Save the world and uncover traitors in your ranks in ATLUS and Lancarse’s upcoming apocalyptic SRPG Lost Dimension
We at Hey Poor Player recently went hands-on with Lost Dimension, the upcoming strategy RPG developed by Lancarse and published by ATLUS in North America. The game, which is set to release later this month for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, is set against the backdrop of disaster. After an enigmatic megalomaniac named The End appears and causes a cataclysm that wipes out over 2 billion human lives, the UN forms a ragtag group of psychic soldiers known as the S.E.A.L.E.D. team to ascend his impenetrable tower fortress and eliminate him within 13 days before he triggers an imminent nuclear apocalypse.
In Lost Dimension, players assume the role of 18 year-old Sho Kasugai, a psychic gifted with the ability to see into the future. The game unfolds in typical strategy RPG fashion as players assemble a party of 6 out of the initial 11 diverse members of your party, each with wildly different psychic abilities, as you make your way around small battlefields and take on The End’s heavily-armed forces.
While combat begins as a simple affair, as players run move within a set range and begin with just a few combat and support abilities, you’ll quickly learn the key to success lies in forming alliances with your party members. Characters who gain an emotional bond through fighting together and confiding in one another in the game’s pre-battle lobby segments will actively work together to assist eachother in combat. If an enemy comes into range of a group of characters who trust one another and attacks a party member, he’ll be greeted with a barrage of fire from the entire group. Baiting enemies and luring them into triangulated firing positions is often the key to victory in the game’s challenging battles. Of course, enemy units will also be quick to return the favor, backing up their own. The constant need to calculate risk versus reward adds an exciting edge to the game’s harrowing battlefield encounters.
Of course, as gifted psychics, you can expect your party to have the ability some pretty impressive abilities compared to your average grunt. Sho’s “vision” gift allows him to anticipate enemy attacks before they happen, and can even skip the enemy’s attack phase entirely. Himeno, on the other hand, is adept with the powers of pyrokinesis and can reduce her foes to smouldering ash with great bursts of flame. The S.E.A.L.E.D. team’s teleportation specialist Agito Yuuki can even use his abilities to phase shift like the popular X-Men hero Nightcrawler, making terrain effects virtually nonexistent when maneuvering the battlefield. Learning to make effective use of the party’s abundance of diverse abilities can mean the difference between life and death in The End’s unforgiving tower hideout.
Notice how I mentioned earlier how your party initially starts with 11 members? Well, therein lies perhaps the most interesting part of Lost Dimension‘s sadistic SRPG package. From the outset of the game it is revealed there is a traitor in the S.E.A.L.E.D. team’s midst, and you’ll spend just as much time attempting to weed them out as you do battling The End’s evil forces. In order to progress through each stratum of the tower, one member of your party must be sacrificed, and you’ll attempt to build up your camaraderie with your team while using your powers of perception to root out the traitor before the ballot is cast to determine the next member to be erased from the face of the Earth. Leads are given after battle segments, when Sho has visions that feature faces and voices from your party. Up to three of these voices will display in red and be garbled, from there you’ll need to use both your intuition, along with a special trick to determine the enemy within your ranks.
Using Sho’s limited Deep Vision ability allows you to dive into the subconscious of a selected S.E.A.L.E.D. team member. After a brief minigame, which has players take control of Sho as you pursue the chosen member’s specter through a thick fog by following the sound of their voice, you’ll be given definitive proof as to whether or not that character is the turncoat. After that, it’s up to you to do your best to shape your party’s opinion in dialog sequences, because the possibility of having an innocent member of the group sacrificed on The End’s altar is very real, and it sucks to see them blasted into oblivion. These tense sequences are especially potent given the game’s effective writing and the cast’s solid voice performances.
Our early experience spent with Lost Dimension has been very satisfying. The game’s brisk yet cerebral combat and unique traitor mechanic come as a breath of fresh air for a genre that’s been seriously lacking innovation in recent years. For more on Lost Dimension, stay tuned for our final verdict on this gifted SRPG on July 27.
Game: Lost Dimension ; Available on: Vita, PlayStation 3 ; Publisher: ATLUS ; Developer: Lancarse ; Players: 1; Release date: July 28, 2015 ; ESRB: M for Mature ; MSRP: $39.99
Note: Preview impressions are based on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita review code provided by the game’s publisher.