Eight Ways Earthlock: Festival of Magic Honors, and Exceeds, Old-school RPGs

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Eight Ways Earthlock: Festival of Magic Honors, and Exceeds, Old-school RPGs

Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a turn-based RPG that’s launching January 27 on PS4. While its foundations lie in the classic stylings of the genre, it’s been built to take advantage of modern trends and feel contemporary. Lead artist Fredrik Dahl from Snowcastle Games walked us through the juxtaposition of the Revered and the New that makes Earthlock an interesting proposition for RPG fans.

1.) It’s built by turn-based RPG fans, for fans.

“When we sat down and had a round table after we finished up our previous production, it quickly became clear that we all had fond memories of turn-based RPGs. When we set out making Earthlock, we missed those type of games, and believed that to be true for a lot of people that had grown up playing them.”

2.) Strategy is key to survival, not the grind.

“In the traditional turn-based RPG, I don’t think it’s a big secret that there’s a lot of grinding going on — to level up in order to beat a boss, for example. We’ve tried to limit that by focusing more on a tactical experience. Usually you can get through the bosses in Earthlock by choosing the right strategy, getting your talent board set up, and having the right character pairings. Getting wiped out is more often than not a case of having the wrong party setup.”

3.) Like all great RPGs, relationships matter.

“If you pair up two characters, their bond grows stronger as they do battle side by side, and this unlocks perks and passive abilities unique to that pair. So in addition to the Talent Board, the battle bonds are a great way of customizing the party depending on what kind of enemies the player is up against.”

4.) You can switch your character abilities at any time…

“Character-specific Talent Boards enable players to customize their characters on the fly throughout the game, enabling them to switch up their strategy depending on what kind of creatures or bosses they’re up against.”

5.) …as well as your party setup.

“We don’t use a progression tree, but rather a board where you can place talents that affect abilities and stats. This board can be rearranged at any point, so the player is free to balance their team in any way they want. We’ve been playing around with a lot of different character builds in house, so the game is playable in a bunch of different ways.”

6.) It’s adding a new take on item farming.

“One of the earlier ideas that stuck through the whole thing was that we thought it’d be fun to grow your own ammo by growing and harvesting plants. We don’t think we’ve seen that anywhere before, and it ended up being a pretty addictive gameplay aspect.”

7.) The customizable combat system keeps you front and center in the battle, not buried in menus.

“In older games, the player often deals with menus nested in menus nested in menus. We wanted to have a more minimal UI during combat. So the player sets up the abilities they want to bring into combat mapped to the controller buttons. They have two pages of these button-mapped abilities making anything in combat less cumbersome to utilize. There’s no delay between an enemy finishing its action and the player being able to use his next ability either, so the combat flow feels pretty streamlined.”

8.) One character’s traded in a trip to the dentist for a life of fantasy adventure.

“We carried over one of our main cast, Gnart, from our previous title, Hogworld: Gnart’s Adventure, that was tailored for a younger market. There his biggest concern was making friends and getting to the dentist because he had a tusk that was hurting! Now he lives in the perilous world of Umbra in Earthlock, working as a librarian. He grew up visually during the transition, going from a striped sweater to a much more stylish coat and tie. He kept his backpack though, which is always good to keep books and journals of his travels in!”

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  • Definitely up my alley.

  • Looks neat! Can we get a trailer?

  • I backed this on kickstarter… Been waiting for this forever… especially since September of last year (stupid Steam and Xbox getting it first mutter mutter)

  • PlayStation 4 Platinum Wireless Headset!!!!!!

    HELP!!! Please confirm the release date for the PlayStation 4 Platinum Wireless Headset!!!

    You guys said 1/12 but every retailer has a different date and most say 1/31!

    Please help me give you my money in exchange for your product! I’ve tried to get an answer from you guys for a week now!

    What’s going on?!?! Please answer your customers!!! Exclamation marks!!!

    • Sony sent me an email a couple weeks ago stating it would be available on the 19th. That’s what I’m waiting for.

  • Can’t find it on the PSN Store. Can’t we preorder this?

  • I’ll wait for it to be a PS+ free game.

    • Smart bet since it was free for Gold members already

    • The game is really, really good. I strongly encourage you to consider supporting the developers, considering they’re a very small group. You’d want more games from them after all, right?

    • Game was out for PC and free on Xbox before PS could buy.
      umm.. pass.

    • Valormok because the game being free on other systems at some point in time stops it from being fun on PS4. Great logic there, bud. There’s no wonder why the gamer community is failing.

  • Price for Canadians

    • I’m Canadian too. The price will be $29.99 US, so look at what the other $29.99 US games are. I think MvC3 ultimate falls in that price, so $33.49 CAN…but like I said above…it was free for XBL so there’s a chance we could get it on Plus later in the year if you can wait. Lots of other rpgs to play while you’re waiting but if you prefer old school ones go for the PS2 classics or Star Ocean 4

  • Happy to have backed this and happy it’s coming out soon! :)

  • Hi guys seems very interesting to try this game, I am happy to see that kind of game alive ; but, I want very much to see Squarenix bring to us of old school a new final fantasy turn based like old 7 8 and 10 those were amazing games … Imagine some game like those shaped to new gerenation …. on PS4 they can work in many ways to bring something incredible to got all playing like I have seen before in old times …. I hope someday ^^

  • Another weekly sale FaiL.

    • Looks solid and it has been enjoyed elsewhere. If only gamers were mature enough to pass on what they don’t like and not make childish complaints.

    • Every year for several years they have a day/year sale. I think the first was a 12 games for $12 for 2012 and they were good games. Some years the sales are really good, sometimes they’re really meh. But I think every year they had 13/13 14/14 15/15 16/16 and since 17 lands exactly on Tuesday all the sales are probably getting put off for the 17/17 sale.

  • This game looks like a lot of fun, and I really like the artwork design. Is there going to be a physical release? Also, how much will the game cost? I’m hoping not too much since the game was free on Xbox. (T_T )

    Anyways, we need more story-based games and RPGs. So thank you for making this game. (^_^ )/

  • Looks pretty awesome!

  • Did Sony get rid of all weekly sales now?

    • Open the store and look.

    • There is going to be a 17/17 sale, and likely a flash sale that friday. They’re stalk piling. They’re giving everyone blue wallet syndrome I guess hoping everyone will recover enough to blow their load for that week?

  • It is odd, I don’t see anything for sales besides the “Weekly Sales” which only has the usual Avatar/Theme sales along with Claire and Drawslasher & DOA5 Final Round Season 3 Pass.

    • There is no real game sale for 2 weeks now. Probably because of xmas sale. Its been like this every year. Youll get the sale probably later this month along with the flash sale.

    • They always do a 12/12 or a 15/15 sale in January and 17/17 is the 3rd week of January so we will likely get a Flash sale that week as well. Maybe they’ll stagger it and give us the Flash Sale on the friday afterwards but you just gotta deal with the drought for now.

  • First day buy!!! I was hoping it would come to PS4!!

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