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NATURAL DOCTRINE: A Playground of Strategic Options Coming to the West

Kadokawa Game Studio’s initial release, Natural Doctrine, is a strategy RPG made for those who don’t shy away from a challenge, which, frankly, we could use more of these days. The game was released in Japan last year, but will be making its way to the states sometime this fall for PS4, PS3, and VITA. It features the love it or hate it permadeath mechanic, but supposedly only for the first half of the game. Natural Doctrine also includes a two-tiered camera system. You can view the entire landscape via an overhead tactical map, or you can zoom in for a third person action perspective. Flipping back and forth will be essential, as only in third person can you view line of sight for your attacks. One example would be if an enemy unit is behind a barricade. When in overview you would assume you have to go around it to attack the enemy, but when in third person you can possibly either blow up the barricade or use some openings to snipe an enemy through the cracks. Options like this abound throughout, depending on the character you are following at the moment. There seem to be a ton of them to choose from, so you’re likely to find a few favorites.

The combat is turn based, and takes place on a 3D plane, as opposed to a hex or grid, as is most often the case in other games of its ilk. You can see some gameplay from the Japanese version of the game above, which shows off the scale of the conflicts you’ll be in. The developers have striven to get as many enemies and ally units on the field as possible, giving the battles a truly epic feel. The Japanese version also included a co-op multiplayer mode, but not sure if that will make its way into the western release. I eat this kind of gameplay up with a spoon, so an official release date can’t come soon enough. 

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