It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure to celebrate whenever we see our fellow Filipinos succeed in some way, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we are happy to hear that our brethren have made a bit of an achievement in the field of independent game development. Recently, we had our hands on the demo and we’d like to tell you how we find it so far.
Grand Guilds quickly brings us to their combat, revealing itself to be a Story-Driven Tactical RPG (or STRPG, which is a mouthful anyway). But instead of going through a menu of possible actions, you are issued a set of cards you can use should your character have enough action points to use it. In a sense, it’s a lot like Hearthstone but this time your pieces are moving along a huge board.
So far they’ve featured several situations that the game can handle capably. There appears to be attacks and abilities affected by terrain such as elevation and line of sight, It’s also possible to switch between characters before expending all of their action points (AP). They’ve also revealed 3 playable characters so far, each featuring their own specialties.
The demo takes roughly an hour to play and I found the game to be quite refreshing. To a degree, it took me briefly back to the days that I enjoyed the classic, Final Fantasy Tactics. Though I do have some reservations with how the game has written its story and characters so far, it’s probably fair to wait for the game to show what it has in store once the full game is out. Hopefully by then we’ll be able to see more nuanced and relatable characters rather than what appear to be completing a list of modern tropes. On top of that, a technical issue I noticed may be some optimization, the graphical fidelity of this game doesn’t look like it should be at all, demanding, but for some reason it brought my laptop to around the same heat it would while playing Sekiro.
On the flipside, there’s a convincing amount of evidence of how much the people behind Grand Guilds are familiar with what good mechanics look like. They’ve capably synthesized two very unique types of gameplay without making things needlessly complex, which I see as a very good thing.
Now the at the bottom of all of this is the question of how good a game I think this would be, it’s honestly hard to say. While I can call the mechanics commendable, an RPG also requires having a highly engaging narrative and characters rather than caricatures. While I’m typically expected to highly recommend creations that I share my nationality with, I’d say this time that it probably deserves a fair shake as it shows promise.
Check out their successful kickstarter here where you can download the demo, and see for yourself.