What is God Wars: Future Past?
Steeped in Japanese folklore, and with a bear as one of your teammates, God Wars is a grid based, turn-based strategy role playing game that requires plenty of forward planning. Set in a land in the midst of its own industrial revolution, where people have been stricken by a variety of natural disasters, the game begins as the Queen sacrifices her daughter to the volcano in the hopes of quelling its rage, before locking her younger daughter, Kaguya, away as a "backup". Some 13 years later, Kaguya breaks out during a riot, and so begins a journey of finding yourself, as you seek to bring peace to the land once more.
How do you play God Wars: Future Past?
As a grid based, turn-based strategy game, God Wars is a game all about planning, and managing your team as best as you can, as you make your way through the game's substantial story, and its many side-missions. With only a small party to play with, it's up to you to fight your way through an opposing team that's sometimes twice the size of yours, using cunning and strategy alone. With a complex job system underlying what each character can do and how they play (characters can change job at any time, which will let them unlock new skills), each member of your team can move a certain number of squares, and attack or use a skill each turn. While normal attacks are free to use, the more powerful skills cost a certain number of MP (magic points) - and with MP being in short supply, you'll need to pick and choose your moves wisely.
As in many turn based strategy games, positioning matters a lot. Attacking an enemy from higher ground, or from the sides or rear will net you a damage boost, and increase your accuracy. Figuring out how to outmanoeuvre your enemies, without leaving yourself exposed is key to victory. Unique to God Wars is an "impurity" system, which sees your impurity increase as you attack enemies - the higher your impurity, the more enemies will attack you, which you can often use to your strategic advantage, to direct attacks away from your weakest team members.
How easy is God Wars: Future Past to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, God Wars may not be as hard as some turn based strategy games, but it still provides a pretty hefty challenge. While there's no perma-death system here (defeated characters rejoin the party at the end of the battle), and even characters that have been defeated mid-battle stay around for five turns, giving you chance to revive them, the game's overall difficulty very quickly ramps up, especially when it comes to boss fights. When playing on normal, after a few levels, you'll quickly find enemies have a tendency to swarm and overwhelm, dishing out much more damage than you can reasonably withstand, while bosses can often kill you in just two hits. Luckily, heading to a nearby shrine will let you take on side-missions, which are a) a lot easier, and b) let you level up your characters, making them stronger. The game also gives you a preview of what your move will do before you make your final decision, telling you how much damage you'll do, and how likely it is to hit, so you don't make any obvious strategic mistakes. With three difficulty levels on offer, you can always switch down to Easy if things get too challenging, which makes enemies weaker, and gives you greater rewards at the end of each battle.
Outside of the battles, a lot of the complexity of God Wars comes from its job system. Each character has three jobs, which affect how their stats grow when they level up, and also the moves they can learn. You'll also need to remember to upgrade your moves manually, choosing where and how you want to spend your job points, which adds an extra layer of complexity to proceedings.
While the vast majority of the game is fully voiced, a reading ability is still required, as none of the game's tutorials are voiced - and with some complex systems underlying how the battles work, you'll need to be able to understand the tutorials to get ahead. Sample sentences include:
- Attacking from the side or back will increase your AIM and damage.
- Jumping over 1 space takes 2 Jump. You also need enough Move to make it there.
- Impurity increases by damaging enemies or healing allies, and it draws enemy fire.
In terms of mature content, God Wars: Future Past is pretty mild. The battles themselves contain nothing in the way of blood or gore, and while you'll be attacking enemies (or being attacked) with swords, axes, staffs or magical spells, there's nothing in the way of realistic impacts. One cutscene does, however, show a character speckled with blood. In terms of bad language, "ass" is as strong as it gets.