What’s so good about Tactics Ogre: Reborn anyway?The beloved tactical RPG is now available on PS5, PS4, Switch and Steam… but why’s it so acclaimed? We explain how the team has made an all-time classic even better.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is more than a tactical RPG. It’s THE tactical RPG.
Since its original release, the game has been lauded as the crown jewel in the genre - a masterpiece of amazing storytelling, superb worldbuilding and astonishingly deep and strategic combat. Now it’s on modern platforms!
For those of you who may not be so familiar with the game, Tactics Ogre originally launched in 1995 for the Super Famicom in Japan. In 2010, it returned as an extensive remake on PlayStation Portable - the critically-adored Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.
The latest version of the game, Tactics Ogre: Reborn, builds on that work, improving the audio-visual presentation, refining the gameplay and even adding new features. Yes, one of the best RPGs ever made, is now even better.
If you are new to Tactics Ogre, you may be wondering: what’s all the fuss about? What makes this game so revered? Allow us to explain:
It tells a mature story where your choices matter
Tactics Ogre: Reborn tells a sweeping tale of war, honor and morality. This is not a world of black and white - everything is cast in shades of grey and you’ll find your convictions tested multiple times throughout.
For example, are you willing to sacrifice your ideals to seek a greater good, or will you stand up for what you believe no matter the cost? What do you do when the ‘right thing’ isn’t necessarily the best thing for you or your allies? How much bloodshed is justified in the pursuit of peace?
The game is rife with these kinds of questions - and you’ll face them as you make difficult choices throughout the story. These decisions aren’t to be taken lightly - the story will change depending on the path of action you take.
So think carefully - even if faced with a seemingly impossible choice.
It’s set in an intricate world of rich lore and unforgettable characters
It’s worth taking some time out to reflect on the world of Tactics Ogre: Reborn, because this world is one of the most fully fleshed out settings, you’re likely to experience this year. Its history, its people and cultures, its gods - all have clearly been considered deeply and at length.
This attention to detail and commitment to creating a believable world is felt in every conversation and scenario, which makes this land feel real and believable - and events hit even harder.
The characters have received equal attention - despite the massive cast, each character you meet brims with personality, emphasized even more here than in previous versions thanks to the superb voice acting.
They’re eminently quotable too, with lines like, “When you lack a silver spoon, you fashion one of steel,” lodging themselves firmly in the mind.
Battles are tense, tactical… and improved!
Tactics Ogre is widely regarded as one of the best tactical RPGs ever made… and for good reason.
Each battle you find yourself overflows with strategic options. You’ll have to consider each unit’s abilities, placement, strengths, weaknesses, the terrain they’re fighting on and much more.
So many different elements can affect the battle, which means you can’t rely on brute strength to overcome the odds - only a clearly thought-out and executed strategy will win the day, especially when you factor in this version of the game’s reworked artificial intelligence (more on that in a bit).
Yet despite the incredible depth of the combat system, the game never feels overwhelming. The clear interface, and careful introduction of concepts means you’re always in control of what’s happening. Plus this version of the game has seen many quality of life improvements to make the game even easier to get into.
Speaking of which…
The battle and customization systems have been redesigned…
Tactics Ogre has always been acclaimed, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some room for improvement. For Tactics Ogre: Reborn, the team has made numerous changes across the game, which make it a much smoother experience - and even more strategically rich.
For example the class-wide level management system used in Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together has been replaced with a new one, where your characters all level up individually. This gives you so much more control over the composition of your units than before - and it’s a bit easier to understand!
The AI system in battles has been completely reworked. Now the enemy is able to change tactics to accommodate the terrain of the battlefield, and the state of the battle. Don’t worry though - if you set the AI to control allies, you’ll find they’re much smarter than before too.
There are also loads of general quality of life and playability improvements, including faster battles, autosave, overhauled controls, a streamlined equipment system and much more.
…and new features have been added!
It’s not just about refining what was already there - the team has also added new features to add even more depth to the game. For yple, you can now scout before battles to get a better sense of what you’re facing - and plan accordingly. You can also equip new accessories called ‘Charms,’ which affect units’ stats, giving you greater control over their growth and development, and can even save up to five parties now, so you can dive into battle much faster.
During battles, you may encounter Buff Cards. Completely unique to this version of the game, they bestow bonuses on a unit for the duration of the battle. There are also new optional bonus objectives that you can attempt to complete for additional rewards.
That’s just scratching the surface - there are so many little tweaks, we don’t have the space to talk about them all here. You can find out more in our article:
It has full voice acting and orchestrated music
Not only does Tactics Ogre: Reborn play better than any version before, it also sounds better!
There’s now full voice acting throughout the entire game in English and Japanese, making this powerful story even more dynamic and impactful.
The music’s also been re-recorded, with full orchestration across the whole game. The soundtrack to the game is legendary, and not only do these classic tracks now sound better than ever before, composer Hitoshi Sakimoto has recorded some new tracks specifically for this game!
It’s a glorious collection of tracks that you’ll want to listen to again and again. And if you get the Digital Deluxe Edition, you can - the Tactics Ogre: Reborn original soundtrack is included!
Tactics Ogre is the crown jewel of the tactical RPG genre, and Tactics Ogre: Reborn makes it shine brighter than ever. If you love games that make you think - both in terms of gameplay and story - then picking it up is a winning strategy.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is available now in a Standard Digital Edition for PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC via STEAM and a Standard Physical Edition for PS5, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. A Digital Premium Edition is also available now on PS5, PS4 and STEAM, and includes the Tactics Ogre: Reborn Original Soundtrack in addition to the full game.
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