Last month, 6 Eyes Studio and 1C Entertainment released a new turn-based tactical RPG with a focus on storytelling and strategic battles. Inspired by games like Final Fantasy Tactics, this game got some damn good reviews from various sources. Naturally, being curious and all that, I had to take a look into Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark and see if it was just a rip off of its influencers, or actually stands on its own.
- Graphics: The hand-drawn style that Fell Seal uses is simply amazing. I heard mixed feelings about these graphics, which I understand if you’re not into the hand-drawn type of games. But if the screenshots above and below seem interesting to you, you’ll definitely get to gaze your eyes out during this one.
- Customization: This game offers a whole lot of customization, damn! It starts with the various classes available, like mercenary, scoundrel and wizard. There are even some secret classes you might just be able to unlock! There’s also the concept of actually customizing your characters’ appearances. It’s not that much, but there are some options and it does make you care about the characters more, as well as feel more involved in the game. The customization of the difficulty level is also very welcome.
- Replay value: Since Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark has a few difficulty options, as well as a custom difficulty option, it’s quite interesting to replay. You can tailor a lot to your own taste, making the game entirely to your own taste.
- Tutorial: The game isn’t that easy, but it isn’t THAT hard either. The tutorial parts come in handy and show up every time something new pops up. The instructions are also quite clear. For example, when the game teaches you about the items, it immediately tells you that the item system isn’t like any other games you better pay attention! And yes, that did make me pay extra attention.
- Combat: It’s all about tactical turn-based combat and it’s basically very enjoyable. The moves of your opponents are usually quite predictable, but I guess so are mine so I’ll give the devs that. What I’m actually trying to say here, is that the combat keeps you hooked on the game, as a good RPG should. Your characters have active and passive skills, and as a team, you also have a few extra tricks, which are limited to every fight.
- Cutscenes: The cutscenes are quite slow. Sometimes I felt like it took the characters way too long to say something and to then switch to the other character saying something. Do you know what I mean? Luckily, I found out you can actually skip these cutscenes, and yeah I guess that made me miss parts of the story sometimes, but that honestly isn’t that big of a deal, as you’ll read below.
- Story: The developers described this game as story-driven, and it is. Lots of talking, lots of cutscenes. But you’ll soon figure out that the story is actually not that interesting and quite bleak. The game focuses on combat and story. I recommend focussing on the combat part since this is way more interesting and fun. Why did you put this in mixed then? Well, it’s not that the story is horrible, it’s just not polished enough I guess.
- No voice acting: For a game that involves so much storytelling, talking, and cutscenes with dialogues, there should have been voice acting. Honestly, this would have probably made me pay more attention to the actual story. Or have made it more interesting at least. I mean, those amazing graphics with some kick-ass voice acting? I’d be totally down for that.
- Static camera: This isn’t the biggest issue, but I still wanted to mention it. During the battle, the camera is static and you can’t rotate it in any way. This would have been welcome, though. Now I sometimes felt like I couldn’t really “feel” the game, or the screen looked weird with weird takes on the screen, I don’t know. It just didn’t quite feel like it should.
★ Score: 75%
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark has a lot of good things going for it. Besides immediately noticing the amazing hand-drawn art, the combat and customization are very strong parts of this game. The only two bigger demerits are the lack of a good story and voice acting. So actually, when it comes down to it, the big thumbs down here is the overall story part. In conclusion, 6 Eyes Studio and 1C Entertainment have done a very good job.
Developer: 6 Eyes Studio Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Played on: PC
Also available on: Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Perfect for: Final Fantasy Tactics fans
Steam Game Store link: Click here