There are many kinds of turn-based SRPGs out there but I bet you haven't played anything quite like the darkly stylish Othercide.
Othercide is a strange game. Its story revolves around saving humanity by dispatching an assortment of Daughters to combat dastardly devilish creatures. These Daughters are clones of a great warrior yet each one can have unique traits, abilities, and fighting styles. The plot itself is abstract with plenty of dark themes which made me feel as if I was playing Bloodborne although Othercide is much more stylish with its greyscale visuals and red highlights that make it really stand out as a striking game. Plus, the daughters all look badass with different haircuts and their appearances change as you level them up and as their HP depletes which adds a layer of authenticity to the aesthetics that you don't usually get in similar games. It also makes situations feel direr considering healing the Daughters is hard to do.
The campaign within Othercide is structured around restarting the game from the beginning which you'll have to consistently do unless you're some sort of SRPG wizard. Each playthrough is known as a Recollection which involves progressing through days and on each day, you can fight battles via entering a Synapse which may award vitae (Othercide's main currency), experience points, and Shards which can be used to activate Remembrances that provide substantial boosts. Once you fail and begin a new Recollection, you'll carry over your earned Shards and your deceased Daughters will be sent to the cemetery where you may have a chance to resurrect one if you have a resurrection coin. You can also birth new Daughters by exchanging vitae but doing so only grants you with level 1 Daughters and you can also sacrifice similarly-levelled daughters to heal. This formula is incredibly unique and rewarding yet it can quickly get repetitive.
Othercide's combat is typical of the turn-based SRPG genre although it also features a nifty point-based timeline. Considering you can halt your enemy's actions like you can in Grandia and set traps for them which is similar to XCOM's overwatch ability, battles require a lot of planning ahead in order to emerge victorious, especially because you only get to utilize a few Daughters in each fight. Speaking of which, the Daughters initially come in 3 classes: the melee-focused Blademaster, the long-ranged Soulslinger, and the tricky yet effective Shieldbearer. Levelling them up while acquiring new traits and skills then assigning memories to skills to increase their potency is a wonderfully satisfying feat so if you can keep a few top-tier Daughters alive; you may be able to finally overcome the Suffering.
Of course, Othercide may be a unique and highly rewarding experience but it also has its downsides. As I mentioned, the gameplay loop does become repetitive but if you have the patience to persevere then it will pay off. Anyway, I wish that character growth and the combat itself featured more facets because Othercide rewards experimentation but it doesn't take all that long to master effective strategies so I wish there was more to it. Also, the controls can sometimes be a bit finicky. For example, while trying to target enemies, you may have to flick the left stick around to get your target to register even if you're pointing right at an opponent which can be a bit irritating. Seeing as these issues can be remedied in a sequel, I can't wait to see what the Lightbulb Crew makes next!
As a huge fan of turn-based SRPGs, I can easily say that Othercide is one of the most unique and rewarding games that I've ever played. Even though repetition rears its ugly head after a while, there's no denying that Othercide pushes the boundaries of the genre.
- + Satisfying gameplay loop that rewards patience and experimentation
- + Brilliant timeline-based SRPG combat
- + Super-stylish visuals set in a brutal world
- - Gameplay loop can quickly get repetitive
- - Combat and growth could use more facets
- - Controls can sometimes be a bit finicky