Fell Seal: Arbiters Mark
Xbox version tested
Review code provided
Fell Seal: Arbiters Mark is a turn-based tactical role-playing game and can be likened as a re-imagining of all the classics from yesteryear. For context, the game plays in a similar vein to Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, X-COM. A genre that seems to have gone barren in current gaming lands, although saying that the new Fire Emblem has just released which is easily one of it’s finest examples. Let’s find out more about Fell Seal.
The main story starts with you, one of the titular Arbiters, and an apprentice patrolling the local town where they witness someone committing murder. You act quickly and take the captured murderer to the powerful Immortals for judgement. At the same time, one of the Immortals lets the world know that he is stepping down from his role. A replacement for him needs to be found in a process known as the marked pilgrimage. After the meeting, to much surprise, the murderer is set free because he bears the mark of pilgrimage which effectively renders him a free man. Outraged the Arbiters move to build a new team in order to chase after the marked man, employing a small loophole that allows him to be tried for his crime. I won’t reveal any of the story beats further than this.
As alluded to earlier, Fell Seal is a turned-based tactical RPG but what’s great is that the gameplay is as simple as you make it. The field of play is broken up into a grid system and you must align the Arbiters at the start of each level much like a game of chess. Characters can only move a certain amount of grid spaces in a turn and only attack enemies face-on. Tactics are vital and using the surrounding environment has its benefits, attack someone from height in a wooded area and they stand a chance of receiving damage from the fall and debris. The game starts with only a handful of classes at your disposal, through progression multiple different classes unlock that bring something unique to the battlefield. In addition, people can be hired from the local tavern and upgrades made.
Fell Seal is exactly what you would imagine a modern HD Tactics game to look like. Visually the art style reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics, so much so that while playing the game I had a massive smile on my face. It brought back so many great memories. The music score is superb and goes hand in hand with the visual presentation, everything just meshes together so well. It is a perfect example of a love letter towards the yesteryear in this genre and one which growing up I used to adore. The only problem with the game, and any tactics based game on a console, is that the pad isn’t really best suited when compared to a mouse and keyboard.
If you grew up in the late 80s / early 90s and played the abundance of tactical RPG’s you will love this game. It will bring back so many fond memories and the price point is perfect considering the sheer amount of hours you are going to get out of it. The music and visuals are both stunning and the story keeps you intrigued all the way through. The whole package is stellar and worth every penny on any format you have access too. It’s easy to fall in love with this game and I hope that other people do.
TBG Score: 10/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Release Date: 30/04/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: RPG, Stratergy
Developer: 6 Eyes Studio
Publisher: 1C Online Games Ltd
Download link: Microsoft Store