Alongside dozens of other debuts and announcements, Project Triangle Strategy, a working title, was announced for Nintendo Switch. Triangle is from the same Square Enix team behind 2018’s Octopath Traveler. Instead of the classic turn-based RPG mechanics from Octopath, Square Enix are reviving the Final Fantasy: Tactics play-style after its long hiatus.
I really hope when Square Enix says ‘Project Triangle Strategy’ is a working title, they mean it this time. It was already jarring enough that Octopath Traveler‘s code-name stayed into its release, but now it’s just getting silly. Octopath picked up steam after it’s initial code-name reveal at E3 in 2016 and then stuck with the name, likely because it picked up viral appeal. I can’t help but see the similarities already.
Similarities, however, stop at the two games’ titles. Project Triangle Strategy is a stark cut from the game-play of Octopath. Similar to Fire Emblem: Three Houses in 2019, Triangle is driven by three “convictions,” Utility, Morality and Liberty, which depending on the conviction you lean on, will influence the story. The trailer shown at Wednesday night’s Nintendo Direct showed that at the game’s vital decision points, allies will cast their votes at the “Scale of Convictions,” which is an old-school scale balancing the three convictions. Square Enix didn’t divulge much of the game’s overarching story, but what we do know is that the continent Norzelia faces certain doom via lack of resources. Your actions will directly affect the fate of the several kingdoms. Considering the linearity of Octopath Traveller, a branching storyline is a welcome change.
In Project Triangle Strategy‘s new unit-based, turn-based strategy combat, large teams of units can be seen fighting on arenas with different altitudes. Wednesday’s trailer explains that certain units can take advantage of high-ground or low-ground positions which will make combat even more interesting. Anyone who’s played Final Fantasy: Tactics or games from the Tactics Ogre series know what to expect for Triangle. Triangle, however, will also use Pokemon-esque elemental weaknesses in battles too. On the website for Project Triangle Strategy, Square Enix gives the example of using “elemental chain reactions” to get the edge in combat. Square Enix gives a unique example saying, “use fire to melt icy terrain, then use lightning to electrocute it,” in elemental twist I’ve never seen before.
Project Triangle Strategy looks very promising. The game’s new demo is also very strong and has me looking forward to any new info about the struggles of Norzelia and the fighters we’ll bring along the way. 2018’s Octopath Traveler was stunningly beautiful, masterfully scored, and fun from beginning to end. What we’ve already seen of Project Triangle Strategy inspires nothing but confidence. Fans of the long-silenced Final Fantasy Tactics series can rejoice that the series is back in all but name. If I have one worry for Triangle‘s future, it’s that its silly code-name will probably stay into release.