I was a bit sad when Square Enix announced last month that PC players would be missing out on the first demo for their upcoming strategy game The DioField Chronicle, but happily the RPG giant has reconsidered their tactical options and released it on Steam after all. The move coincides with pre-orders also going live, but the good news is that your save data, progress and character levels from the demo will all transfer over to the final game should you decide to take the plunge in full when the game comes out on September 22nd. Huzzah.
I'll be dipping my toes into this fantastical real-time tactics game to deliver some more in-depth impressions very soon, but in the mean time, let's take a closer look at what you'll be playing in the demo. Square Enix say it's intended to 'set the stage' for this epic tale of war and honour, and will let you play up until the end of the game's first chapter.
In addition to commanding small squads of various different unit types, you'll also be introduced to its Blue Fox Mercenaries, who look as though they'll act as commander-type characters with big, flashy special abilities. They all have names that look like they've been put through the Square Enix synonym machine as well, including the likes of Fredret Lester, Andrias Rhondarson, Waltaquin Redditch and Iscarion Colchester, who I will undoubtedly end up calling 'Balthier's brother', 'the blonde pretty one', 'that other blonde one from Bravely Default', and 'Gladio's dad' when push comes to shove. Seriously, that's all I can think of when looking at their character art in the trailer up the top there. If you can think of some better nicknames, I'm all ears.
It's not just swords and shields and dragon-shaped crossbows you'll be dealing with, though. This is still a fantasy game, after all, so that means magic, sorcery and big mythical deer beasts with big shiny antlers. And if the logo art is anything to go by, it will probably have its fair share of dragons and fairies in the mix somewhere as well.
In any case, I'm excited to dive in and give it a go, and if all that sounds like your cup of tactics tea, then you, too, can grab the demo for The DioField Chronicle right now on Steam. Alternatively, you can wait until it launches in full on September 22nd for £50/€60/$60.