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Final Fantasy Tactics-like SRPG Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark enters early access

The Fell Seal, darkest of all marine mammals.

There are some who feel the strategy RPG genre peaked with Final Fantasy Tactics back in 1997, and I struggle to find a solid counter-argument. 6 Eyes Studio must feel the same way, as they're happy to call their own entry into the genre - Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - a spiritual successor. It's an impressive-looking game, and, after a successful run on Kickstarter, seems to have caught the eye of Russian publisher 1C Company, who are bringing it to retail. The first early access version of Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is out now on Steam, but you can find an older demo here on Itch.

Having played a bit of the demo, I can confirm that this is very much in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics, right down to one of your most useful early-game moves being a tackle that can launch enemies off ledges or into other foes. While I'm still not entirely sold on the style of the character art, the (mostly) hand-drawn backdrops are lovely to look at, although it's at the cost of not being able to rotate the camera. While I've only had a chance to play the first two introductory missions, this is already comfortably familiar stuff, and I'm interested to see how its systems develop.

The early access current version of Fell Seal contains twenty-one story missions and around thirty side-missions. By the time the game leaves early access (the developers estimate six months from now), they're hoping to add another twenty-four story missions and plenty more optional ones, plus a hard mode. While there's still a lot of battles and story still to come, 6 Eyes reckon that they've got the foundation all tamped down solid, with all the game systems and characters fully implemented already. They plan on bumping up the price by the time they leave early access, too.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is out now on Steam for £16/17/$20, and you can play a few missions in the free demo on Itch here.

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