Japanese history and folklore is a wonderful experience in esoteric and historical recounting, in which often elements of natural and supernatural are closely woven together. Because of its complex nature, not often do video games that explore this setting come to the west. Recent titles like Nioh have bucked that trend and next month will see the release of another RPG that has its roots in Japanese history and folkore, God Wars: Future Past. God Wars: Future Past is a Tactical RPG coming to the PS4 and PS Vita with a deep job system that will keep tactics enthusiasts busy for a long time.
Developed by: Kadokawa Games
Published by: : NIS America
Release date: EU June 16th, NA June 20th, JP June 22nd
Platforms: PS4, PS Vita
God Wars Future Past Features
- A tale steeped in Japanese tradition – Step into Japan as you have never before seen it, and discover the wonder has that captivated orators, storytellers, and generations of people. Discover their stories, and meet the Myriad gods.
- A wealth of customization and tactics – Customize 14 playable characters from more than 30 classes with 400+ skills and more than 250 unique pieces of equipment as you mold your party to face each new challenge.
- Visuals from another age – Inspired by traditional Japanese ink painting and wood carving art, the artwork of GOD WARS will transport players to an age filled with mythology and wonder.
Story & Setting
At its core, God wars fuses Japan’s oldest historical record book, Kojiki and an ancient figure, Shaka into a single adventure that explores the lives of early heroes as they struggled to maintain a balance with nature.
A long time ago, in a galax…whoops. A long time ago, there was a land named Mizuho, which itself was made up of 3 nations called Fuji, Izumo and Hyuga. The land and its inhabitants were a peaceful lot who lived harmoniously with nature. As the years went on, they turned to agriculture and then metalwork industry, which led to new innovations but also created war, destruction of nature and the neglect of their ancestral spirits.
At this time, natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and volcano eruptions became more prevalent. The Queen, Tsukuyomi sacrificed her daugther Sakuya to a volcano and imprisoned her other daughter Kaguya within a seal in case needed as a new sacrifice for future disasters. She rebels against her fate as a sacrifice and escapes from Fuji to travel across the land and discover the real truth behind her mother’s actions.
There will be a diverse cast of characters from the different nations in the game as well as some gods from the story and exploring their backgrounds and motivations will be an integral part of the game’s narrative, which itself illustrates the conflicts between the young leaders of ancient Japan.
God Wars’ gameplay is a traditional take on the tactical RPG. As you explore the world, you will engage in encounters and that’s when combat unfolds over a turn based battle system where you maneuver your units to gain the upper hand on opponents. Each one of your units has a unique job as well as a main job that determines the weapons they can equip and finally a sub job which gives additional skills. In addition to the unique job classes, players can visit a shrine before battles to boost abilities and powers resulting in stat bonuses during battle to help emerge victorious.
The battle map is in an isometric view, and is a miniature garden like map in 3D. The topography is both vertical and horizontal, making you consider elevation as well as distance when planning your positioning and movements. When battle starts, movement speed determines the order and it all unfolds via traditional turn-based combat.
The game features an interesting impurity mechanic, which is a meter that increases whenever you attack enemies or heal allies. The higher your impurity, the more likely you are to be targeted by foes. Therefore, how you manage your impurity will be an important tactical consideration.
God Wars will feature several hundred skills that your units can utilize in exchange for MP. These run the gamut of party roles from combat to support. Additionally, as you progress, you will unlock secret skills which are powerful skills that you can trigger by charging a skill gauge during battle.
The job system is the major part of the game and serves as a primary point of progression for your units. Every character has access to 3 types of jobs, the main job, sub job and unique job. Players can choose from a variety of different job types to fill these slots.
A character’s main job determines the items they can equip, determines stat distribution and growth and provides the ability to use several job specific skills. The sub job gives players a role from which they can use other, new skills. The unique job is permanent and provides even further specialization when it comes to the skills that are available. The jobs all fall under 3 main types: Physical Combat, Recovery Support and Offensive Spellcasting. Within these categories, you will be progressing through beginner, intermediate and advanced level jobs.
The specific jobs correspond to combat roles and are quite numerous. There are warrior tanks, samurai, archers, hunters, priests, monks, magicians and dozens of other more exotic and nuanced roles like celestial, elemental, and barrierist. Each of these have unique skills that define the job, allowing you to create a great mix of units.
By improving the job level of the current jobs, you will unlock new jobs which provide better benefits and deeper specialization/customization. Some jobs require that you level up several jobs to unlock them, giving your down-the-road decisions some heft. This kind of branching progression should give players something gratifying to tool around with as they plan out the best mix of jobs for their units.
The world of Mizuho is populated with various creatures you will encounter, including gods. There will be several of these giant bosses to take on during the course of the game, and will be some of the more epic battles you’ll face. Everything will come together during these encounters as you will be considering the terrain, jobs and the patterns of your foes.
The historical backdrop and Japanese folklore gives God Wars an exploratory setting that lends itself well to the deep tactical RPG genre. Giving context to the battle grids as well as the deep and complex job system makes the game more approachable from a gameplay perspective. Under the hood, this is a deep game with a lot going on, and should be right up the alley of those with an interest in tactical and thoughtful turn-based battling as well as an interest in Japan’s more esoteric lore.