantasy Tactics. The core gameplay that we've seen is tremendously fun, and I mulled over many of the choices I had to make in the first three chapters of the game. Assuming the final version lives up to the promise of the preview build, Triangle Strategy has the potential to be a new SRPG classic. We'll have to see when it hits Mar. 4, 2022, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.



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